Co-op Student of the Week
Week of June 29, 2020
Student: Alina Santos, Grade 11
Placement: Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital
During the limited time I had at the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, I worked in Patient Transport and had an amazing experience. Firstly, I had to go through and learn the patient transport conditions and restrictions and operate the Mckesson system for how to take transport calls. The main tasks that I completed were transporting patients from one location to another, restocking wheelchairs, transporting food trays and mail, moving empty stretchers, and providing directional instructions to visitors, patients, etc. The most common routes that I took were from Surgical Daycare to the South entrance, taking a patient to Diagnostic Imaging, and restocking wheelchairs at the GI Unit multiple times a day.
The most important skills I have learned are how to respond to the attitudes of patients, provide clear information of where I am taking a patient, respond professionally to uncomfortable situations, keep other volunteers informed when changes are made, and as simple as it sounds, how to operate a wheelchair. This experience has enabled me to feel so much empathy for others and to always be the kindest and the most positive person I can be. I learnt how to respond to people of different positions of authority, like a medical professional, captain, another volunteer, visitors, and a patient. In general, this experience has helped me to improve my communication skills and be able to adapt effectively to immediate change.
This Co-op experience has helped me to make future pathway decisions by validating the interest I have in becoming a doctor. It has inspired me to keep working hard so that I can apply for the health science program at McMaster University and then move on to medical school. Furthermore, this has only furthered my interest in the medical field and inspired me to follow this line of work in the future. It has enabled me to interact with healthcare professionals by asking questions, saying hello in the hallways, just seeing what they are like without the title in front of their name; just as passionate, caring, and intelligent people. I was able to experience the day-in-the-life of a doctor and see how each individual comes into play in the whole scheme of things, while also understanding both the pros and cons of becoming a medical professional. The long hours and stressful situations may be hard, but it is nothing compared to seeing the amazing reactions and results to a particular procedure. For example, I was able to take a new mother with her baby, the grandmother and husband to the south entrance. I had conversation with the family, asked questions, and was so delighted to be a part of such a memorable time. It is something that I will never forget and that will inspire me to persevere in the long and hefty journey towards becoming a doctor.
Previous Co-Op Students of the Week
Week of June 15, 2020
Student: Michael Scott, Grade 12
Placement: West Oak P.S.
While at my placement, my designated tasks and responsibilities at West Oak Public School varied depending on the subject (Math and Science) and grade (seven and eight). I had various tasks such as photocopying, marking, and evaluating students' safety and group work. These tasks allowed my communication, collaboration, and initiative skills to grow and develop throughout my Co-op term. Furthermore, these tasks gave me a strong insight on tasks teachers must complete everyday. In addition to my tasks, I had various responsibilities in the classroom as well. The three main responsibilities I had were student safety, being a role model, and self awareness. First, before starting my Co-op, I had to complete and pass multiple safety tests. The purpose of these safety tests were to make me aware of potential hazards and to keep students safe. In order to keep students safe, I had the shared responsibility, alongside my supervisor, to store equipment away properly and safely, remind students about the safety procedures, and to stop any unsafe actions in the classroom. Second, I had the expectation and responsibility to be a mature role model in the classroom. This means appropriate use of language, a positive attitude, and a friendly demeanour while still enforcing classroom expectations. Lastly, I had the responsibility to ask questions when I was unclear about what was being asked and to obtain further knowledge into the education field and the workplace. Once the schools closed in March, my Co-op experience switched to an online format and with this came new tasks and responsibilities. While in the classroom I had to use skills such as communication to reinforce class expectations, teach lessons, and talk to staff or students. With the online experience, I have focused on my initiative by making sure I am up to date on the students’ homework and progress, responding to emails promptly, and completing my Co-op homework
Ms. Braun, my Co-op supervisor, has done an amazing job at giving me helpful tips and knowledge into my potential profession. I have learned so many skills over the course of my Co-op but the most important skill was building connections with the students. These connections allow students to feel comfortable having conversations and developing a mutual respect level. When students are comfortable in their learning environment, they will be positively engaged.
Co-op has allowed me to test-drive a career and experience hands-on what it is like to be a teacher. Co-op has helped me take a step into the field of education and gain new communication, collaboration, and initiative skills. My experience at West Oak has helped me choose my future university program. I will be attending Wilfred Laurier next year for a history BA and business management degree and applying to teachers college after graduating.
