5 Tips for Keen Co-op Students

While reflecting on some past achievements, I found myself revisiting my co-op experience that resulted in a full time position at Candybox Marketing.

In the spirit of the National Co-op Week (see #coopweek), I wanted to share my experience and pass along some advice to keen co-op students.

It was a huge honour being selected as the winner of the 2012 National Co-op Student of the Year Award and the Emery-Dufault Award by the Canadian Association For Co-op Education (CAFCE). Since then, I have frequently shared my story about how being proactive and a great pair of sneakers gave me the opportunity to be a candidate for these prestige awards.

During my second year at Sheridan College, I wanted to apply for a position that was aligned with my passion for digital marketing. Before the co-op term started, I decided to get a head start by searching for top digital marketing agencies on LinkedIn. It didn’t take long before I came across Darrell Keezer’s (President of Candybox Marketing) profile and learned about the great things he was doing in the digital space.

I sent Darrell a direct message that resulted in a brief phone call. After speaking for a few minutes, he asked me to meet him at a Starbucks that was about an hour away by foot. Having no access to a car or public transit at that time, I knew that being late or rescheduling the meeting would make a poor first impression and might even result in losing the job opportunity. Instead of making excuses, I put on my favourite pair of sneakers and jogged down to Starbucks for our meeting. I didn’t know it back then, but that run kicked off my dream career.

Since then, we have consistently hired co-op students each term and have been happy to welcome many of them as full time members of the Candybox family!

Tips For Co-op Students

Whether you are on the search for your next big co-op position or are currently working in your placement, here are 5 quick tips to help you along the way:

1 – Ensure that the company’s vision and values are aligned with yours. If it is a good fit then you will look forward to going in each day and giving 100%.

2 – Look for opportunities to jump beyond your job description. The job description is usually the minimum requirement from the employer; show them how much more valuable you are!

3 – Use your own campus to your advantage. Whether you need someone review your resume, sharpen your interview skills, or simply need advice, there are endless resources available on campus whose only purpose is to help you succeed.

4 – Learn from the experience. Whether your co-op placement results in a full time offer or simply an enjoyable semester, you can gain endless knowledge about how your industry works.

5 – Know your worth. Remember that you are being taught the most up-to-date material in class and have the ability to provide tremendous value to any company in your industry!

I wish you all a Happy Co-op Week and look forward to hearing more about your amazing co-op experiences!