(L-to-R) Kamilah Charters-Gabanek, Jackie Pichette and Andrea Sanchez discuss the transition from studying to working at SFU Vancouver.
Students weigh in on working @SFUVan
- by Emily Ross.
Co-op positions in a great learning environment that also relate to your degree may seem hard to come by. With more and more students seeking work experience, especially in the summer months, why look any further than the university you already attend? Many students overlook co-op and work opportunities at SFU’s three campuses, including SFU Vancouver, but the following students jumped at the chance and want to tell you about it.
Kamilah Charters-Gabanek, a Powell River native, is currently working as the assistant communications coordinator for SFU Public Square. Charters-Gabanek was pleased to find a job that combined her passion for urban studies and community engagement with her studies in Political Science. She was excited to find a place where she could put topics she’s studied “to use in a real-life environment.”
Being @SFUVan has its perks too. As this is her first summer in Vancouver, Charters-Gabanek loves how close Harbour Centre is to all of downtown Vancouver’s action. But her favourite part: “I now have my very own business card!”
Andrea Sanchez is no newbie to SFU. Working as a team leader for the SFU Sustainability Zero Waste Team last semester as well as holding various volunteer positions at SFU, Sanchez thought nailing down a co-op job at SFU would be a great next step. She’s jumped in with both feet as the Student Life Assistant, helping her supervisor pioneer new initiatives like Orientation as well as putting her newly acquired design skills to work.
Along with applying the skills she’s learned in the classroom, Sanchez loves her work environment.
“I already knew some of my current co-workers, which made it a lot more fun!” says Sanchez, noting that there are a lot of benefits to being in the heart of the city. “It seems great to think that I could go to the beach right after work…and there are tons of new places to eat!”
Jackie Pichette isn’t exactly a co-op student – she’s gaining valuable internship experience as a recent grad. Having just completed her Masters degree in Public Policy at SFU, Pichette jumped on the opportunity to be involved in SFU’s newest initiative, SFU Public Square.
As the research and communications coordinator for SFU Public Square, Pichette was attracted to working at SFU because of this program and the desire to try a different environment, previously holding a position with the Federal Government. She considers it “a great opportunity to start putting my degree to use in a fun and exciting way.”
Much like Charters-Gabanek, this is Pichette’s first summer in Vancouver and she too loves “being in the heart of the city.” Highlights of working at the Harbour Centre campus include: “riding my bike to work along the sea wall, grab[ing] lunch from one of the many local restaurants…and the view of the ocean and the mountains right outside.” As an Ontario native, the view for her “never gets old”.
All in all, it seems that co-op and other student positions at SFU are a great way to mix your interests with your studies. Along with this, @SFUVan provides some unique elements to the experience - the food, sights and people at the campus creates a pretty awesome work environment as well.