Alexandra Warner, BBA Co-op ‘09
"I decided to study business because my mother told me to. In preschool, I wanted to be a ballerina; in middle school, a painter; by grade seven, a teacher, and by grade ten, an architect. However, when it came time to actually enrol in university, I was very undecided and had only a vague idea of what I wanted to do as a career. So, I took my mother’s advice.
I quickly realized in my first year of university that I, or my mother rather, had made the right choice. Nonetheless, now I was faced with another problem, business is an immense field of study. Knowing that I enjoyed marketing, I signed up for the Co-op program, hoping to discover if this was the vein for me. I never imagined what a world of experience I would gain in doing so.
I completed my first work term in Burkina Faso, West Africa. I worked for a local Non-Governmental Organization as assistant to the Communications Coordinator. This experience permitted me to work first hand in international aid and development projects that are important to me; namely the HIV and AIDS pandemic, the empowerment of women and poverty issues.
My second work term was at the Saint John Port Authority. Here, working as a market researcher, I quickly learned what I like and do not like about marketing. Here I was able to develop business skills, such as networking and memo writing, which will serve me my whole career.
At the moment, I am doing my third work term in a public community college in Costa Rica. My work activities span two departments; that of Project Planning and Development, and that of Communications and Public Relations. Thanks to this work term, I have been able to better define my future career path and get well on my way in completing one of my life time goals: becoming trilingual.
The flexibility and openness of the Co-op Program has allowed me to work on my own personal projects and goals. In addition, it has enabled me to gain course credits as well as valuable work and life experience while exploring new cultures and lifestyles. Furthermore, I have built up my resume and am a step ahead of the rest in my understanding of what kind of work atmosphere, management and level of responsibility suits me best.
In all honest truth, I still do not really know what I want to do as a full-time career.
However, thanks to the Co-op program, I certainly have a much better idea, in addition to having gained the skills and experience required to get me there."