Student Success Stories
With growing competition among job seekers, I knew it would be essential to graduate with work experience that aligns with my program, so I opted to find a Co-op placement. Fortunately, the UFV Centre for Experiential and Career Education offers a lot of student resources with regards to career coaching, resume building, Work-Study, part-time, and full-time opportunities.
Getting accepted into an organization was not an easy road for me, but the Centre for Experiential and Career Education had prepared me for this. The workshops that they hosted were very helpful as the Co-op coordinators went over what to expect as we enter the Co-op program. They also discussed interviews, resume formats, cover letters, what makes for an attractive applicant, and other topics that are helpful in landing a job.
In addition, my Co-op coordinator was willing to have a one-on-one appointment with me to answer questions I had, as well as provided me with feedback regarding my resume and cover letter. She sent out email updates to students in the program about new and current job listings on CareerLink, which I found very helpful.
Overall, the Centre for Experiential and Career Education has been such a great help and has provided me with the tools I needed to easily find Co-op postings, efficiently write resumes and cover letters, successfully answer interview questions, and secure a Co-op position.
The Centre for Experiential and Career Education has provided me with an abundance of resources to help me succeed throughout my Co-op placements, education, and future career. The experience I have received in my Co-op placements has been critical to my success both in my education and in my chosen career path. I have been able to see a direct correlation between what I’ve learned on the job and been able to apply it to my coursework.
A professor at UFV once told our class that having a degree wasn’t good enough anymore; that you need to stand out. This was what pushed me to join the Co-op program. I was able to get a Co-op term with a midsized local accounting firm that semester. Prior to getting the job, the Co-op workshop gave me the tools to create a cover letter and resume that stood out to employers.
All of the tools provided to me by the Centre for Experiential and Career Education have followed me throughout the rest of my degree. They have helped me complete two more Co-op terms, both in the finance departments at the Fraser Valley Regional District and at FortisBC. I also completed two Work-Study terms in the Centre for Experiential and Career Education where I used my knowledge to help other students with their career-related skills.
Last fall I attended an employer networking event put on by the Centre for Experiential and Career Education. As a result of this opportunity, I was able to receive a job this summer as a CPA Articling Student with MNP. I would encourage all students to take advantage of the resources in the Centre for Experiential and Career Education, whether it be resume building, networking events, Work-Study, or the Co-op program. These resources will help you to have a competitive edge upon graduation and to learn lifelong skills.
Raminder Kaur Sandhu
The Centre for Experiential and Career Education played a major role in obtaining my co-op placement. I really liked the approach it follows to assist students with the whole placement process. At the very first step, I was given training on how to apply for job positions and what other requirements I need to fulfill. Then I was provided help with writing my resume and cover letter.
The most important thing was that they kept me updated with the available job postings which assisted me in going through the various application processes. I just had to apply for the job and then prepare for the interview. Also, during my work at companies, our co-op coordinator was always there to answer all my queries and guided me throughout my journey.
I worked in the Centre for Experiential and Career Education for two consecutive years as an Employer Relations associate in a co-op position and a Career Peer in a work-study position. These placements taught me many things about myself, what I have a passion for, and of course how to work in a professional setting with a supportive team towards a common goal. I was able to have some freedom in my work as it was a flexible position, and this helped me develop myself professionally.
Soon after I worked for the Centre for Experiential and Career Education I got a position as an office/marketing assistant in a small office.
With the skills learned from my position in the Centre for Experiential and Career Education, I was more easily able to obtain another position I was interested in. It helped my confidence when applying for other positions as I knew what my strengths and weaknesses were and I was able to find a position that was more suited to me.
The Centre for Experiential and Career Education staff always were so helpful to me anytime I had questions regarding job search or new opportunities I came across. I remember a few times going to one of the co-op coordinators to discuss a job opportunity I was interested in and we would job search on her computer and she’d show me job sites to look and filter through.
The training I got from being a co-op student helped me develop my resume, but it was also being a Career Peer and Employer Relations associate where I was trained to analyze and give pointers on other peoples’ applications. This helped me to look out for the do’s and don’ts of resumes and cover letters. Having looked over so many, I got some great ideas!
Without my experiences in the Centre for Experiential and Career Education, I likely wouldn’t be where I am today, in a position that allows me to be involved in something I love to do daily. It is a place where I was able to develop myself professionally and gain memorable and valuable experiences with some of the most genuine people I know.
