Hi Everyone! I hope that you had a good long weekend and that you are settling in well with your new spring routines. I think I’m doing that just fine too. I can’t believe I have been in this placement for two weeks and I already did my first midterm for my spring class. It’s just so fast. Before I continue writing posts about what has been going on here lately, I would like to take a post to share one important question that pops up quite often in my project here – “why?”
Why did I decide to start blogging about my experience in the Co-op Program? Here is a short list:
It helps a lot with writing the WKEXP Required Reports – The first WKEXP report is a weekly journal of what you did and what you have learned as a person and as an employee. The blog is my first way to think about what happened over the past few days, and I simply make it more formal in tone for the report. I can say the same thing for the required reports for WKEXP 912 and 913. According to Heather Kennedy-Plant, one of our co-op coordinators that I’m sure you and I visit a lot, “I do believe that blogging can help to create meaning out of the learning experiences students gain while on their co-op work terms”. Whether you need to do some formal writing or write a paragraph or two about self-reflection and learning objectives, blogging helps to get some ideas started.
It improves communication skills – Hear, hear Marketing Majors! Well, actually it’s not just for them. The experience of writing a public document in an online platform is really valuable. You learn how to be careful on how certain things should be phrased and its potential impact to readers from the entire World Wide Web community. You discover different approaches to communicate your ideas, whether you plan to entertain, provide information and tips, and tell a story or a combination of all of them. It is also a very tangible proof of your solid communication that you can add in your resume.
It’s a fun, relaxed way to express yourself (aka – you get to rant) – You reflect your personality as well in your posts, after all, you are writing about your experiences and what you think of them. The Co-op program, at any stage in the process, has triumphs and challenges and here you are free to discuss them. Here are some sample posts of a post about a challenge and a moment of understanding.
It’s a great way establish online presence- We all know that potential and current employers look us up online these days. A good online presence, starting with an appropriate profile on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is very important for building reputation. Ms. Kennedy-Plant agrees that “blogging is wonderful way to build a positive, professional online presence which is related to the student’s career aspirations”.
You share and leave something valuable to the entire blogging community as well as everyone involved in the Cooperative Education Program- Tammy Wong, the first co-op blogger did this to me, as well as to the other people who have been reading her blog posts. I’m also starting to realize that the same thing has been happening to my posts including the ones I published many months ago. The beauty of our system is in the back end, you get to see which pages have been viewed and how did people find the blog post page. There are times that the posts are found though search engines, which mean some people, are actively searching for references about the things we experience in the employment environment. I find other bloggers who comment on post, privately message me, or ask for more information so they can learn more and share it again.
Ms. Kennedy-Plant says that the CESA blog also enables students to become Co-op Ambassadors who will leave a mark on not only their current peers in the School of Business but also on prospective students who may be researching their Schoolof Businessoptions. I admit, upon coming to the co-op program, at times I wonder “how does it feel like not finding a job immediately?” or “what else should I do or expect?”. Blogging is a great way to say “You’re not alone, I’ve been there. And here’s what I did when it happened, I hope it kinda helps.”
There are actually more reasons but I hope this gives you an idea on why I take some time at home and some of my supposedly coffee breaks at work to type up something quick about what happened recently here. I’m looking forward to all of you sharing your ideas and experiences because we’re all in this together.