Week of June 8, 2020
Students: Bilal Ali & Omar Baltaji, Grade 11
Placement: Precision e-Business Group
Both Bilal and Omar have been working with Peter Jowahir, IT Project Manager at Precision e-Business Group, a tech company that offers electronic data interchange and business-to-business technological services to small and medium-sized businesses.
Bilal’s experience is outlined below:
My main tasks at Precision e-Business Group are updating company images by using programs such as Adobe Photoshop and, recently, managing the social media for the company. I am also responsible for creating any marketing material we need for our student projects, like our video journal that will be completed soon.
Some important skills I’ve learned while working at PEG are teamwork and organization. Because I work with another student, Omar Baltaji, at the same placement, we frequently collaborate on projects. I manage the creative and marketing side of the project while he handles the technical side to actually get it done. As a result of this partnership, we’ve learned how to work very well together to complement each other's skills.
Co-op has helped me decide that I would like to pursue a post-secondary degree in either finance or business. Before I began my placement, I didn’t have very much knowledge about businesses because it wasn’t something I learned a lot about in school. After working at PEG, however, I found out that I enjoyed working on the many different aspects that go into creating a business.
Omar’s experience is outlined below:
During my time at Precision e-Business Group, I had many technology related tasks that revolved around computer development and programming. Creating an application called “MVlog” was my final task. This app allows the users to record themselves talking about their day and the goals they want to accomplish. Creating and developing apps was only a small part of what I worked on. The first task I had was to create a website that was about a life course people from teens to adults can take. I worked on this project with Bilal who is doing his Co-op at Precision e-Business as well. This task was not only very educational but fun to work on. This collaboration allowed for much more creativity in terms of idea generation and execution which was very powerful.
One thing I really enjoyed was the environment. Before the pandemic, I really enjoyed working at the office called “TechPlace”. Many individual companies utilized this workspace providing a friendly environment which enabled me to network with many great people who had their own business or were working for one. These people taught me that communication is a key to success. This was also a big opportunity to learn about the work environment and whether working in an office setting is for me or not.
I have learned many important things along my Co-op journey. Many things I learned are based around a software called Zoho. This is a software that has many applications that allow you to develop and innovate. For example, Zoho “Creator” is an application that allows you to create and develop applications. It is where the majority of my time was spent. Learning a new programming language called “Deluge” has also helped out a lot as I am able to do many things with it that I haven’t done before. Deluge is a language that is specifically designed to work with Zoho and is very unique.
Two important skills I learned when working in this environment are patience and problem solving. Working with technology can be frustrating and stressful at times. During this journey I have learned to stay patient when stuck and solve my problems not by rushing and taking the easiest route, but to stay focused and relaxed and learn along the way. I also realized that sometimes running into a problem is a big learning opportunity.
Overall Co-op has been a great experience that has taught me many skills and provided direction for my future. Working with computer technology has shown me how creative and unique one’s mind can become and that this is a great fit for me. From programming to communicating with others, I have learned so much more about working in the IT field. My time has been put to good use and I hope more people take this opportunity and find their future pathway!
Week of June 1, 2020
Student: Serea Mallozzi, Grade 12
Placement: Million Hair Salon
My placement was at Million Hair Salon which is located in our community at 2275 Westoak Trails Blvd. During the time that I was at my placement, I was involved in many tasks which enabled me to experience what running a successful salon is all about. Customer service is a key factor so ensuring that customers were greeted and offering them tea and coffee, was just a part of this. I learned the importance of keeping the place clean and tidy. I was responsible for cleaning and sanitizing the tools, cleaning the product shelves, and ensuring all towels were folded. I was also able to mix lighteners for the stylists. Perhaps, the best part of my experience was being able to observe the stylists cut, colour, and style hair.
While I was unable to continue my placement due to the pandemic, I have continued to research about all aspects of the business including the latest trends in hair and makeup, styling techniques, and industry standards with regards to health and safety, just to name a few.
All of my experiences, at placement, in-class and virtually, have provided me with enough information to determine that this is a career I would like to pursue in the future.
Week of May 25, 2020
Student: Noah Hughes, Grade 12
Placement: Keller Williams Signature Realty
I am working with Tricia MacDonald who is a Sales Representative at Keller Williams Signature Realty. My main responsibilities include the design and marketing on Tricia’s external website. I initiated a new look and made it easier to navigate for a more pleasant experience for Tricia and all users of the site. I also created a newsletter which included relevant real estate market information and trends. This was set up using MailChimp.
