Student stories

Dispute resolution grad student explores human resources industry through co-op

Meghan Fodor

Maritime Forces Pacific Department of National Defence

As her peers completed their undergraduate degrees with co-op designations, Meghan Fodor witnessed how useful the co-op program could be to her own career plans. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, Meghan applied for the UVic Master of Dispute Resolution program, largely influenced by the optional co-op portion. 

“I came out of my undergrad with very little direction and guidance on what I should do with my degree,” says Meghan. “I saw how beneficial applicable work experience could be to developing career opportunities, so I jumped at the opportunity to complete co-op at the Master’s level.”

Meghan completed two co-op work terms consecutively at the Maritime Forces Pacific Department of National Defence (MARPAC DND) as a workforce planning assistant in human resources, where she discovered the many facets of the HR industry. From planning and executing commemorative events to drafting presentations and reports about civilian workforce composition and planning, her responsibilities were always varied.

“It really opened my eyes to the potential of working in human resources as a career,” she says. “Every day in my role was different, and that’s the way I liked it.” 

While she thoroughly enjoyed the co-op work terms themselves, Meghan recognized the program as more than a job search tool. Throughout her time as a co-op student, she was open to the expansive resources offered by the program, often dropping in for résumé advice offered by career educators or participating in mock interviews available through Career Services. She also took the time to develop relationships with co-workers while on her work terms, building contacts within the organization. It’s this networking effort that helped her secure her current contract following her co-op work terms at MARPAC DND with the same team.

With the career development opportunities provided by co-op, Meghan gained valuable work experience that ultimately lead to an employment opportunity, and she’s become a spirited advocate for co-op. Her sights are set on a career in the federal public service, and she’s happy to share her story and advice with students in the same state of career uncertainty as she once was.

“Don’t be afraid to jump in with both feet,” says Meghan. “Apply for many options. Be open and flexible to new opportunities. This is the time to really get out there and try everything!”

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