Co-op Student of the Week

Week of December 20, 2021

Student: Roch Grotek, Grade 11

Placement: One Plumb Plumbing

I am doing my placement with Jared Hossack who owns One Plumb Plumbing, a service plumbing business. Our average day starts at 9:00 am and includes one to four service calls. My responsibilities include assisting Jared with jobs by passing tools, and ensuring we have all of the necessary parts to complete the job. I have helped install ABS pipes for a sink and assisted to install toilets. Understanding the names of various parts and tools is a key learning goal for this placement.

I have learned many skills such as being responsible, organized and showing initiative by continually asking questions and working efficiently to ensure we get the job done. I learned to take risks and try things on my own which helped with my confidence in completing tasks.

Co-op has provided me with first hand experience in a skilled trade. I am able to get advice from an experienced tradesperson on what the career involves and am considering an apprenticeship in plumbing. Plumbers can work in the service (residential or commercial), construction or in the HVAC sector. As my supervisor Jared indicated, a good apprentice is one who anticipates what is needed and expected and completes it without being asked.

Previous Co-Op Students of the Week

Week of December 13, 2021

Student: Hillary Ike-Joseph, Grade 12

Placement: Wentworth Halton X-Ray and Ultrasound

Over the past years, technology has changed the way healthcare functions— advancements in medical imaging have enabled doctors to make faster and more accurate diagnoses, thus ensuring patients receive the best treatment possible. Wentworth-Halton X-ray and Ultrasound operates the largest diagnostic imaging network of clinics in Ontario. My main tasks as a Co-op student involve a blend of administrative work and clinical shadowing. I have the opportunity to work with x-ray and ultrasound techs each day to observe a variety of examinations. I get to call in the patient, instruct them to change into a gown, if necessary, and direct them into the examination room. I then observe the different procedures done to obtain the best image and the maximal amount of information recorded. I then discuss the results and go over the present anatomical structures with the technicians. There are abundant opportunities to ask questions, research, and take notes. I am gaining a much better and in-depth understanding of human anatomy and physiology which has consequently helped consolidate my learning in my biology course. On the administrative side, I am helping out at the front desk occasionally, booking in patients, calling patients to confirm upcoming appointments, and instructing them on any additional preparations they need to do before coming in. I can also answer and screen incoming calls, deliver reports to other doctors in the building, and so on.

As a student working alongside adults in a professional environment, you have to be able to demonstrate maturity, act responsibly, and display honesty and integrity. Some of the most important skills I have been able to build upon so far include professionalism, responsibility, organization, and communication. Communication skills are essential in the workplace as it creates a strong team environment and increases overall productivity. Through collaboration with my supervisors, I have been able to develop strategies to maximize my learning and in turn better my overall performance. The shadowing aspect of my Co-op has helped me develop better observational skills. By assessing patterns, styles, and results, I’m continuously enhancing my ability to interact with new information, co-workers, and patients. This has improved my critical thinking skills and adaptability.

Choosing to take Co-op has definitely helped solidify my post-secondary interests. I would highly recommend the course as a great way to get hands-on experience in a career you might be interested in. I’ve always known that I want to work in a health-related field and my time at my placement has shown me that there are so many different careers present in the field. From the clinical level to the administrative level: you can become a technologist, sonographer, radiologist, a specialty doctor like a gynecologist, rheumatologist, or physiotherapist, or maybe a medical receptionist, transcriptionist, hiring manager, health and safety officer, to name a few. All these jobs interact with each other to deliver a holistic patient-centered approach to health care, promotion, and education. I hope to go into a health science program after high school, incorporating everything I have learned and experienced at my Co-op.

Week of December 6, 2021

Student: Anusha Ali, Grade 12

Placement: Paul LaFleur Law

My placement is at the offices of Paul LaFleur Law in Burlington. During my time there, I have learnt the basics of filing and organizing important documents and placing said

documents in their correct folder or handing it directly to my supervisor. I've also learnt the importance of organizing files by how pressing the matter is. I also organize files by sector of law (civil litigation, criminal law, real estate law, family law). I am currently learning how to answer the phone, direct calls, book appointments and direct clients. I also have the opportunity to attend court and sit in on client meetings.

I have learned how to use a photocopy machine, and a fax machine which I think will be

incredibly useful further on in life. My supervisor and I also debated some important topics which are pressing in today’s society like abortion and incarceration.

I have also had the opportunity to read over three criminal case files which Mr. LaFleur has worked on.

I really like the work environment that comes with being in a law firm. I enjoy being in an office environment which is valuable information for me to know when choosing my career pathway.