I spent some time in the office with Tricia and was able to meet some of her colleagues and interact with the office staff to get a sense of how the business is run, and what role I can play to help it run more efficiently. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 crisis halted this part of the placement.
Most of the people I met in the office were agents who work for themselves and are very self-motivated individuals. They displayed a high drive to succeed, and were very knowledgeable in sales and marketing. This gave me the motivation I needed to help create my own new business initiative with handmade fabric face-masks. I just launched my website over the weekend (www.vikingssupply.com).
Some of the most important skills I learned working with Tricia at Keller Williams is the drive, hard-work, motivation and dedication that is necessary to succeed in sales. I learned being in charge of your own destiny takes some risks, insight, research, and makes you accountable in all the spaces of your business. Working on the website helped provide me with some ideas that I used when I created my own website for my own business.
The real estate world is also a sensitive business. It helps people with one of the most important decisions they can make in a lifetime, and it can be very stressful. I learned how important it is to be empathetic and invest the time it takes to know your client and their needs. I can see how rewarding it is to help them achieve their goals.
This was my first experience working in an office environment. It has helped me realize that I need to be accountable for my future and that entrepreneurship is what suits me best. I will continue to apply what I learned, both technically and socially, to my future businesses.
Week of May 11, 2020
Student: Naomi Kerner, Grade 11
Placement: Oakville Animal Clinic
While I was at the clinic, I had similar responsibilities to that of a veterinary assistant. I restrained patients for sedation, blood draws, catheters, and nail trims, as well as set up for various surgical procedures. During surgeries, I was responsible for monitoring and recording vitals while observing and learning about the procedure. Over the few weeks that I was able to physically be there, I had observed an episioplasty, dental cleanings and extractions as well as several spays and neuters. After surgery, I cleaned all instruments that were used as well as the surgery room itself. I also cleaned compartments, distributed pet food, bathed patients, did laundry, dishes and overall made sure that the clinic was a clean and well-functioning environment.
Although the clinic remains open as an essential service, I am now unable to be there because of the pandemic. At home, I have been doing my own research on topics that I would have otherwise learned about in person. So far, I have done research on ticks as well as the diseases they carry and have created an infographic summarizing my findings. I will soon be moving on to other topics, including surgeries, diseases and other parasites.
I have learned several skills that are applicable not only to my placement, but to other parts of my life as well. Teamwork and communication are two especially important skills that I have improved upon while at my placement. At the clinic, we worked as a team to ensure that all procedures went smoothly. Few tasks could be done completely alone. I was also required to communicate frequently to inform my supervisor when a task was completed, share what I had researched at home, and ask questions.
My research at home these past few weeks has really helped to improve my self-regulation and time management skills. Without any sort of daily schedule that I have to follow, it has been a challenge to stay motivated and productive. I have been using strategies such as daily to-do lists to make sure every day is well spent.
After spending some time at the clinic and being involved in the daily tasks, I feel like I have gotten a more clear idea of what I would like to pursue as a career. I definitely want to go into animal medicine, and through this placement I have learned about several different careers in the field that I may enjoy.
Week of May 4, 2020
Student: Sophie Cappellaro, Grade 11
Placement: Captain R. Wilson P.S.
In the short time that I was physically at my placement, I worked as a teacher’s assistant in a grade 1 classroom. I had many daily responsibilities which included floating around the class and answering student questions, working with specific students to help support their needs, marking student work, and filing student work into their “Friday Folders” which is my supervisor's way of communication with parents about student success. I also completed guided reading sessions where I read through a book with the students and asked questions so the students could demonstrate their comprehension and ability to make connections. I even got to make a math bulletin board for the unit on measurement. My favourite thing was getting to know the students. They are the sweetest bunch and I was always so excited to see them every day!
However, now that we have begun learning from home, the tasks I complete are a lot different. Each week I complete a mindfulness activity for the students to try at home. Mindfulness is very important at a time like this. The activities I create involve colouring, yoga, breathing exercises, and practising gratitude. I feel these are good activities to help calm and focus their minds. I very much enjoy creating these activities while we are learning from home.
The most important skill I have learned is patience. When working with children it is important to stay calm. Each student learns at a different pace and it is important to respect this and continue to support each student. This skill is very important in being successful in a classroom environment because it creates a safe learning place where the students are not shy to voice their needs and opinions.
