I am officially entering the last week of my 8-month co-op term.
When I first started working in May, I didn’t know what to expect. I learned a lot about government work, the structure, and processes. I also learning a lot about First Nation issues in BC and Canada, including environmental and economic topics like pipelines, LNG, and mining. Stepping out of this co-op, I feel that my mind has been opened up to current affairs and I find myself reading the news much more than before. It really pushed me to step out of my own little world.
One of the things I will miss greatly from my co-op is all the wonderfully diverse friends I have made.
The department hires a lot of students and we are assorted into different floors and areas of study. Through different committee work and introductions from other co-ops and managers, I found myself actively coordinating gatherings with all the co-ops.
I met co-ops studying political science and law, arts, HR, accounting, interactive arts and technology, engineering, environmental sciences, international studies… the list goes on. There were people passionate about treaties and negotiations, policy analyzing and research, French and the public service, project reviews, graphic design, and more. Our skills and interests stretch across the spectrum, bounded together by shared motivation, office lunches and happy hours. As time went on, many of the co-ops turned from a good colleague to a friend.
Most of us were new the public sector, but some of us were not. Together we learned a lot about each other and our work. I think simply being around a group of people who are so different from me is an opportunity that can be hard to find. Because we all became closely acquainted and helped each other out on various tasks and projects, many of our senior colleagues coined the co-ops with terms like “the minions”, “NextGen” and mentioned the enthusiasm young workers were developing for the public sector.
Starting in the New Year, I will be returning to school. While I am happy to return to my studies, I will make sure to visit the co-ops who are staying for another term and to reconnect from time to time with those who are not. Thank you to everybody who was a part of my great experience and I hope to work with you all again!
A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.
– Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter
P.S. Special thanks to Tivona, Deanna, Agatha, and Emily!