[drumroll] It’s… National Co-op Week!

Did you know that there’s a National Co-op Week in Canada? I certainly didn’t until our Marketing Manager got us to dress in purple and carry “I ♥ Co-op” signs. You can now see our staff pictures whenever you walk by our office.

Co-op students, this is your chance to win a $200 Future Shop gift card by participating in daily social media challenges through Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn. Visit coopweek.com for more details.

Arts Co-op students also get an additional chance to win more prizes for participating in the CAFCE challenges! Follow @UBCartscoop to find our winners. Talk about swag galore — those EA games sitting in our office are tempting me to get a new Facebook and/or Twitter account and break my almost year-long hiatus…

(And oh, okay, UBC Engineering and Sauder Co-op are also offering extra prizes if you belong to those.)

National Co-op Week

To kick-start National Co-op Week at UBC, all the UBC Co-op Programs came together in a half-day staff retreat on Monday to share and update one another on their experiences. Because the Arts Co-op staff are awesome, I got to tag along and help deliver our presentation. This was a tad nerve-racking, as it turned out I was the only student present, but I didn’t need to worry — my accent apparently helped to grab people’s attention.

British ninja.

The retreat was a great opportunity to hear and learn more from one another. Co-op programs at UBC range from a whopping 1000+ placements a year for Engineering and Science to medium- and smaller-sized programs like Arts, Commerce, Forestry and Kinesiology. Students have very different knowledge and skills to offer, which means each program has to tailor to them — and each program does do it, very successfully (if we go by sheer placement numbers and student survey responses).

What I gleaned from this session:

  • The staff in every program are incredibly committed to the value of co-operative education.
  • Engineering co-op is BIIIG.
  • The mountain pine beetle is a devastating little creature.

Just look at how red these trees are! (Every red tree is an infected pine.) All because of these beetles.

Picture courtesy of Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations, Government of BC

Oh yes, that is one of the things I learned while listening to the crash course in challenges facing the forestry industry and forestry education. It’s events like these I get most excited about, when I get the chance to connect with people of different backgrounds and specialisations, and we get to find out what one another deals with on a daily basis.

And then I get to go back to our own office and think about how to adapt what other people have come up with to best suit our own students. Connection and specialisation. This work rocks.

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