My First Job in Canada

Coop in Canada

“Nothing worth having comes easy”, my first co-op job described in five words.

I applied to exactly 23 jobs in 3 months. Invited to only 3 interviews. Received one offer from the three and that was the role as an International Relations Analyst at Waterloo International. 

As Waterloo students, in the faculty of science, we are expected to complete a minimum of four co-op work terms, which usually run for a period of 4 months. My first work term was scheduled for January to April 2022.  In the month of December 2021, the reality was that I was probably not going to have a first co-op and I might have to settle for another study term. 

With the thought of this starting to become more of a reality as the days went by, the unexpected email request from Waterloo International struck my email. At this point, there was little to no hope in this regard, I was offered an interview, and I went into it with a positive attitude and gave it my all. It was all or nothing for this interview, as it really looked like the last interview I would have that year.

The Job Hunt: Applying, Interviewing, and Offers

 

The 30-minute interview went by, and they seemed impressed by the conversation we had. I did not hear back from them for a week, and I thought that this was another opportunity I missed. As I planned to adjust my university plan, a congratulatory email was shared with me offering the role of International Relations Analyst at Waterloo International from January to April! This set the pace for 2022, a year that changed my thinking forever.

It was a surreal feeling to have landed the International Relations Analyst role at Waterloo International after a challenging job hunt that yielded minimal results. It was vital for me to secure a co-op work term and the truth was the amount of restructuring and rethinking the approach, was what made getting the role even more sweeter than you can imagine.

Landing the International Relations Analyst Role

 

The joy of receiving the offer from Waterloo International was immense. It meant I wouldn’t have to settle for another study term. Moreover, with a few weeks to prepare for the role, I knew that I had to hit the ground running and prove that I was the right fit for the position. It was the only thing on my mind; honestly, it was all about proving myself, not just to them but to the work industry as a whole.

Working at Waterloo International was an eye-opening experience that taught me valuable lessons about International Relations, intercultural communication, and teamwork. My role primarily involved conducting research, analyzing data, and developing strategic reports that helped the team to make informed decisions on various projects. I also had the opportunity to work with people from different parts of the world, which helped me to broaden my perspectives and improve my intercultural competence.

Lessons Learned: Networking and Professional Development

 

During my time at Waterloo International, I learned that building your network is an essential part of professional development. I got to work with amazing people who were experts in their fields and willing to share their  insights with me. This helped me to understand the industry better, and build valuable connections that I could leverage in the future.

Another key takeaway from this experience was the importance of acquiring experience first by volunteering and being part of causes that enhance your outlook on work. This provides a unique opportunity to build your resume and show your commitment to personal and professional growth.

I look forward to using the skills and knowledge gained from this experience to continue pursuing my career goals. Stay tuned for more on how I balanced my Co-op life as a first timer in Canada!

Learn about Co-op education in University of Waterloo: Co-op programs.

From my first co-op in Canada, I learnt a few principles of passing interviews, tipc I want to share with you on my blog: 5 strategies to passing any job interview.

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Darren Harry Baine

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