Real life learning: student experiences
Mike Han spent a recent co-op term working for the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.
"Not only did I learn more about my field of study, but more importantly, my co-op terms helped me to craft my own unique career path. As a result, I am now able to pursue the career that is both suitable and enjoyable for me."
"School provided me with knowledge of the tools. It wasn't until I was immersed in the work place, though, that I learned how -- and why -- these tools are used."
Anson Tran did a co-op placement for Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA).
"I had a phenomenal experience working at VIHA. I was fortunate enough to be assigned my own project to work on from scratch. I designed an electronic database and user interface for the lab department at VIHA to replace the current paper based system they were using to conduct their proficiency testing."
"At first, I was extremely overwhelmed at the amount of responsibility and autonomy given to me but through applying almost every aspect of what I learned in school and my experience during my first co-op work term I managed to complete the project successfully and make a positive impact for VIHA's lab employees. The feedback I have received from the lab technicians makes me swell with pride to know that I made a difference for others and helped them complete their job a little bit easier."
"I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and the trust granted to me during my tenure at VIHA. The experience has helped me grow tremendously as a professional in this business. I was allowed to experience all aspects of project management from the very beginning to the end and during that entire time I was in the driver's seat. It has given me the confidence and belief that with dedication and courage, you can make a real difference in the workforce."
Angela Jurj spent a co-op work term with Courtyard Group, Toronto, where she worked on the Ontario eHealth Strategy.
"Not only was I fortunate to work with senior management and learn how decisions are made on a large scale, but the people I worked with are industry leaders in the field. I learned a lot from them," she says.
Angela gained lifelong career skills. "Working at Courtyard taught me time management and organization, since I was assigned to various projects with different priority levels. I feel that I grew as a professional."
The co-op program gave Angela the unique opportunity to explore different career options before she even graduated. "It allowed me to discover and develop my strengths as a professional in the field."
After a couple of co-op placements, Angela completely changed the direction of her career. She says, "I never thought there were so many other opportunities in the field, and I would not have discovered them this early in my life had it not been for the co-op program."