As you may know, a good majority of companies use Co-op as a form of recruitment. Therefore, it makes sense to use your Co-op Work Terms as a chance to shine and show them what you’re made of! Below are some useful tips from Co-op students who have made the transition from Co-op to full time employment.Top Ten Co-op Student Tips:
Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to speak up if you don’t understand. We’ve all been there, and you’ll find people happy to help you learn. No question is a ‘dumb’ question.
Build relationships: A lot of our work is team oriented. Building productive working relationships across diverse areas of the company will only help you. Developing a good working relationship with your boss is also critical.
Understand your manager’s expectations: It is critical to clearly understand what your manager is expecting of you, and how you will be measured.
Make sure you get the resources you need to meet expectations: Speak up if you are unable to get the resources you need, either from other functions or from your manager. Make these needs known upfront, instead of making excuses later.
Listen to feedback: Feedback is the greatest way to understand how to improve your performance. Don’t take negative feedback as a signal that you are failing miserably! Treat feedback as a gift.
Be proactive: Speak up with ideas. Move work forward. Ask for more if you do not have enough. Look for ways to make a difference.
Set priorities: You will have a steep learning curve and a short period of time to make an impact on the business. Establish deadlines and keep them. Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed.
There should be no ‘surprises’ regarding your performance. If you don’t know where you stand, ask your manager. No co-op student should find out with only three weeks left that he or she is not meeting expectations.
Use your work term as an opportunity to ‘interview’ the company. This is your chance to ask all sorts of questions and truly figure out if this is the right place for you. No co-op student should ever enter a company as a full time hire and find out that their perceptions were wrong.
Have fun! Take the time to make new friends, enjoy the city you’re in, and have fun while working. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
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