Meet Shannon Neil, a third-year Bachelor of Commerce Co-op student majoring in Managing People and Organizations. Originally from the Maritimes, Shannon spent more than 10 years living in Edmonton, Alberta before choosing to study at Dal because of the co-op opportunities that the Commerce program provides. “My co-ops have given me the opportunity to develop vital workplace skills for my chosen career path and gain experience in multiple different fields of business.”
Shannon is currently on her second co-op at Skills Canada Nova Scotia (SCNS) Association as the Marketing and Events Assistant, where she also completed her first co-op this past winter. During her first co-op, Shannon’s role was predominantly focused on marketing and event management with some aspects centered around partnerships. “I learned the many intricacies and moving elements of running an event, managed high volumes of data and organized them into an easily accessible manner, and developed and promoted brand content for SCNS through social media platforms, e-newsletters, and media advisories.”
Between her first and second co-op, Shannon was offered a part-time position with SCNS, which allowed her to explore different aspects of the organization. “Throughout the summer I worked in marketing communication, social media coordination, and the partnership departments. These experiences opened my eyes to the exciting world of Managing People and Organizations.”
By the end of her first year, Shannon had declared another major, but over the course of her time at SCNS, she realized that her interests and ambitions aligned best with a major in Managing People and Organizations. “Thanks to this role, I discovered a sector of business and partnerships that I thrive in and am excited to pursue moving forward.” Shannon credits the variety of opportunities that Dal’s Commerce Co-op program offers to helping her discover her new career path. “I am able to explore the many aspects of the business world before graduation. My co-ops have provided invaluable insights into potential career paths that better suit my professional ambitions and align more closely with my natural strengths.”
During her second co-op, Shannon shares that she has gained invaluable experience writing grant applications, community support requests, proposals, and agreements, and leading the SCNS annual recognition event. She has more responsibility and autonomy in the work she does for the organization and has learned valuable lessons that she applies in both her personal and professional life. “I have developed strong interpersonal relationships, communication skills, and a newfound appreciation for the work ethic employees in non-profit organizations have.”
If you’re interested in returning to your co-op employer for another work term, here is Shannon’s advice for you:
- Show your ambition and eagerness to learn.
- Have open and honest communication with your supervisor.
- Express your interest in returning to the organization sooner rather than later.
- Demonstrate your work ethic and how you are an asset to the team.