Week of November 29, 2021

Student: Arjun Gandhi, Grade 11

Placement: Andone/Reve Pharmaceuticals

I am currently doing my Co-op placement at Andone/Reve Pharmaceuticals. My main task so far has been working on a market research project. This project requires me to analyze EMS services in Canada. By the end of the project, we will hopefully be able to determine if there is market value for a product to be sold for these services. My research started very broad to set the foundations. For example, one of the first things I did was look at paramedic to ambulance ratios in different provinces and cities. Things slowly narrow down and become more specific to the types of products the company would sell. An example would be researching the most common drugs used in an ambulance. Every few days, I meet back in with my supervisor for a touch-point. After I present my research, he gives me tips on ways I can improve next time, as well as letting me know what I did well. Then, I get asked a new set of questions to find answers for. By the end, my research should be able to tell a story. You start with an introduction and slowly gain more details, finally coming to a conclusion. Someone who has no prior knowledge of what’s going on should be able to see my presentation and quickly become equipped with the information they need.

The most important skill I have learned while at my placement is to think like your boss. Basically what this means is, when researching things your supervisor has asked you, try to anticipate any questions you think they would have. Find the answers to those questions. I feel like this can be applied to almost every single job, no matter what industry you are in. Once you have built the habit of being able to anticipate these questions/tasks, you have become much better at your job. Another skill I have developed from my Co-op is being well organized and time-efficient. Since my Co-op is asynchronous most of the time, I have to manage time effectively to get all my work done. I also need to stay organized and make sure I am following the tasks that my supervisor provided me since our last touch-point. I think these skills I have learned so far will help me in any future career path I may choose.

Co-op has allowed me to gain experience in what the professional world is like. I knew I wanted to do my placement related to business/marketing, but being at Andone/Reve Pharmaceuticals has taught me something else. Every single company, whether it be in sports, technology, or medical, has an essential business side to them. In the future, I want to work for a company I am passionate about and be able to do market research for them. I found it very interesting getting to learn about EMS in Canada through my research and then relating business to it. After I get my MBA in the future and build a strong enough resume, I feel like the possibilities are endless as to what company I could work for.

Week of November 22, 2021

Student: Zayan Suri, Grade 11

Placement: Oakville Toyota

At Oakville Toyota, I work with several different technicians and mechanics daily. Since the start of my placement, I have been learning new information each day - whether it be from changing tires to doing brake servicing. My responsibilities as a Co-op student mainly consist of various duties that my supervising technician assigns to me. At the start of the day, I would drain all of the oil buckets. After I have performed all of the initial tasks, I can begin working on the cars. When working in a servicing shop, some days get surprisingly hectic and rushed, while others are dull. Throughout the day, I have the opportunity to work on 3-6 cars, depending on how long each service takes. Some of my main tasks are completing oil changes, tire rotations, and helping with brake servicing. These are the most basic services that I get to perform. Otherwise, I try to help out wherever I can.

Working at Toyota has taught me a lot about cars and how they operate. One of the most important skills I learned when working for Oakville Toyota is how to change a tire. Even though this may be a simple task, it is also an important life skill. Another lesson I learned is that teamwork goes a long way in a workplace. Without it, the facility would not be able to function. Everyone plays their part in creating a better working environment. When I first walked into the building, I had no experience with cars or servicing. Gradually, through help from others, I was able to be a part of the Oakville Toyota community.

After attending almost a month at my Co-op placement, I am now more certain than ever that I want to go into the automotive industry. Spending time at the servicing shop and working with cars increased my passion in this field.

Week of November 15, 2021

Student: Jenelle Coutinho, Grade 11

Placement: Acorn Family Health and Wellness

In the ever-changing world of medicine, it is crucial that healthcare workers stay organized, patient and meticulous. As a Co-op student at Acorn Family Health and Wellness, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, and gain practical experience in the clinic. Working with patients of all ages; it is my responsibility to observe, ask insightful questions and take detailed notes. Aside from being responsible for my own learning and goal setting, some of my tasks include taking posture pictures for patients and performing scans on them. These scans include heart rate variability (HRV), electromyography (EMG) and thermal scans. Additionally, I am being trained to work in the administrative side of the clinic. I date patient cards, aid in booking appointments and making payments. Some tasks such as goal setting, observing and note taking are completed daily, whereas other tasks such as scans and posture pictures are done less frequently.

In the past few weeks I’ve had the chance to broaden and improve my pre-existing skills. I use my communication, organization and interpersonal skills on a day-to-day basis. Furthermore, I’ve become more independent and been able to work more efficiently, and diligently with little supervision. This has made me a better student; I am able to identify learning strategies I can use to make me more methodical and to perform my best, whilst providing quality work. When working with patients it is essential that you are compassionate, sensitive and patient. Working in the clinic, I am able to work on my people skills. I’ve learned that every patient is different with unique requirements and preferences. For example, Dr. Davis has many patients, despite this, she knows all of her patients and what their needs are. This allows Dr. Davis to provide the best care that is specific to that individual.

