Name: Mona Frey
Degree program: Kinesiology (Co-op)
Co-op job title: Research Assistant (in spine biomechanics)
Employer: Dr. Diana De Carvalho, MUN
Graduating class of: 2018
What did you enjoy most about your co-operative education experience?
I enjoyed most about my workterm with Dr. De Carvalho that I was faced with a variety of tasks. There were plenty of jobs to be done such as getting familiarized with equipment, dealing with participants, collecting data, piloting studies, doing write ups, and much more. I was involved with every step of the process. I enjoyed being challenged in different ways every day and over time I acquired and improved many skills. It was great to learn a lot of new things and also taking on more responsibilities.
What “ah-ha” moments did you have during your co-op term?
Throughout my workterm I took on more and more responsibilities so that after a while I became an important part of the team. It was great to see that even without having my bachelors degree I was able to contribute. This definitely improved my confidence and made me more optimistic about the time after graduation. At the same time, I figured out that research in biomechanics is an area that I would like to continue working in. Even at the end of the term I had a strong feeling that this job was right for me and that I can see myself working in this area for a long time. I enjoyed the placement as a research assistant so much that I am still involved with the lab although the workterm ended.
How has co-operative education helped you plan for your future?
After finishing my third workterm I gained experience in three very different fields which helped me figure out my future path. Although I enjoyed my first two workterms, now I know that I enjoyed doing research related work the most and that I want to continue with that after my graduation. I also made great contacts and friends who support me and show me what opportunities are there. At the same time, I feel more prepared for the job market that I have to compete in after graduation. The experience that was provided through cooperative education not only polishes my resume, but gives me a broader view of different areas and increases my confidence.
What advice would you have for a student considering co-operative education?
I would like to tell everyone who is doing or thinking about doing a co-operative degree that you get out of it what you put into it. You have to be willing to learn new things and to adjust to your workplace. There will be great opportunities for you, just make sure you grab them! If you already have an idea of what you want to do, follow it. It might not be the easiest way but you will not regret it. At the same time, I encourage you to do try out different things, this is the best time for it.