Co-Op Student of the Week

Week of June 17, 2019

Student: Will Shyminsky, Grade 12

Placement:  West Oak P.S.

My placement at West Oak Public school was with a grade five class.  There I was involved in many ways. I helped plan and teach lessons, work with students in small groups to keep then focused and on task, helped students with any questions they had, and also helped with lesson preparation by photocopying materials.

The most important skills I have enhanced include being responsible, patient, understanding, and using my time wisely.  I have really enjoyed working in an environment where my work gets noticed and I make an impact as it is these things which mean a lot.  

This was my second Co-op placement as I was in a kindergarten class at Emily Carr Public School last year. I have known that I wanted to be an Early Childhood Educator since I can remember. My Co-op placements have only enforced my feelings on what I want to do for a career.

Previous Co-Op Students of the Week

Week of June 3, 2019

Student: Jenny Kim, Grade 12

Placement:  Oakville Arts Studio

Currently, at my placement my main task is to help young children learn how to draw and paint. My responsibilities also include ensuring the palettes and the paint brushes are clean, preparing for events, checking and setting up for afternoon classes, and preparing for camps. I also learned how to weave at the studio and have helped plan for an art gallery show.

The most important skills I have learned at my Co-op placement are how to multitask and how to teach art to young students. I make exemplars for art classes and also need to ensure my daily responsibilities are completed. Teaching children art takes a lot of patience and time. It’s never easy, but I really enjoy it!

Before I did Co-op, I just thought about becoming an artist or a designer, but after doing Co-op, I learned to teach and know more about art as a teacher.  From my experience at the Oakville Arts Studio, I definitely want to get into the art field and teach art to children when I am older.

Week of May 27, 2019

Student: Marija Stojkoska, Grade 12

Placement:  Ecole Forest Trail Public School

As a teaching assistant as École Forest Trail, I have received the opportunity to take part in a wide variety of tasks and responsibilities. Although some consisted of routine printing and photocopying I also got the chance to mark both subjective and non-subjective assignments of grade 4s, grade 7s, and grade 8s. I often had unique tasks daily, some consisting of individually working and reading with the grade 4s as well as developing a game to present and orchestrate for the grade 8s. I also got the chance to do some creative tasks such as developing and making bulletin boards. The wide range of tasks and responsibilities has really given me a lot of insight into the teaching world.

The most important skill that I have learned is the ability to alter the way I communicate with people in order to fit my audience. For example, The way that I talked to teachers compared to the way I talked with the grade 4 class or the grade 8 class were all different. This skill is very useful in ensuring that the person I am talking to feels comfortable talking to me. This is a very useful and transferable skill that I will definitely be using in the future.

This Co-op has just aided me in solidifying my decision of continuing in a future pathway of education. Prior to my Co-op I was interested in teaching and felt like doing a Co-op would be the perfect opportunity to help me decide whether or not it was the right pathway for me. So far, I can confidently say that I am really interested in continuing down this path and am excited to see what my future in this pathway holds.

Week of May 20, 2019

Student: Hala Arafeh, Grade 11

Placement:  Russell Allegra Professional Corporation

Main tasks/responsibilities:

Answering calls; sending emails; speaking to clients that come in; looking at files; finishing an assignment when given one; requesting disclosure emails; small claims packages.

Most important skills you have learned:

Organization and customer service skills, which are an asset when working at a law firm that deals with a wide range of clients as well as a countless amount of paper documents, that might not have copies. In order to work in law, you need to be able to handle multiple types of personalities cooly as it is a job that requires you to depend on a large amount of people competently, such as the judge, other lawyers (crown attorney), client, witnesses, etc.

How Co-op has helped to make future Pathways decisions and plans for post-secondary:

I’ve always wanted to go into law, but with the real life hands on experience I can truly pinpoint that it’s the type of work I’d love to build a career in, as it includes dealing with people, listening, public speaking, and lastly the art of writing through tailoring the same message in multiple ways to meet your audience.

Throughout, my co-op I’ve learned key skills such as research report writing, which teaches me to cut through an enormous amount of information.

Week of May 13, 2019

Student: Gavin Ingram, Grade 12

Placement:  Gilhome Carpentry and Renovations

At my placement, my main tasks and responsibilities include assisting in all aspects of home renovation including demolition and building.  I am also involved in cleaning up, setting up, and taking down the machines and tools.

The most important skills I have learned is communication. It is very important to communicate clearly with the supervisor and co-workers because when mistakes happen there is a chain effect and everyone else is slowed down.  It is important to work efficiently but safely. I have learned general carpentry and renovation skills which will help me as I prepare for my post-secondary career.

