Three years ago, James Shaw spontaneously chose to transfer from the University of Waterloo to Dalhousie to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce Co-op degree. Switching from Aviation, he decided to major in Marketing. “I wanted to do something that is more open-ended and allows for more application of creativity, as I always like to put my own spin on things,” he says.
Earlier this year, James completed his winter co-op at Job Junction as a Marketing & Communications Specialist. Job Junction is an employment and career resource centre that provides job seekers with the resources necessary to develop their job seeking skills. His role involved implementing social media campaigns, developing content, as well as communicating with employers regarding job opportunities. The work environment was a standout characteristic for James. “Coming into a new job, especially as a student, can be intimidating,” he says. “I did not feel this way at all. Straight from the get-go I felt comfortable enough to ask questions and pitch ideas. The best part was I received great feedback on how I can improve on these things. I think that aspect provided me with the most substantial growth and learning.”
James was able to actively exercise and grow his business knowledge and problem-solving skills throughout his co-op. For example, he was tasked with supporting a client that was hosting a Zoom event. Promotion and logistics were smooth sailing until the day of the event, when the team encountered some issues. Fortunately, they were successfully able to solve the problem through back-and-forth communication and troubleshooting and received fantastic feedback from the participants. “We ended up setting up another Zoom session with the participants and client. Both events were a great success and after that day I consider myself to be a Zoom god.”
James took advantage of myCareer to help him find and secure his co-op position, while using other resources to connect his previous job experience and skills to the company’s ideal candidate. He connected with Jonathan Perry, former Career Recruitment Specialist (now Student Development Manager) at Management Career Services, who he credits with incredibly helpful advice that he still uses to this day. James goes on to say that he “encourages anyone going into their co-op to throw yourselves out there and to make your mark, you’ll really be surprised of what you can actually do. It’s only 4 months, so capitalize on it while you can.”