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Collaborative environment provides opportunities to learn and contribute

Published on: October 07, 2022

Meet Laura, former UBC co-op student

As a master’s student studying Occupational and Environmental Hygiene at UBC, Laura was excited to do a co-op term at WorkSafeBC. She saw it as an incredible opportunity to see first-hand how health and safety was implemented in the workplace.

Interesting work that makes a difference

During her co-op term with the Prevention Field Services (PFS) department, Laura rode along with occupational safety and hygiene officers as they conducted inspections throughout the province. During the inspections, she spoke to employers and workers in the forest industry and collected data for a noise exposure project she worked on during her term — a project that resonated with her on a personal level as well.

“I was very interested in noise hazards related to the forest industry because my family works in the industry,” she says. “My co-op term was a great opportunity to see the industry through a different lens and contribute in a different way.”

At the end of her term, Laura presented the project findings to managers in PFS and members of WorkSafeBC’s hearing loss team, which prompted ideas for future projects in the forest industry. The results of her project were also used to revise the How loud is it? - Forestry | WorkSafeBC bulletin.

Learning from others in a supportive workplace

Being introduced to people in different departments was the highlight of Laura’s four-month term and she took every opportunity to draw insights from their experiences.

“There is such a wealth of knowledge within the organization and so many people with incredibly different backgrounds,” she says. “I was constantly asking questions and they were always well-received. It’s a very collaborative environment and you get so much support whenever you need it.”

Laura especially appreciated how the Prevention team was open and supportive of new members and how invested they were in each person’s growth and development. She adds that it’s important to be proactive and encourages other co-op students to jump right in and make the most of their time: “There is a lot of self-driven aspects to it and if you have that determination and dedication, you will do well.”

From co-op term to full-time career

Laura had such a great co-op experience she applied to WorkSafeBC after she graduated and now works as an occupational hygiene officer in PFS.

She says: “After my co-op, I knew I wanted to come back to WorkSafeBC at some point in my career because it feels like a place where you can make a significant impact. I really wanted to work in this environment and see how I could contribute.”

“I feel fortunate because I’m directly using what I learned in my master’s program and I get to cultivate and expand on that knowledge every day. I’m also just so excited for the new experiences I’ll have as part of this job.”

To find out more about our co-op work opportunities, visit our student recruitment page.

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