Co-op has given me a taste for this field and actually has made me want to get right into this work right after high school.

Week of May 6, 2019

Student: Jessica Prentice, Grade 12

Placement:  Office of Pam Damoff

I am doing my placement at the Office of Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament for Oakville  North--Burlington. My main responsibilities are to answer constituent questions about policy through email, create certificates for exceptional accomplishments by our constituents, and go on outings to the community with Pam. We have made visits to local businesses, parks, and events. I have also been able to sit in on team phone calls, learn more about what the government is doing for various issues, and learn how much work goes on behind the scenes. I am currently leading the planning for a Youth Town Hall which will be held at Garth Webb on May 22, 2019.

Managing multiple tasks at once is the most important thing I have learned. Some tasks rely on information from other people, so I have learned how to organize all my tasks so I can do something else while I wait.

From my experience at the placement, I definitely want to get involved in federal politics when I am older.

Week of April 29, 2019

Student: Georgia Graham, Grade 11

Placement:  Captain R. Wilson P.S.

Main tasks/responsibilities:

My daily tasks include; checking students agendas, homework, at home reading logs, word work, as well as ensuring they don’t have any overdue work. My main focus in this Grade 2 classroom is in the language stream, I read and write with students. I have done many read alouds with the class and collaborate with them through a discussion following the story. I have experienced marking tests and assignments and look forward to continuing this and starting to experience lesson planning.

Most important skills you have learned:

The skill that I most value from this experience has been patience, I have to be patient with the students as they complete work and develop ideas all at different paces. Every student is different and I have learned that the differences all come together in the end, but throughout the process there will need to be alterations made for some. Everyone learns at different speeds and in different ways. Being a teacher you need to help all individuals in ways they can be most successful.

How Co-op has helped to make future Pathways decisions and plans for post-secondary:

My Co-op placement has allowed me to fully confirm I do want to become a primary school teacher, I very much enjoy helping out in this Grade 2 classroom. This opportunity has and will continue to allow me to work towards becoming an Elementary School Teacher in the future.

Week of April 22, 2019

Student: Matthew Kealey, Grade 12

Placement:  YourTV

I am very fortunate to be doing my Co-op placement at YourTV,  a television production company that broadcasts anything from local sports and politics to current events on Cogeco network channel 23, HD 700. Something very unique about my Co-op is that it’s very hands on learning which I really enjoy! One of my main tasks is operating the cameras for our live coverage of OJHL hockey for the Oakville Blades. I am also at the studio once a week where I have been helping out with graphics and audio for our Halton news segment that is live on weekdays at 5:30 pm.

The two most important skills I have learned so far from being at my Co-op is communication and teamwork. Both of these skills I believe are key to having a successful show. When I am operating the camera, I have a headset on that I communicate with my producer and the rest of the team.

Even before I started Co-op I knew that I wanted to get into the Film and Television field post-secondary. Being at YourTV has reaffirmed that this is something I have a passion for and will continue to pursue as a career pathway.

I am really enjoying the Co-op opportunity at YourTV and highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in going into the media field. If you are not, I still highly recommend taking Co-op because it is a great course to help explore a field you might be interested in.

Week of April 15, 2019

Student: Aidan Bonner, Grade 11

Placement:  Clarks Canada

Main tasks/responsibilities:

I am doing my placement at the head office for Clarks Shoes. My main tasks and responsibilities include talking to clients across Canada, creating spreadsheets for the team for a variety of different purposes, sending shoe graphics to clients of all sizes, whether it be a small local store or a nationwide store like SoftMoc or Hudson Bay Company, packing and shipping store fixtures to clients to promote the Clarks brand in-store, and overall staying up to date with the Marketing team.

Most important skills you have learned:

There have been numerous skills that are crucial to the placement that I have learned and grown upon, including being able to effectively respond to emails, create and work with spreadsheets, using time wisely and prioritizing tasks that need to be done faster than others, being organized, communicating with clients and co-workers well, and taking initiative to ask for more tasks.

How Co-op has helped to make future Pathways decisions and plans for post-secondary (even if general right now):

Before doing co-op, I knew I was heavily interested into Business and thought about an education after high school in the Business field, but after being at Clarks and seeing what a career in Business, Marketing specifically could look like, it has re-assured me that going to university for Business is a path I want to pursue and it is definitely something I can see myself doing in the future. I heavily recommend co-op to anybody who is unsure of their future after high school, or even those who have a plan for after high school, but are still uncertain if they are making the right choice.