The co-op student orientation and one-on-one work with Co-op supervisors were incredibly helpful for both the present and the future. If I can lend one piece of advice to anyone it would be simply to sign up for Co-op and give the orientation a try. Even if you do not continue with the program, or find employment, the resume and cover letter tips are amazing.
Gaining access to the wide breadth of job opportunities that are offered by the co-op program at UFV is the biggest benefactor of the program. The Centre for Experiential and Career Education website has a plethora of jobs related to many different fields, and I found many jobs specifically in my field of accounting. Because of this, I know I gained the necessary experience that will aid me in finding a job in my field much quicker once I graduate from university.
The job I got through co-op has opened up my horizons in many ways. One of the more recent examples I have is that I parlayed that experience in my field to join a program that required experience. I would not have been able to get that experience as easily had I not joined the co-op program.
I also was able to continue with my employer past my co-op contract. I originally started on a four-month contract with my employer, which they then extended to eight months. When the fall semester started they continued to employ me in a part-time capacity. It would be very difficult to obtain such an opportunity without the previously established relationship I had with my employer from doing co-op. Because of this I will be able to use this relevant experience up until my graduation and will not be going back to previous jobs that have no relevance to my career.
Without co-op, my career prospects immediately out of university would be limited. This relevant experience while still being a student will assist in me landing on my feet as I head into the working world. I am very happy with my decision to join the co-op program one year ago and would recommend it - and have recommended it - to any university student.
The Centre for Experiential and Career Education advisors are phenomenal at their jobs when it came to all the steps of helping me obtain by co-op placements. They dealt with all forms of communications with my employers which took a load of stress off my shoulders. I didn't have to worry about phone calls or emails. I was able to focus on my school work and personal life. If an employer needed anything, the Centre for Experiential and Career Education would notify me right away.
The job search was relatively easy for CIS students. On the co-op website, there is a vast amount of job opportunities. They range from software development, web design, and IT. There is so much to choose from and a lot of them are in the Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley, and even across Canada. I had a lot of options to choose from and am deeply thankful. This year, my co-op advisor even posted job opportunities with EA Games and Microsoft! I can't even imagine what it would be like to work for those companies.
I can't count the numbers of times I got help editing my resume and cover letter. The good thing about the Centre for Experiential and Career Education is I never hesitated to go in and get some help because the advisors are so welcoming and kind. It's their job to help and they have so much knowledge and experience about the work industry. I can confidently say after all of my resume/cover letter editing meetings that I can strongly write my own.
For my first co-op placement, I had to prepare for an interview. I've had interviews in the past for part-time jobs in high school but I never had an interview for a full-time job with the government. I was nervous and anxious. Fortunately, the Centre for Experiential and Career Education helped me with that! I did multiple mock interviews in which I learned what types of questions could be asked, how to respond properly, appropriate interview clothing, and what types of questions I could ask the employer. The interview practice paid off because I landed that co-op job! I will never forget the experience.
My three co-op placements were all in government departments. I really loved working for the government in the IT sector because my job had a high level of importance and I felt like my work really had a positive impact on everyone else. After I completed my third co-op term, the hiring manager in my department called and told me to give him a shout once I graduate so I can come back and work. I am set to graduate this summer and hope to land that job!
I am in my third year studying for a biology major, psychology extended minor, and pre-medical concentration. The UFV Centre for Experiential and Career Education has been a great resource, especially as a Co-op student, and I am confident that my improved resume, cover letter, and interview skills will stay with me throughout my professional career.
This past spring I was accepted into the Co-op program and was in search of a Co-op placement for the summer. My Co-op advisor (Theresa) let me know of a biology position with the Government of Canada closing quickly, and I had less than a week to perfect my resume and cover letter. With my advisor's help and editing, I dramatically improved my resume from a bland high-school one to something that better represented a developing scientist and university student. Upon applying, I was quickly offered an interview and was able to practice mock interview questions prior to the interview itself. I was extremely lucky in obtaining a Co-op placement with the first job I applied for! Thanks to this amazing opportunity, I worked over the summer as a research assistant in the Minor Use Pesticide Program at Agriculture and Agri-food Canada. I learned applicable field skills, gained additional certifications, experienced the entire process of scientific research from conception and planning to the completed report, and met some amazing friends. I was also offered the opportunity to return again this summer.