I have also learned the skill of adapting. Once we began learning from home I had to quickly adapt my Co-op to working from home. I had to get in touch with my supervisor and Mrs. Trojanovic to figure out a way I can continue being a part of my grade 1 class community. This helped me learn to adapt to change! I am very happy I am able to continue my Co-op at home, even if it's not the exact way I had wished my Co-op to be.
For right now, this Co-op has helped me realize working with children is something I definitely could see myself doing in the future. I love knowing I am helping students reach their goals! I also really enjoy how it is hands on and you are on your feet moving a lot of the time. I feel going into education would be a very rewarding pathway and I look forward to continuing my Co-op.
Week of January 20, 2020
Student: Calvin Ip, Grade 11
Placement: Wood Canada Inc.
My Co-op placement is in a small IT department at Wood which is an engineering firm that specializes in renewable energy. My main tasks and responsibilities are building computers, which means to do a fresh install of a company imaged Windows 10 on a laptop or desktop computer and install the necessary updates and drivers. I have also been connecting monitors, network cables, phones, and computers at employee’s desks, whether it’s a new hire or not. Lastly, I do a lot of troubleshooting whenever there is a problem with a computer.
A key skill that I have enhanced thus far is problem solving. Being an IT person requires you to problem solve a lot as I am always dealing with problems such as troubleshooting or figuring out why something is not working.
Co-op has exposed me to hands on experience in a field that I plan to pursue in the future.
Week of January 13, 2020
Student: Mitchell Weber, Grade 11
Placement: Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic
At Sheddon I have many different tasks and responsibilities. Many of these tasks involve helping the physiotherapists with recovery machines. An example of a machine is the ultrasound machine. Ultrasound therapy is the use of sound waves to treat medical problems, especially musculoskeletal problems like inflammation from injuries (ex. sprains, tendinitis, bursitis). Another machine is the IFC machine. The IFC, also known as Interferential Current Therapy, is a popular therapy option used by many clinics to relieve pain and speed up the healing process. The high frequency signals of an IFC penetrate through the skin into deeper muscle tissues.
The most important skills I have learned since working at my placement have been time management and problem solving. The clinic is always very busy, meaning I need to problem solve and use time management skills to make sure all the machines can get to each client. Most days it is stressful due to the fact that every physiotherapist has many clients to attend to within a set time frame. My time management skills have improved so that I am now able to assist the therapists and meet all of the client needs within this time frame.
This Co-op placement has given me great hands on experience with all aspects of physiotherapy. I have been able to ask an endless amount of questions about everything related to the job and workplace. It has helped me look into specific programs at different universities around Canada. Finally, this placement has helped me determine what the best route in life is for me whether it be in athletic therapy, physiotherapy, massage, or any of the other related fields I have been exposed to.
Week of December 23, 2019
Student: Nicole Edwards, Grade 11
Placement: Captain R. Wilson Public School
I work with the Special Education Resource Team at my placement. I assist students that need extra help with certain subjects, helping them to form proper sentences, and complete worksheets and projects that they are doing in classes. I also help with administrative tasks such as photocopying for the teachers' lessons. I tend to work with the same three students that are in different classes and grades giving me the opportunity to experience what it is like working with students in different classroom dynamics and grades. Once a week I help with grade eight health and so far we have drawn meals and food that belongs in different food groups. I also scribe for the students and I am going to be taught how teachers plan lessons so I can run a lesson for the students I work with.
The most important skill I have learned is how to help children in different ways based on how they learn. This skill is most important because it helps me find the best way to help students as all students learn differently and need things explained differently. I have also enhanced my collaboration and communication skills in working with both staff and the students. I need to ensure I communicate clearly with the students I work with and make sure they understand what is expected of them.
Co-op has helped me make a decision and plan for post-secondary because I have been able to experience what it is like working in a classroom. Taking Co-op has confirmed my decision to pursue teaching as a career as I have been having so much fun during my experience so far.
Week of December 16, 2019
Once again we have 2 Co op Students of the Week
Students: Keily Blum and Victoria Hillyer, Grade 11
Placement: Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital
Both Keily and Victoria were successful in securing a very competitive placement at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital. While at the hospital, they complete rotations in various departments so they can explore different areas of interest.