Week of April 8, 2019

Student: Disha Manek, Grade 11

Placement:  Wise Health Law

The time I have spent at Wise Health Law firm has been enjoyable to say the least. I have gotten the opportunity to learn and adapt in a professional and legal environment.

I complete various tasks on a day-to-day basis, some of which include: filing correspondence sheets, scanning and photocopying evidence, binding paperwork, and organizing file tabs. Additionally, I also get a chance to read various law newspapers, file transcripts, mediation notes and other resources to expand my knowledge in the law field. I am hoping to attend a cross examination in the near future, which will provide me with first hand experience as to how medical law cases are perceived.

An important skill I've learned and expanded on, is my ability to network and communicate. Having frequent conversations with lawyers and paralegals at my placement regarding cases and the processes behind them, allows me to further understand and gain knowledge regarding specific terminology. This skill has also allowed me to improve my ability to write professional emails. Communication also entails listening, which is an important skill, especially during conversations. This has led me to further understand important aspects of law.

This Co-op experience has given me insight and reaffirmed my interest in the law field. Coordinating a law firm includes several business and office administration components. I am looking forward to attending university and law school in the near future. This experience has shown me the various opportunities that are available within the law field.


Week of January 20, 2019

Student: Arielle Ainabe, grade 12

Placement: Online Research Co-op

For the online research Co-op I am responsible for designing my own study. With some guidance from my mentor, I came up with my own research question and methods for how to answer it. On a day to day basis, I am responsible for accomplishing the goals that I set for myself and finding research papers to help me continue my numerical analysis. My research looks at using polymer nanocomposites with boron nitride nanotubes to protect astronauts from space radiation.

I think that the most important skills that I have learned are how to tackle solving an engineering problem. For example, you could do it the expensive way and do trial and error in a lab, or if you don’t have the resources (like me) you can do theoretical models and potentially test them in a cheaper way later.

I have also learned how to read research papers and get the information I need to analyze data. For instance, I am calculating properties such as radiation protection of a material and I need to look at how it has already been done in other studies so I can use it in my own.

For me, space research was always in the horizon, but it did not seem like a viable option until I did this Co-op. I have learned the diversity of science in space technology and I am now applying to programs in university that offer aerospace engineering and/or engineering physics. These degrees can help me to pursue a career in space engineering or another STEM field where innovative technology is needed.

Week of January 13, 2019

Student: Anas Al-Udayli, grade 11

Placement:  ATA Architects Inc.

Anas is completing his placement at ATA Architects located in south Oakville. The firm provides services in architecture, urban design, heritage planning, interior design, and project management.

My roles and responsibilities at ATA included phoning companies to ask for catalogues, prices, and product samples, communicating with administration, supervising, helping clients, filling project specifications, editing project sheets, and completing design projects using Revit, an industry standard modelling software. I was involved in two design projects, designing the boardroom in the office and designing a store in Upper Canada Mall. I was given the specifications and had to design the space using Revit. I learned how to design things such as cabinets, tables, windows and doors, how to render designs, extend elements, how to read designs and use my artistic skills to provide creative solutions to design problems.

From this placement, I have learned that it is important to be able to communicate, ask questions, approach each task with a positive attitude, work in a professional manner, take pride in your work and have fun while doing it.

Week of December 23, 2018

Student: Rayan Rashid, Grade 11

Placement:  Wentworth Halton X-Ray and Ultrasound

I work at the front desk as a receptionist and I also observe x-rays and ultrasounds. As a receptionist, I deal with many different patients from young to old.  I assist by by reminding them of their appointments, booking their appointments, and burning procedure images onto discs. As a receptionist, important skills I have learned are communication, multitasking, and problem solving. Examples include: being able to speak with patients clearly and in a friendly manner, answering general questions they may have, and switching between tasks quickly and efficiently.  

I also help by delivering or faxing out reports to doctors. For x-ray and ultrasound, my main task is to observe, ask questions, and learn.  My observation skills have improved greatly as I now ask more questions and understand what I am observing.

Co-op has definitely helped me in establishing my career choice of going into health sciences. I love helping people and Co-op has given me this opportunity to help people in need of health care.

Week of December 16, 2018

Student: Mya Sahi, Grade 11

Placement:  Captain R. Wilson P.S.

