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Co-op experience opened doors to a full-time career in experience design

Published on: April 06, 2021

Meet Laura

When Laura, a student studying cognitive systems at UBC, started in her first co-op placement in WorkSafeBC’s Experience, Marketing and Insights department, supporting the Experience Design team, she wasn’t sure what to expect. From the start, her team provided support and guidance to help her succeed and grow in her role.

“I helped my team ensure that stakeholder experience initiatives were successfully carried out — this involved planning and implementing both qualitative and quantitative research to better understand stakeholder needs. The work environment is set up for you, as a student, to learn from others and grow your skillset, and you are encouraged to bring innovative new ideas on how to improve the way we work,” she says.

Laura’s experience was so positive that after the co-op term ended, she finished her degree and returned to WorkSafeBC as a contractor and then moved into a permanent full-time position as a coordinator in the Experience, Marketing, and Insights department.

Part of Laura’s work, both as a co-op student and now as a full-time employee, involves understanding the service experience of WorkSafeBC stakeholders in order to engage them and support various service design improvements. She recalls a recent project where her team applied user experience (UX) research principles to help improve WorkSafeBC’s online portal for workers and employers. The project involved collaborating with design and Innovation and Technology teams to problem solve how to streamline processes to improve the delivery of services.

“To me, having an impact on how workers and employers interact with us online is meaningful, because I am contributing to their positive experience. Apart from the hands-on project experience, I also learned very valuable lessons about the complexity of service design which I can draw upon for other similar projects.”

Another reason she decided to stay and pursue a career with WorkSafeBC was the opportunities for professional development and growth. “One of the reasons I’ve chosen to continue my career here is the organization’s focus on employee development and the opportunities afforded to me as a young professional,” Laura says. “It’s a supportive environment and managers ensure you’re setting goals and meeting them to grow and learn as a professional.”

Throughout her time here, Laura has developed positive relationships and friendships — her colleagues support her and lend a hand to help her succeed and expand her skillset. As a new co-op student that was especially important to her. “Something else that always stands out is how passionate my colleagues are about the work we do — it’s so contagious, and it pushes me to make sure I’m thinking about the bigger picture and how I can make a difference on any project I am involved in.”

To learn more about upcoming co-op work opportunities, visit our careers page.

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