Keily’s experience is outlined below:
I have my Co-op at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital and I am loving my placement so far. I was so excited to be able to have the opportunity to gain a placement at the hospital. I have had rotations in Diagnostic Imaging (which includes X-Ray, Nuclear Medicine and MRI/CT), Cardiology and currently I am in in-patient Rehab. In X-Ray, I learned about how the positioning of the body part affects the areas that show up on an image and how the amount of radiation given depends on the size of the patient. In Nuclear Medicine, I learned about the half life of isotopes, how the isotopes circulate through the body and how they use pharmaceuticals to guide the isotope to the area of imaging. My main tasks in Cardiology were retrieving patients from the waiting room and getting them set up so the nurse can start an IV. Every morning I would do quality control on the glucometer which is the machine that checks your blood sugar levels and I set up syringes for Persantine stress tests. Persantine stress tests simulate your heart as if it was working harder. This test is done for people who cannot walk or have arthritis making it difficult to use a machine to get their heart rate up. In addition, I gather materials for IVs and prep IV lines by running saline through them to make sure there are no air pockets and they work properly. I make copies of medicine lists and gather paperwork for patients as well. One of my newer tasks is to help conduct stress tests. For this task I input patient information into the computer, listening to the patient’s blood pressure and record the patient's heart rate and blood pressure throughout the test. My main tasks in Rehab are to help set up the common/dining room for events that will be taking place. When I go to my placement in the morning I set up for currents events or breakfast club. The set up includes decorating the table, putting out cups and napkins for cookies and beverages and laying out mind games. For current events, I talk to the patients, read them the newspaper and help them complete mazes and word searches. Most of the patients I work with are cognitively impaired so completing the mind puzzles and getting them immersed in conversation helps them improve and gain back their cognitive/social skills. For breakfast club, I set up the table with plates and cutlery and help prepare the food. Another one of my tasks is to pay close attention to the patient’s diet. For example, a patient with dysphagia can only be on thicken drinks as they have difficulty swallowing and the thicken drinks help ease the food down the esophagus.
I have learned many different skills through my Co-op that can be transferred into my school life, work life and even in everyday scenarios. One of the most important skills that has carried with me is being able to work with others and communicate with co-workers and patients. In a hospital setting employees are very dependent on each other to help get things done. Working with others and communication are important skills to carry through life as there are many situations when they will come into play. I pick up on strategies that the nurses, technicians and doctors use with different individuals.
I am having a very hard time figuring out what to do in my future but my Co-op is helping me gain an understanding of what my future could hold. I know that I would like to go into the medical field but don’t know what exact sector I would like to explore. Through my Co-op I have been exposed to many different departments in the hospital, learning about what each job entails and gaining exposure to what the workplace is like. Having the ability to gain knowledge about all this information has helped me narrow down possibilities for my career choice.
Victoria’s experience is outlined below:
I’m absolutely loving my morning placement at OTMH! The different departments of the hospital I’ve experienced so far have been Patient Transport, Diagnostic Imaging and Cardiorespiratory Diagnostics. While I was in patient transport the main focus was on improving patient communication, safety and care in the new and quite possibly intimidating environment of a hospital. I also learned my way around the new hospital and got to see various parts of all the different departments that OTMH has to offer. In doing this, I was able to meet so many amazing people such as surgeons, physicians, nurses, volunteers and even other Co-op students like me!
During my rotation in Diagnostic Imaging, I had the opportunity to work with various technologists who taught me so much about CT scans, X-Rays, MRI’s and Nuclear Medicine. Through this I got to witness and analyze some of the many different diagnostic tests that are conducted at OTMH. Not only was learning in depth about the human body and systems so fascinating to me, but it was extremely interesting to be able to experience new discoveries everyday alongside the technologists and physicians. In Diagnostic Imaging we were constantly analyzing different illnesses in the body so it was really neat to be able to learn through firsthand experience as only a grade eleven student.
Now, I’m doing my rotation in Cardiorespiratory Diagnostics and it is so, so amazing! In this department, I’m shadowing one of the nurses and she has been so kind and has helped me grow my interest in healthcare even more. Every day I get to see IV lines put in, specialized drugs and treatments administered, Myocardial Perfusion Stress Tests and Echocardiograms as well as the occasional Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE test). I’m learning in depth about the heart, its effects and functionalities alongside Cardiologists, nurses and technologists.
Since I’m a Co-op student, I’m not able to provide any medical treatment for the patient, but I’m standing right there as it all happens! Additionally, the hospital staff have been so great about explaining, teaching and overall immersing me into the medical field. I’m having an amazing experience!
