Landing Your First Work Term

Mathew Ho

In the latter half of search terms, students often worry over whether they would land co-op placements in time. Senior Arts Co-op student Mathew Ho is very familiar with this concern. It was not until three search terms later that he landed his first co-op position as Student Taxpayer Services Agent at the Canada Revenue Agency. In sharing his experiences below, Mathew hopes to remind his peers that persistence triumphs speed in the job-searching process:

The Application Process

Since the start of my co-op search term, I had applied to every employer on Symplicity, whenever reasonable, given that the qualifications for the job were relatively applicable to my skillset. Although I got my first interview less than a month into my first co-op search term, and a few more midway through my second search term, it wasn’t until late in my third search term when I finally received my first job offer.

Feelings of Frustration

Halfway through the job search, especially at the close of the second search term, I have certainly felt frustration. I felt that I was doing the same thing again and again to little effect, but I was able to deal with this by utilizing my resources and seeing the program advisors. This also helped me see each application as a learning opportunity. Looking back, I certainly wish I’d told myself that my persistence would finally pay off!

Reframing your Experiences

The most challenging part of the job search was preparing for interviews, since interview formats and contents are not always easy to predict. However, through conversations with the program advisors, I was able to reflect on my prior interview experiences and improve my interview skills. As a result, not only was I able to better answer the commonly seen interview questions, but also reframe my experiences to better match job specific criteria that the employers are looking for.