When Bachelor of Commerce Co-op student Sydney Alleyne moved from her home of Vancouver, B.C. in September 2020 to attend Dalhousie in Halifax, she welcomed the new experiences that awaited her on the east coast.
Sydney is wrapping up her third year in the program this summer with her third and final co-op. She chose a major in Marketing, drawn by the combination of analytical and creative thinking required in the industry. “The marketing industry is constantly changing and there are plenty of opportunities to be innovative in our work,” she adds. “Further, marketing involves a great deal of collaboration. Working with a team with diverse skills allows us to learn from each other and create amazing things.”
Sydney’s co-op experiences have played a significant role in her professional development so far. During her first work term as Marketing and Communication Coordinator at 3rdiLabs, a Canadian tech start-up, Sydney conducted a website audit, implemented a new social media strategy, and created print and online materials for conferences and launches. Her ability to wear multiple hats and explore different aspects of the company enhanced her understanding of the start-up environment.
Sydney joined Killam REIT as a Marketing and Leasing Co-op Student for her second co-op. There, she developed social media content, enhanced website content and user experience through SEO, and assisted with customer relationship management. Throughout her time at Killam, she actively sought new challenges, recognizing that the skills and experience gained from such opportunities would be valuable assets in her future career. “Even though I learned that a career in leasing is not something I want to pursue, I was incredibly thankful for the opportunity and the work experience. There’s something to be said about gaining experience in different areas and appreciating and recognizing that the skills learned from the opportunity will be useful in any future career.”
As Sydney looks toward her future career, she has already developed valuable job search strategies thanks to her experience in a co-op program. Some of her tactics include turning on notifications for new jobs on LinkedIn, tailoring her resume and cover letter to each job posting, and maintaining connections with companies she has interviewed with in the past. Sydney also emphasizes the importance of leveraging Management Career Services (MCS). She shares that when the position she secured for her third co-op fell through at the last minute, she reached out to MCS for support. “Tiffany, my amazing Career and Recruitment Specialist, connected me with great people and provided lots of support which ultimately led to me finding another co-op position just five days after my first one was cancelled.”
Sydney is currently completing her third co-op as a Marketing Associate at Symplicity Designs before heading into her final year in the Commerce Co-op program in the fall.
Sydney’s advice for you:
- Make the most of myCareer, seek guidance from your Career and Recruitment Specialist for your resume and cover letter, and utilize their expertise for job search advice.
- Include your LinkedIn on your resume (I’ve been complimented by interviewers for including mine).
- Stay connected and up-to-date with companies you interview with and are interested in.
- Your first impression is super important at your co-op. Start your first week giving 110% and that impression will remain throughout your work term (as long as you keep up the hard work).
- Adopt a ‘can do’ attitude. Be open to learning new things, even if they’re not your ideal task, to help you build important skills.
- Prepare notes and do your research before interviewing for a role. Often companies will ask questions to test your understanding of the job posting and company.