Today is July 10, where I’m celebrating two anniversaries: the one related to my romantic life and my two years in the Cooperative Education Program. Yay! I can tell for sure that this has drastically changed my entire experience in the B.Com Program in a very positive way.
So for today I’d like to talk about something we are required to do in our work terms for the Co-op Program: the reports. Each work term has a unique one, and I have talked about my experience writing the reports for WKEXP 911 and WKEXP 912 before. I’m working on my final one which is a Career Plan. The goal is to have a document that outlines your options after graduating (examples are: go to Law School straight afterwards, start working while working on a Designation/Certification at the same time, find a good company to establish roots with). It was heavily recommended to ask for insights from various sources such as past supervisors in Co-op and other people who have extensive experience in their professional lives.
I’d like to share the set of questions that I have used, which at the first try have resulted to the one of the best pieces of career planning advice I’ve ever received. It was a six-page document, but it was really, really good – it was realistic, it related to me personally and it was optimistic at the same time. I think I’ll frame it in my room or something. 😉 I hope that you find them helpful in gathering valuable information not only for the report, but also for the sake of personal career planning.
1. What is the best part about working for each position that you had after graduation? What is the worst thing about each one?
2. In terms of some of the fundamental considerations in finding a position such as: compensation, benefits, location of workplace, job design, rewards and recognition, among other things, how would you recommend a (soon to be) recent graduate like me to consider these important factors?
3. What is the indication of an organization that has good opportunities to grow? What is an indication that it is time to move on to either a different position or a different organization?
4. What are the most important things to be aware of with working for (insert specific type of industry) organizations? Do you have recommendations to make sure that I can secure the position and organization that will be the right fit for me? My statment during our final evaluation that I still don’t know exactly what I want to do after graduation still stands. How does that influence searching for positions for these organizations?
I have sent this to quite a few people, including my supervisors from both my placements. Asking through email is great since I have a file of their answers, but if my schedule permits it, I also would have loved to sit for coffee with some of what I see as “subject matter experts”. Regardless of the method of contact though, their advice and inisght is really helpful.
The second part of the report is a Co-op reflection where you have the opportunity to describe what you think of the whole experience as a whole. This is very different with every individual, and I hope that you will have a very comprehensive, realistic and honest assessment of the program.
Good luck with your reports and don’t forget to hand them on time!