Student stories

Political science student complements his studies with co-op

Jamie Cook

Public Affairs office of Maritime Forces Pacific

Fascinated by the Forces, Jamie Cook was excited to spend his first two co-op work terms as the communications writer with the Public Affairs office of Maritime Forces Pacific. Thriving in the structured military environment, Jamie found his involvement in the day-to-day operations of the Navy and the Armed Forces to be a very rewarding experience.

“I take genuine pride in helping to inform Canadians of what their military is doing every day, at home and abroad,” he says.

For many of his assignments, Jamie was required to interview senior military personnel to prepare speeches and briefing notes for their appearances at public events, which enabled him to learn about the institution and the people who serve in it.

Working within a military organization also provided Jamie with many unique opportunities – he went on a day sail aboard HMCS Winnipeg and toured the USS Nimitz, a US Navy aircraft carrier, during its short stay in Victoria back in June 2014, accompanying local media and his supervisor, Public Affairs Officer Lieutenant (Navy) Menzies.

With many short-term projects on the go throughout his consecutive co-op terms, Jamie was often required to rapidly assemble material from a variety of sources. Tasked with piecing these bits of information together, he formed articles, speeches, news releases and briefing notes on the daily operations of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Armed Forces.

“There was an aspect of uncertainty that kept me excited,” says Jamie. “My tasks always kept me on my toes.”

Jamie found that his projects often closely correlated with his studies as well as his interest in security and international relations. As a political science student, he appreciated that his work term assignments often concentrated on political and military events in Canada and around the world.

“It has been an incredibly valuable tool to supplement my studies,” he says, “and the knowledge gained from my studies has come in very useful during my co-op term as well.”

Besides the development of hard skills like writing and time-management, the co-op program has also facilitated Jamie’s career development in a number of other ways. From learning to work in a professional environment to practicing applying for jobs and interviewing with real employers, Jamie’s role as a co-op student has given him confidence in his ability to succeed in his future career endeavors.

“The co-op program has helped me gain clarity in my future professional aspirations,” he says. “It’s given me a better sense of being in control of my own future.”

More about Social sciences co-op