Now more than ever I can confirm how much healthcare is connected greatly to interpersonal skills and care. Every patient that I see has a different background, perspective and illness and it is so important to be understanding and compassionate towards everyone in order to provide the best treatment for them. Recovery and success is so greatly related to the patient’s outlook and the environment they are given to heal in. Having experienced this firsthand by being able to provide joy and help to so many people at such a difficult time has helped me grow my interpersonal skills and my admiration for others beyond words. Aside from growing my interpersonal skills, I’ve learned so much about identifying the origins of diseases in the human body. I know how certain common symptoms can point specifically to a malfunction in a certain system or organ. It's really interesting to see how all parts of the body are so interconnected.
My interest in healthcare has always been undeniable and I can only say how much more my interest has grown after being truly immersed into the medical field. Co-op has definitely helped me realize my future and all the learning possibilities I have. In the end, my Co-op placement at OTMH has been everything I wanted and more. I am beyond grateful for this experience!
Week of December 9, 2019
This week we have 2 Co-op Students of the Week!
Students: Sydney Milan and Yara El Oneis, Grade 11
Placement: Reflections Dental
Both Sydney and Yara are doing their placements at Reflections Dental, located on Old Bronte Road. They offer services in family, preventative, sedation, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry as well as orthodontics.
Sydney’s experience is detailed below:
During my morning placement, I've learned about plenty of things that go on in the running of a dental clinic. Maintaining everything on record for every patient is immensely important. One of my responsibilities is to scan in treatment plans, referral reports, and any important insurance documents. Insurance companies play an immense role in dental clinics since most patients use insurance to pay for their dental bills. Another one of my tasks is to call insurance companies like Sunlife and Manulife to get an up-to-date plan break down for a patient. Sometimes when the dental assistant or hygienist needs help, I'll run the lines in their operating room and apply the barriers to their appropriate spots.
Throughout my Co-op, I've learned many fantastic things that will aid my decision of becoming a dentist. One thing that is very important in dentistry is sterilization. The dentist takes sterilization very seriously, and you must be trained on how to properly use the machines in the sterile bank. Because I am professionally untrained on how to use the machine, I am allowed to observe the steps taken to properly sterilize the instruments that have just been used in a procedure. For example, cassettes are wrapped and run through the autoclave. When it comes to sterilization, I do get to help with putting on new barriers after some procedures. When observing procedures you discover many critical skills a dentist must follow but, sterilization is number one.
There is plenty that goes on behind the scenes that most patients don't get to see. Being able to participate in an incredible program like Co-op allows students to make decisions about what pathway they want to follow before the end of high school. Reflections Dental allows me to observe orthodontics procedures, cleaning, dental procedures, and help out at the front. This helps identify what it would be like to establish and operate a practice. Thanks to my terrific experience with Co-op, I want to pursue a career in dentistry!
Yara’s experience is detailed below:
My placement is in the afternoon and my roles and responsibilities are making sure that the patients are first priority. As a result, I ensure the patient lounge is always clean because it is the first impression that patients see when they first enter the office. I also restock/unbox hygiene supplies, observe different procedures, and print copies of patient information for new patients to fill in. When it is slower, I water the plants, sanitize the front desk, refill the coffee table, and inform the receptionist if our office is running out of anything that needs to be ordered.
One of the most important responsibilities that I consider is showing initiative to prove my purpose in the dental office. I have demonstrated my learning and collaboration skills through taking initiative and asking questions especially while observing procedures. In order to retain all of this important information until I have reached dental school, I make sure to write down notes on a journal with respect to dental instruments and re-watch the same procedures I observed during the day on YouTube. I have enhanced my problem solving skills through valuing my safety and that of others by knowing what to do, what to avoid, and double checking with my supervisor if I am unsure of anything.
The things I find very rewarding and gratifying is when the patient is on their way out, they thank me and give me some golden motivational advice regarding my career goal (dentistry) since dentistry is a long post-secondary pathway. In addition, when my supervisor gives me feedback, it is very important to me because it can help to identify what further steps I can take in order to make the most out of my Co-op experience.
Since I spend three hours a day, five times a week at Reflections Dental, the things I learn on a daily basis have definitely influenced and enhanced my strong long term aspiration of becoming a dentist.
Week of December 2, 2019
Anna Klygina, Grade 11
Placement: Wood Canada Limited
My Co-op is at Wood, which is an engineering firm that specializes in renewable energy. Since my first day, I have been reviewing and correcting revisions in Excel. I have also been allowed to plot wind turbines in AutoCAD. Recently, I have started working on an independent project of my own. I am currently designing a prosthetic leg as I am considering a career in Biomedical Engineering in the future. I have been going through the design process, consistently revising my drawings, and have even created a mock Bill of Materials.
