Name: Hilary Gosse
Degree program: Kinesiology (Co-op)
Co-op job title: Occupational Therapy Assistant
Employer: InMotion Health Centre Inc.
Graduating class of: 2018
What did you enjoy most about your co-operative education experience?
I enjoyed being a part of someone’s recovery from an injury. Knowing that I was going to work every day and helping someone was very rewarding, especially towards the end of their recovery and seeing how far they have come. Additionally, I really got to know my clients on a personal level, as I was spending multiple hours with them each and every week. It was very rewarding to have this kind of relationship with my clients and to help them improve their overall function. When I got to see my clients getting back to being able to live a meaningful lifestyle, or being able to do what is important to them, it put a smile on my face.
What “ah-ha” moments did you have during your co-op term?
The biggest “ah-ha” moment was learning the difference between Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy. It may not be a traditional “ah-ha” moment, but it was definitely something that I experienced. By working in a multi-disciplinary clinic, I was able to learn and see first-hand the differences and similarities between the two professions. Although this was a very small sample of both professions, it definitely opened my eyes to both professions and allowed me to learn about them both in this context. I would consider it an “ah-ha” moment because things really came together in my mind when people started asking me “What is Occupational Therapy?” or “Is Occupational Therapy like Physiotherapy.” My answers became not only more educated, but I was speaking from my experiences that I learned on the job.
How has co-operative education helped you plan for your future?
Co-operative education has taught me so much during my Kinesiology degree. It has given me practical, hands on work experience in a variety of fields. Having multiple work term placements has allowed me to learn about careers I was interested in, and also careers that I did not know even existed or were even an option for me. Co-operative education has also allowed me to network with multiple employers which has been very beneficial up to this point, and I believe it will also benefit me in the future. Not everyone will come out of this program with a clear-cut plan for the future, but it can help everyone learn, grow, and experience new things that can benefit you in the future.
What advice would you have for a student considering co-operative education?
I would strongly recommend the co-operative education program to any HKR student. It has been a fantastic learning experience and I have grown both personally and professionally. The type of learning that you do in the classroom, or even a lab, is very different than what you can learn through this program. Additionally, the program has allowed me to apply the knowledge I have learned in the classroom in the real world at my various job sites. It has been an eye-opening experience and I have enjoyed it every step of the way.