I am working as a teacher’s assistant in a grade two classroom. My daily responsibilities include helping a student on the autism spectrum keep focus throughout the day, with things such as writing the morning agenda note and completing writing worksheets. I also check agenda notes for completion everyday. As my focus in the classroom is on the literacy curriculum, I am working with four at risk readers in the class and keeping records of their everyday reading growth. I help with the at home reading book exchange twice a week, by keeping the students organized and ensuring they are picking books matching their reading levels. My other tasks include helping to prep for future crafts and activities, drawing anchor charts, as well as marking work and tests. I have also started teaching some lessons, reading to the class as a whole, and leading discussion questions afterwards. I am continuing to grow my lesson planning skills for future lessons on nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

The most important skill I have learned is to have patience. It can take time for some of the students to show evidence of growth in reading so I must have patience for them to reach higher levels. I’ve also learned patience by working with students who take longer to grasp concepts of uppercase letters and the use of punctuation as well as students who take longer to focus. Patience is an important skill for me to have learned because in grade two the children are obtaining the building blocks for their future learning and therefore I want to be sure they understand fully.  

My Co-op placement has helped me determine that I enjoy teaching and really enjoy the age group I am working with. It has encouraged me to look into teaching as a career path, as well as other careers working with children like that of a social worker.

Week of December 9, 2018

Student: Alanoud Alhalis, Grade 12

Placement:  Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmacy)

I work in the filling section at the pharmacy. I print the prescriptions, search for them, scan them, and enter the expiry date of each drug.  I then count pills, either manually or by using the pill counting machine. I have also done research about the basic drugs that can be found in the aisles, OTC (over-the-counter), and fast movers (drugs that are regularly prescribed to patients). Doing research has given me a better understanding as to what each drug is used for. I also watch how the pharmacists prepare a compound from two different products and I can relate this to what I learned in chemistry class. Lastly, I learned how to put certain creams in specific jars. For example, I have to put a specific cream in a 250g jar and it has to look nice when the customer first opens it.

This placement has taught me how to focus on tasks and pay close attention to details. The most important thing is to finish tasks properly, without any mistakes and not to finish tasks quickly; quality over quantity.

Co-op has enabled me to experience the field of pharmacy as I plan on studying this in university. I enjoy the team work atmosphere at the pharmacy. This makes the tasks I am doing very satisfying as I know I am contributing to the team.

Week of December 2, 2018

Student: Jessica Pierce, Grade 12

Placement:  Credit Valley Hospital (Trillium Health Partners)

I am doing my placement at Credit Valley Hospital in the Neurology clinic and the Outpatient Physiotherapy clinic.  In the Neurology clinic, I open the clinic treatment rooms and run the clinic by booking follow-up appointments and greeting patients. I also enter patient records into the hospital system, make calls to remind patients about their appointment and pre-register patients using the referral from the family doctor. All these tasks are important in their own right and vital to the function of the Neurology clinic.  In the Outpatient Physiotherapy clinic, I shadow the physiotherapists in the rehabilitation classes. I also discharge patients after they have finished their physiotherapy classes and schedule patients for their preoperative total knee and total hip replacement classes.

I have learned that it is important to take your time and pay attention to details when completing all of the above tasks. I always take the initiative to look for ways to help in both clinics as this is a way to learn as much as I possibly can.

My career goal is to become a neurosurgeon because I love the idea of doing surgery which is more hands on. I feel like the brain is such a complex organ and it is so important to our bodily functions. To be able to be an expert on the brain is something that I would aspire to be, so I like the fact that I get to interact with the doctors specializing in specific areas of neurology giving me some insight into this discipline.

Week of November 25, 2018

Student: Kiana Martin, Grade 12

Placement:  Online Research Co-Op

I am involved in an online research Co-op where I have selected the topic of food dependent exercise induced anaphylaxis as my focus of study. I am working with a mentor who is a graduate student and whose passion revolves around health, research, and equity. The main tasks that I need to complete on a weekly basis include conducting research on my topic using specific search strategies to narrow down searches in various databases, reading and summarizing articles, as well as communicating with my mentor frequently. By the end of the term, I will have prepared a full research paper based on my findings throughout the semester. This paper could possibly be published in the Journal of Student Science and Technology.

Some of the most important skills I have learned include the summarization skills I have developed after summarizing numerous articles. I’ve also learned helpful tips on how to save time and effectively navigate databases and find the desired information I am searching for.

I think this Co-op is very beneficial for my future pathway as all the most important skills I have learned can be applied to future research projects/papers I will most likely have to write in post secondary school. The work I’m doing right now in my Co-op is good practice so that by the time I am in university/college, I will be familiar on how to gather and conduct research for my assignments.

Week of November 18, 2018

Student: Aanya Gosrani, Grade 11

Placement:  Chartwell Waterford Retirement Residence

I am doing my placement at Chartwell Waterford Retirement Residence working with both the independent living and memory living floors.  My main tasks are helping out during breakfast by bringing residents their breakfast and guiding them to the living room afterwards for a planned activity.  I work with nurses, volunteers, and recreational therapists by participating in activities which include crosswords, knitting, painting, and sing-a-longs. I have also been gathering information by interviewing patients to create patient profiles and planning the activities for the month.