The most important skills I have learned are Microsoft Excel and AutoCAD. When I first began attending my placement, I had limited experience with Excel and no experience with AutoCAD, however, through practice, my confidence in both have increased exponentially. I could apply in an engineering career in the future. I have also improved my communication and attention to detail. Both are essential for engineering since small errors can have enormous ramifications in cost, construction and safety, while communication allows those errors to be resolved.
My experiences in Co-op have been incredible so far, and have solidified my interest in going into the sciences. My Co-op has changed my perspective regarding post secondary, as my placement has employees from a variety of backgrounds. I have learned that there are many ways of getting to a dream career and that it is okay to not fully know my interests. I plan to keep this in mind for when I apply to university.
Week of November 24, 2019
Abhimanyu Jaglan, Grade 11
My placement is at Promation, an automation manufacturing and engineering company in Oakville that operates in three divisions: Nuclear, Automotive, and Industrial. My time there has been great, and I enjoy helping fellow co-workers out. I work with a lot with power tools and general engineering equipment. Some of my main tasks revolve around assembling fixtures, working on spreadsheets for materials, and organizing materials by their project number. I also help out with disassembling wooden cases and unused projects.
This opportunity has also been an amazing chance to gain some much needed experience. I have learned many skills which will help me further in my life. Some of the more hands on skills I have learned include, learning how to use a hand drill, a hand saw, a circular hand saw, a band saw, a sander, and becoming more adept at reading blueprints. My time at Promation has helped me become proficient in Excel, which is an important piece of any engineer’s life. I have also learned many important life skills, such as responsibility, as I have to be responsible to keep myself and others safe in my immediate area. I have gotten a lot more organized, as I have to organize many different materials and tools in a proficient manner. My time management ability has increased as well, as I have to wake up early at 6:40 - 7:00 am to be on time, and make sure to catch the bus on time when heading back to school.
My time at my Co-op has helped me get the experience I needed to reinvigorate my goals of becoming a mechanical engineer. This two credit course is also a component of Garth Webb’s Energy SHSM program which I am currently in and will help improve my resume for university and future jobs.
Week of November 18, 2019.
Zainab Siddiq, Grade 11
Placement: Shoppers Drug Mart Pharmacy
At my Co-op placement my main tasks and responsibilities are putting away the order of medications everyday and knowing where all the drugs belong. Putting the order away means I have to know which products are generic, brand name, over the counter, injectables, topicals, etc. I also put ready to pick up prescriptions in the outbox and I check customers out when they are coming for their medication. This requires me to understand the computer system used by the pharmacist and the staff along with the Shoppers check out system. Another main responsibility I have is filling medications for customers. Filling requires that I know where everything is and knowing which products are brand name and generic by just looking at a label. It also requires me to know how to work the filling system on the Health Watch program used by the pharmaceutical staff.
The most important skill I have learned at my placement is attention to detail. In the pharmacy, it is very easy to miss something important. However, I have learned that it is necessary to take things slow and verify the work I have completed over and over again to ensure everything is done correctly. Another skill I have learned is staying calm under high pressure situations. Sometimes we have a rush of customers who need their medications right away and this evidently gets stressful for everyone working.
Co-op has guided me in a direction where choosing a future pathway is clearer. It has given me the opportunity to see how individuals in the medical field live their day to day lives and how different it is from a part-time job. I have learned that the job market is tough, however, working hard and setting goals you are motivated to accomplish is a vital part of your future. Co-op has helped me realize that I want a career in the medical field and pharmacy itself interests me very much. I went into the Co-op program unsure what I wanted to be when I grow up and which field of medicine I want to pursue. However, now it is more clear to me and the experience makes me even more excited about what the future holds. Speaking with my co-workers and asking them what programs and what schooling would be the best fit for me has also made my future pathway more clear. Not only has Co-op opened my eyes regarding the medical field opportunities but I have now learned that university is not the only option and that I could go to college and receive more hands on training, if that is something I am interested in. In Co-op we learn about different types of post secondary opportunities which makes me feel more open to do what I want in the future.
