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From co-op to career: Improving stakeholder experiences

Published on: August 19, 2021

Meet Ryan

As a recent graduate of Langara’s Bachelor of Marketing program, Ryan has had a unique experience at WorkSafeBC. Starting out as a co-op student in WorkSafeBC’s Experience, Marketing, and Insights department back in 2018, he now plays a key role as a full-time consultant for the department. Looking back, Ryan reflects on how co-op prepared him for success in his career.

His transition from co-op to a career role

With supportive management, stimulating work, and great colleagues, Ryan says he was put in a position to succeed from the start. As a co-op student, his scope of work gradually expanded as he worked on larger-scale projects and took on a more active role. “Slowly, I had the opportunity to provide more feedback and was asked to share my opinions on things I thought were outside of my scope of work. My role evolved into a more robust and integral part of the team,” he says.

The projects he worked on were complex, challenging, intriguing, and made an impact on workers and employers. It’s one of the reasons he decided to continue his career here. “After two back-to-back co-op terms, I felt like I had only scratched the surface of what I could learn and contribute here. Fortunately, my managers felt the same way, and I was offered an opportunity to stay on in a more strategic role supporting DevOps projects focused on improving online services and the stakeholder experience.”

An opportunity to make a difference

One of Ryan’s most meaningful projects in his current role involved improving the experience for employers using the online portal to register for WorkSafeBC insurance. “We mapped the registration journey to identify the pain points and areas for improvement. With this insight, we updated our registration system and online tools in order to improve the experience employers have with us. We made it more understandable and easier to use.”

As an organization, WorkSafeBC is continuously looking for ways to improve services for workers and employers and Ryan’s work reflects this. His most recent project involved working with internal partners to make it easier for injured workers to sign up for direct deposit online. He helped the team with design sprints and prototyping by conducting preliminary research, user experience testing, and gathering employee feedback. It was a dynamic and fast-moving environment.

One thing that strikes him is how supportive and caring his colleagues are. Their passion for their work also continues to impress him. “I am part of a team that helps people, whether it’s injured workers and their journey to recovery or helping employers understand the value of their WorkSafeBC coverage.”

How co-op prepared him for success

Ryan attributes his experience as a co-op student to helping him succeed in his new role. “Even though you do a ton of group projects in school, it doesn’t teach you how to navigate different personalities, and how to work with people who are tackling a project from different angles and areas of focus. My co-op experience helped me expand my interpersonal skills and build relationships and trust that help to make a project successful,” he shares.

He concludes: “It’s all about recognizing opportunities. I started as a co-op student working in social media and, within a year, I had the opportunity to pivot to a consultant role where I was working on large-scale DevOps projects. If you’re eager to learn, accept constructive criticism, and put in the work, exciting things can happen.”

To learn more about upcoming co-op opportunities, visit our student recruitment page.

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