Name: Nathan Hart
Degree program: Kinesiology (Co-op)
Co-op job title: Kinesiologist
Employer: Definitions Health and Wellness
Graduating class of: 2018
What did you enjoy most about your co-operative education experience?
My favourite part of the co-op program was applying my knowledge and skills to a real job setting. Getting hands-on experience with a variety of positions has allowed me to build confidence as a health and wellness professional. For me, co-operative education offers a perfect blend of academic and professional experiences. I was able to acquire skills and meet people outside of the traditional classroom setting.
What “ah-ha” moments did you have during your co-op term?
Throughout each of my work term placements, I had numerous opportunities to explore the career options available in the field of Kinesiology. Working closely with a wide range of healthcare professionals has helped me identify potential jobs for after graduation. More importantly, I have identified many career paths that I no longer wish to pursue. For example, I had the opportunity to work with practicing Physiotherapists in my most recent work term; this experience was one of the highlights of my program, and it helped me decide to pursue a career in Physiotherapy.
How has co-operative education helped you plan for your future?
Co-operative education has helped me plan for the future by providing opportunities to connect with professionals currently working in the field of health and wellness. I’ve had the pleasure of networking with individuals across a broad spectrum of professional backgrounds, including research, massage therapy, kinesiology, acupuncture, and education. After talking to these professionals and learning about their experiences, I feel that I have a more well-rounded understanding of the current health and wellness industry. I can learn from hearing the perspectives of my friends and colleagues to better prepare for my future.
What advice would you have for a student considering co-operative education?
I would highly recommend choosing co-operative education, particularly for students that lack in professional or practical experience. Having the ability to try different jobs during your undergrad is important for deciding a future career path, but it is also useful for networking. Meeting new people is one of the most important aspects of the co-operative education program. Professionals currently working within the field of practice have valuable insight that they will share with co-op students. Academic work is important, but work term experience allows you to make connections that will pay dividends after graduation.