Week of November 11, 2019
Haris Aljic, Grade 11
Placement: Precision e-Business Group
My placement is at Precision e-Business Group, a software development company that offers transaction processing services for small and medium sized businesses. As I am learning how to develop/write software, my main tasks involve investigating different types of software the company uses and their usages across different applications/functions. When I’m not investigating software, I am writing my own. Currently, I am writing the code for a small Grocery List application, to get exposed to a programming language very different than anything I have ever seen before.
The most important skills I have learned have definitely been my efficiency, as well as my communication skills. I have grown to be more efficient in my work, and this is evident by the fact that I managed to reduce the file count of my application from six to one. Although this appears to be a very specific example of my efficiency, it is something I have learned, and can be applicable to many different organizational scenarios/purposes. Communication skills that I am continuing to work on are the real take away from my Co-op placement. Communication is key at the workplace so making sure you are networking, and getting messages conveyed in a proper manner is very important.
The main reason for taking the two-credit Co-op was to see if my current plan of taking Computer Science at the University of Toronto was something I wanted to follow through with. My time at my placement has only reinforced my initial plan, making my future pathway plan my goal for post-secondary.
Week of November 4, 2019
Student: Emilie Mendes, Grade 11
Placement: Lakeshore Road Animal Hospital
Throughout my time at Co-op, I have learnt far more than I would have ever imagined. During the first few weeks, I observed how to take blood from both a dog and a cat, how to insert an IV catheter, how to get rid of ear mites, how to take a dog's temperature, how to sedate an animal and finally, how to stain a slide to look under a microscope. I now have the opportunity to prepare and set up materials for bloodwork, IV, and intubation. I have been restraining animals when they are in for a procedure and managing inventory by putting away all orders and ensuring records are kept up to date. Lastly, I have had the opportunity to observe procedures and just recently I was able to observe my first surgery which was a feline spay. This was the best thing that has happened to me so far, because I got to stand in the surgical room with the vet and technician to see if being a vet would be something well-suited for me. I learnt how to prep both the surgical room and the patient for surgery which consists of multiple steps that are all equal in importance.
I have demonstrated collaboration skills through listening to the technician’s and vet’s instructions. I am never afraid to have a conversation with the vet or technicians to learn more about what treatment or procedure is going on, in order to find out the reasoning behind it and to learn more about what courses of action are taken for different injuries, infections etc. I have demonstrated problem solving skills through doing research, if I find myself in a situation where I am unsure of things.
One thing I find particularly satisfying or rewarding while working at my Co-op is seeing an animal recover after being very sick or injured. Knowing that I helped both the vet and technicians attain that positive outcome, makes me feel very fulfilled especially when the owners thank you afterward.
My Co-op has exposed me to many new learning opportunities which will help me when pursuing my career objective of becoming a veterinarian.
Week of October 27, 2019
Student: Chanel Blom, Grade 11
Placement: Wentworth Halton X-Ray and Ultrasound
My placement is at Wentworth Halton X-Ray and Ultrasound located in the Palermo Medical Centre on Old Bronte Road. My roles and responsibilities include helping at the front desk by confirming appointments and booking ultrasound appointments. I spend most of my time observing x-rays and ultrasounds. Working alongside the technicians has enabled me to ask questions and to learn more about the human anatomy. When the clinic is quiet I will help out with the laundry, usually drying and folding, and then putting it away.
Some of the key skills I have learned and/or enhanced thus far are my communication and collaboration skills. You are in direct contact with patients and need to ensure you communicate professionally and also make them feel at ease by engaging in small talk. This has helped make me a more confident person.
In Co-op, I get to work hands on in the field I am interested in. I am able to work with actual patients and get to see all the procedures conducted at the clinic. I am exposed to all the ups and downs in the field and I then get to decide if it is something I am actually interested in pursuing as a possible career.
Week of October 20, 2019
Student: Olivia Jones, Grade 11
Placement: Average Joe Sports Club
My placement is at Average Joe Sports Club, which organizes co-ed recreational sports leagues for the Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, and Hamilton areas. After the first month at my placement, I have completed and/or been involved in testing equipment so that it can be used again for future seasons, creating a spreadsheet of competitor prices and comparing them to Average Joe prices, and calling recreational centres to see if they had gym space available for booking. I was also tasked to call teams to inform them about an upcoming basketball/volleyball tournament and even signed a member up for the tournament.
The most important skill that I have learned so far is that when you make decisions you need to be flexible, because things can come up at any moment and change the original plan.
In general, I have learned that for a future pathway I want to make sure that the job I am doing will in some way help improve the client experience and contribute to the overall success of the company.