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Opportunities encourage learning and growth for co-op students

Published on: February 04, 2021

Meet Tony and Megan

As new co-op students, Tony, a UBC co-op student in our Business Intelligence and Analytics department, and Megan, a UBC Okanagan co-op student in our Marketing department, weren’t sure what to expect when they joined WorkSafeBC during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As it turned out, they immediately felt like they were part of the organization. “WorkSafeBC provided a seamless onboarding experience where we were still able to make strong connections with colleagues and feel a part of the organization,” says Megan. “This speaks to the culture at WorkSafeBC and their ability to quickly shift to working in the virtual world.”

During their work term, each student had opportunities to build their skillset, apply what they’ve learned in school, and connect with other co-op students and staff from across our organization.

One of the things that impressed them most was the focus on innovation, and the appetite to adapt and to improve processes. Megan describes it as “people always looking for better ways to do things — whether it is improving stakeholder experience, or finding a better way to do something more efficiently.”

One experience that was especially valuable to them both was InnoFest — an event where teams from across the organization collaborated to develop innovative tools or processes to solve real-world problems and improve how we serve our stakeholders. Megan and Tony were on the same team, along with staff from other departments. They both found the experience to be valuable and interesting, because staff from different departments collaborated in a fast-paced environment to develop a prototype within a few days.

Their team’s goal was to identify new and effective ways to engage with young workers in order to raise their awareness of health and safety hazards and their rights in the workplace. The solution that they came up with was a gamified Instagram story contest using polls. Says Tony, “We presented our idea virtually in front of over 300 people and won second place. It was a great experience.” In fact, their team’s idea was implemented this fall with great results.

It was a highlight for both of them and they hope that future co-op students can take part in this annual event. “InnoFest was a stand-out experience for me and a lot of co-op students. I think one of the things that surprised me the most was how much can be achieved when everyone is focused and dedicated to one specific project,” says Tony.

At a time when everything was virtual due to the pandemic, the experience helped make them feel strongly connected to WorkSafeBC and allowed them to see first-hand how one idea can take shape and directly contribute to keeping workers safe. It was also exciting for them to see that many of the ideas and solutions presented are now in various stages of development and implementation throughout our organization.

It’s because of this, along their positive day-to-day work experience, that both students would highly recommend WorkSafeBC as a place for co-op students to apply. “The projects I worked on allowed me to take what I’ve learned in school a step further and apply it in a real-life setting which was really valuable,” concludes Megan.

To see co-op opportunities, visit our careers page.

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