BA 2004: Major, French Language

 

“Do whatever it takes to participate in the program as it will be one of the best decisions you ever make. It will not be easy, but you will have no regrets.”

Emily Wlodyka’s Co-op experiences allowed her to network and gain a variety of work experience. Her interest in languages, travel and culture, along with her studies and work experience proved to be a good transition into her current position as a bilingual flight attendant for WestJet.

Wlodyka’s first Co-op term as an Information Counselor with the Banff and Lake Louise Tourism Bureau allowed her to gain valuable skills in front line customer service in hospitality and tourism. She gained strong communication skills in English and other languages and learned how to work in a busy environment as a team or individually. She performed both administrative tasks, such as the collection of statistics and editing brochures, and provided information and offered suggestions to customers.

Wlodyka was able to transfer her customer service experience to her next position as a Management Trainee at Enterprise-Rent-A-Car. Wlodyka worked in a fast paced environment, while running a business, conducting sales calls, meeting marketing goals, delivering exceptional customer service, completing daily administration duties and managing personnel.

In her next position, as a Power Smart Team Member for BC Hydro, Wlodyka was able to expand on her skill set, and gain valuable oral and interpersonal communication skills while presenting to all types of customer groups, ranging from school aged children to members of the community, on BC Hydro Power Smart initiatives.

In her final Co-op position, Wlodyka worked as a translator for Employment and Social Development Canada. She utilized her strong knowledge of French and English, her previous translation and knowledge in computer programs, and her effective oral and written communication skills to translate, edit and proofread various reports, such as industry profiles on changing economic environment.

Wlodyka’s interests, along with her strong networking skills, helped her obtain her current position as a bilingual flight attendant. While she was on her third co-op work term, another co-op student from a different university provided Wlodyka with a contact at WestJet and was able to relay information on the company and how to apply. This job fit perfectly with Wlodyka’s personal interests, strong oral communication skills and previous work experiences in customer service. In her current position, Wlodyka strictly enforces emergency and safety procedures consistent with the WestJet Flight Attendant Manual, maintains the WestJet culture through exceptional customer service, providing leadership, direction and assistance during an emergency, assists guests in any way she can, and completes administrative and logistical tasks. Wlodyka really enjoys “working for an ethical company with great employees and public image that offers great benefits in a constantly changing and never dull environment.”

“The most important skills I learned while one my work terms include; flexibility, creativity and communication…In alternating between work/study terms I was able to gain hands on experience in different work places and gain experience that helped shape different job choice,” says Wlodyka.

For current students, Wlodyka says, “keep your options open and gain as much experience as possible. There will be fewer opportunities in the future to apply to such variety of jobs and gain valuable interviewing skills.” Wlodyka also advises all students to “always acknowledge the importance of networking and maintaining good references for every job you have/will have.

Upon successfully completing her PDP and degree in Education in a year, Wlodyka plans to either work for a school board in the lower mainland as a teacher on call or take a temporary international position.  After gaining some experience in the field and being confident about her choices she would like to pursue a Master’s Degree in Education, study Speech Therapy or return to work for the government in with the Ministry of Education, with the possibility of translating. Wlodyka’s interests, combined with her openness to different opportunities have helped her open many doors for herself and the opportunities remain endless.