Some important skills I have learned include how to communicate with the residents in an approachable and friendly way and to speak very clearly and effectively as the majority of the residents are suffering from hearing loss. In addition, I have learned how to use and help residents who require a walker or a cane as they may have muscle problems.

This Co-op has helped me realize I really enjoy working with people and love interacting with the residents. It has guided me to pursue a career in the area of health sciences.

Week of November 11, 2018

Student: Ramiz Salman

Placement:  Signarama

I am doing my placement at Signarama. The company makes custom-made signs, banners and decals for buildings, vehicles and more. My main tasks and responsibilities require excellent time management skills to ensure the signs customers have ordered are completed on time. I show attention to detail and concentrate on all of the steps in the process (i.e. weeding, masking, and applying) when making signs for companies and personal use (e.g. home address).  I have also done some graphic design, creating signs, and business cards on the computer.

I have learned how to work as a team and actively listen to detailed instructions for each job. Co-op has taught me to set goals and has given me employability skills I can transfer to my desired future career in the aviation industry.

Week of November 4, 2018

Student: Abbie Orr, Grade 11

Placement:  Upper Oakville Pet Hospital

I am doing my placement at Upper Oakville Pet Hospital. My roles/responsibilities include cleaning the surgery room, helping prep the surgical instruments, stocking up on surgery needs (syringes, solutions, gauzes, towels, etc.), assisting the vet techs, observing the doctor in appointments, cleaning exam counters and cages after patient use, and taking patients out for walks and bathroom breaks.  In addition, I unpack deliveries and complete end of the day chores such as vacuuming.

I think the most important skill I have learned being at an animal hospital is to always be prepared and to be ready for anything. You have to be attentive because you are responsible for animals. Animals are unpredictable and you need to concentrate on what you are doing at all times.  In addition, it is important to ask questions. I am comfortable asking questions as this way I am learning and making sure I complete tasks effectively and efficiently.

Ever since I was a young child, I have wanted to be a vet.  When I started horseback riding at the age of seven, I was around horses and other farm animals, including barn cats and dogs. Working at Upper Oakville Pet Hospital has given me the opportunity to interact with cats, dogs, and other smaller animals in a medical/more complex manner. I have learned about how things work in surgery and post surgery. I have my post-secondary goals planned out and I still want to do something with horses. This placement has helped me develop an understanding of what I will be studying in the future and what a career in veterinary medicine involves.

Week of October 28, 2018

Student: Ayesha Khokhar, Grade 11

Placement:  Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital

I am currently working on the Inpatient Rehabilitation floor. There, my main tasks/responsibilities include helping out during lunch (bringing the food trays to the patients, helping them open packages, if necessary, etc. Additionally, I assist the recreational therapist, nurses, and volunteers on the floor by helping run daily activities for the patients, such as arts and crafts, sing-a-longs, baking, and much more!  With that, I help transport patients to and from their rooms to come to the activities, as well as spend some one-on-one time with the patients during the activities. Sometimes, another Co-op student and I bring patients down to the main lobby and gift shop so that they can get out of their rooms for a bit and explore the rest of the hospital.

Some important skills I have learned include how to transport patients in wheelchairs properly and how to interact with the patients in a polite, professional, and friendly manner. Additionally, I have learned the importance of being patient and communicating effectively, as some patients have hearing loss so it’s important to be aware of that and to act accordingly.

This Co-op has taught me that I genuinely enjoy working with other people and love interacting with patients. It has reaffirmed my interest in the health sciences and the desire to pursue a career in that field.

Week of October 21, 2018

Student: Samera Al-Kofahi, Grade 12

Placement:  West Oak Public School

Samera is working with Life Skills classes at West Oak Public School.  

“I work one on one with four to five students who range from high to low functioning on math and reading. Many of the children have trouble staying on task and focusing so I reinforce their tasks and help them get through it. I also supervise the students during break and play with them.”

“I learned how to deal with the behaviors of different students. For example, one of the students can be hyper and has an extremely hard time focusing and listening.  When he doesn’t listen, I ignore him and when he has trouble focusing, I talk to him in a firm voice and keep him on track. You also have to be very patient because of the different levels the students are at. I learned why students may have an episode. When a student has an episode and doesn’t listen, we need to stay calm.”

“Co-op has taught me that I do want to go into Psychology. I love working one on one with the students. I love learning about their behaviours, how to deal with them and how to help them.”