Although I hope to continue my education and attend medical school in the future, I believe that my experiences gained during my Co-op placement strengthened my scientific skills and allowed me to develop many of the soft skills that are necessary for the field of healthcare and medicine. UFV's Co-op program is an incredible opportunity for all students to gain relevant work experience and put into practice many of the theoretical skills we learn in university. It helps students build a platform for job-seeking with a high-quality resume and cover letter, and sets students up for future success and potential employment.
I am in my fourth year, completing my Bachelor’s of Business Administration, majoring in Finance and minoring in Economics. I expect to graduate after the winter semester of 2019.
The Centre for Experiential and Career Education at UFV has been an excellent resource for me during my time at UFV. Under the guidance of the Centre for Experiential and Career Education's co-op coordinator for business students, I’ve experienced significant growth and development in my professional communications skills and been granted opportunities to enter the workforce earlier than many in my peer group. I went through UFV’s co-op work placement program and landed a placement at Prospera Credit Union’s Marketing Department for an 8-month term. I made connections and developed skills in marketing and business in general that have aided not only my studies but my career as a whole.
I still work at Prospera in a part-time capacity, and this experience will be extremely valuable in forwarding my career. UFV has helped me develop many employable skills, and Prospera let me finally put them to good use. UFV's co-op program gave me access to dozens of interesting jobs, related to accounting, marketing, and management. These jobs are only accessible to co-op students, which makes the pool of competitors relatively small compared to a job that would be posted to the general public. This means that if you are highly motivated it is likely you'll be able to find a placement in a job that interests you.
The Centre for Experiential and Career Education has also helped me refine my resume and helped me shore up my understanding of common business writing conventions. I'm generally a long-form writer, but the Centre for Experiential and Career Education imparted unto me the importance of doing more with less and making each sentence count. Prospera outright told me the reason they interviewed me was due to the quality of my cover letter, which also was improved upon by the Centre for Experiential and Career Education.
I've been very satisfied with my co-op experience. By the time I graduate from university, I'll have over a year and a half of work experience that is directly related to my career path. I feel this experience has made me a very competitive graduate coming out of UFV's business program. I urge anyone who looks at UFV as a stepping stone to a career in business to pursue a co-op education. It's paramount that we at UFV make the most of the resources available to us for the four or five years that we are here for.
I am in my 2nd year of the Bachelor of Computer Information Systems Program at UFV.
The Centre for Experiential and Career Education has very talented and helpful people who have provided an abundance of guidance to me during all the stages of obtaining my Co-op placement. They have provided comprehensive feedback on my resumes, including how to customize it for different employers, as well as guidance on how to prepare, perform and dress for an interview. They also have a continuously updated network of job opportunities on their webpage, and overall are a great resource for setting up students for success.
I did a work-study term in the Centre for Experiential and Career Education and was so thankful for the opportunity provided to me by the placement. While employed at the Centre for Experiential and Career Education I was supported by the staff in my studies, I made new friends, and learned new skills. I was able to network with university staff, and stretched my managerial abilities during the Career Fair. I am so thankful that the Centre for Experiential and Career Education provides work studies throughout campus, and I am truly grateful for the guidance and training that I was given while I was employed there. I encourage other students to take opportunities that are provided on campus as it is a wonderful opportunity to further your academic and career development for the future.
I am an international student from the suburbs of Mumbai, India, born to a middle-class family of working parents. One of the most important lessons from my parents is to be independent and self-sufficient. For me, coming to Canada to pursue my higher education, meant putting everything on the line. So, when I heard about the Co-op program, I wanted to enroll myself in it right away. For an international undergraduate to have hands-on experience within their field of study before they graduate, really boosts the future career possibilities. Plus, you get compensated for learning those industry skills and an opportunity to apply them in real-life situations.
I think Co-op is the best thing that has happened to me, especially in such challenging times. It has given me direction in which way I want to pivot my career and polish my skills. It has given me a practical understanding of various roles within the industry, and it’s made me ready for the workforce. Co-op has helped me begin my journey towards success.
For students considering Co-op: Co-op (one hundred percent) moves you a step closer to finding a job within your field. It also helps you to clear any prejudice against employers, positions, and responsibilities, but most importantly, it helps you navigate different career options as you begin your journey towards a career that you want to continue in the future.
- – Arfhad Shaikh
- Co-op student