I always knew I wanted to go into a profession where I could help and care for people. Co-op has helped me narrow down what I want to do and the pathway to take post-secondary. Since starting high school, I didn’t know what field of medicine I wanted to go into. However, I recently gained an interest in pediatrics and women’s health. During Co-op I had the choice between a few clinics that offered different types of healthcare. Here at Acorn, we treat a lot of pregnant women and babies. This was one of the main reasons why I chose this clinic as I am able to explore deeper into women’s health and pediatrics. I am more certain of my future goals and aspirations as a result of this Co-op.

Week of November 8, 2021

Student: Anik Kormann, Grade 12

Placement: Keller Williams Signature Realty

The real estate industry is a very competitive industry. Ultimately, one of the most important tasks for a real estate agent is marketing their business. Marketing is the focus for many of my responsibilities and I will be looking for ways in which I can best promote Tricia MacDonald and Keller Williams. I really do enjoy the marketing class here at Garth Webb, so I have used the skills I have learned in the class to market and promote Tricia’s services. I am responsible for emailing and contacting clients and we will start meeting with clients face to face in the upcoming weeks. I am mainly responsible for creating and managing the social media platforms Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook that Tricia is looking to be active on. We have also been working to create promotional items such as flyers, billboards, and postcards that Tricia will be posting around Oakville. In addition, we have started to completely redesign Trica’s website to make it very insightful and give clients several ways in which they can contact us and find information about listings. I am also responsible for researching new ways in which we can market and have been looking through multiple websites to gain insight into some of the most successful ways in which real estate agents market their brand. I am also responsible for gaining information on the other real estate agents around Oakville. These individuals will be our main competition, so it has been my job to analyse the strategies they have been using and the pros and cons of these strategies.

Some of the most beneficial information I have learned so far is the difference between business and personal accounts on social media. I know that with the increasing popularity of social media, there are many brands that have turned to social media to help promote their business. Although I have always known there was a difference between personal and business accounts, I now know how beneficial a business account is for a company. Business accounts are actually designed to be promoted on personal accounts and access to ad promotions are so easy. Business accounts are also able to select specific demographics of clients they would like to advertise to. This allows clients within the database to be introduced to the brand's account. Business accounts allow the easiest access to communicate with brands and they offer many accessible links to websites and contact information. This is such useful information to have because so many brands would be able to benefit from these features. I am also looking for a future in business, specifically marketing, and I believe that this knowledge will be able to help me in the future.

From a young age, I have always been interested in a business career. It is something that I am very passionate about and I am hoping to get a Bachelor of Commerce or MBA in university. These programs would allow me to get a job in business after post secondary and hopefully I can find a career that I can pursue for the rest of my life. Through this Co-op I have gained an interest in the real estate industry. There are so many opportunities in marketing and social interactions with clients. This is ultimately an industry that I am considering as a career after post secondary.

Week of November 1, 2021

Student: Carly Ashman, Grade 11

Placement: The Daniels Corporation

I have been shadowing an interior designer and her team at The Daniels Corporation, one of Canada’s largest preeminent builders and developers. I’m only one week into my placement, yet I have been tasked with a variety of assignments and projects. Firstly, I have been sourcing samples for upcoming condo projects. I am responsible for emailing suppliers and requesting sample sizes of different aspects of a project. An example of this was last week when I emailed and planned a delivery date for a bathroom sink finish sample. We will use this sample as a reference. In addition, I attended several virtual meetings with clients as they picked their condo finishes (flooring, tiles, cabinets, etc). I witnessed the entire process of walking a client through their floor plan, electricity layout, upgrades, and the overall look of their space

One important skill I have to heavily rely on is my organizational abilities. I can see how it is very easy to get overwhelmed and scattered when emailing suppliers for samples. As there are so many people to reach out to, emails can become lost in your inbox and you can forget to follow up. I solved this problem by creating a master document where I could keep track of all the samples I requested for a project. It helped me because having a visual aid where all of my information was stored, kept me organized. I could see who I had yet to reach out to and who I have already received samples from.

Co-op is a great tool for making informed decisions for my post-secondary pathway. I am not only getting a real sense of what working in interior design would be like, but I can personally experience it to know if I truly like it or not. It’s incredibly helpful because without Co-op, I would have to assume I would like interior design and go on to spend lots of time and money pursuing it without truly knowing if it was the proper choice. Instead, I can test drive any career and gain first hand knowledge which allows me to have a very good understanding of the responsibilities of the job.