Name: Melissa Tobin
Degree program: Kinesiology (Co-op)
Co-op job title: Healthy Communities Assistant
Employer: City of St. John’s
Graduating class of: 2018
What did you enjoy most about your co-operative education experience?
Everyday I walked into work with a new challenge awaiting me, whether it was greeting the Chief of Police at the Northeast Avalon Healthy Communities Forum to interacting with preschoolers at the Active Start Program. It’s safe to say there was never a dull moment! The learning environment was positive and supportive and allowed me to realize my potential.
What “ah-ha” moments did you have during your co-op term?
During my work term, I was tasked with the planning of the Northeast Avalon Healthy Communities Forum. Over 100 leaders from the Northeast Avalon came together to learn about the Healthy Communities Movement and start to make their community a healthier and happier place to live. As a co-op student, two things things stood out to me as “ah-ha” moments. First, I couldn’t believe the major role that I was able to play in the planning of the forum as a co-op student. My manager challenged me and had confidence in my abilities. Second, I truly realized the importance of health promotion and how my education prepared me to work in this field.
How has co-operative education helped you plan for your future?
The co-op program provided me with real work experience with employers and gave me the opportunity to apply the knowledge I had learned in the classroom. Throughout my work terms, I improved on my communication skills and my confidence increased, skills that are not easily learned in the classroom. The co-op program taught me the value of my degree and opened my eyes to the many career paths that are possible.
What advice would you have for a student considering co-operative education?
The best piece of advice I can give to a student considering co-operative education is to go outside of their comfort zone and try different placements. I did all three of my work terms with different companies which allowed me to have three completely different learning experiences. Don’t be afraid to try something new! It can open you up to new opportunities and career paths.