BA 2011: Major Geography (Human Geography), Minor English (Language Emphasis)


Looking back at her experience as an Arts Co-op Student, Carolyn Tse realizes just how much she has learnt about herself along the way. She says, “Before Co-op, I was fairly certain that I was going to be an elementary school teacher. Through working with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, I discovered that there are other viable job opportunities in education outside the realm of teaching.”

Carolyn’s three work terms have been unique and dynamic experiences that allowed her to discover event planning, project management, and marketing. She completed her first term as a Programming Assistant at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, where she helped coordinate the logistics and promotions for the 15th Annual Enchanted Evenings Concert Series. She then went on to work as a Development Coordinator with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, assisting in the coordination of the VSO’s 2009 Fall Lottery.  Through her duties, ranging from overseeing over 33,000 mail-outs and managing ticket orders, Carolyn developed “an exceptional sense of project management” that carried over into her third work term with the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) for the Vancouver 2010  Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Working in a fast-paced, constantly changing environment in the biggest event the city has ever hosted, Carolyn dived right into her post as a Resident Advisor and adeptly served as the link between depot staff and over 200 bus drivers.

With a boosted skill set that now includes project management, leadership, and volunteer coordination experience, Carolyn has what it takes to get ahead of the increasingly competitive post-grad job market. What’s more, she says, “My resume is much more impressive than it would have been without co-op and I have solid work samples that I can show potential employers.” Through the many contacts she has made along the way, she now has reliable references that she can turn to.

That’s why Carolyn has this to say to students considering the Co-op program: “Don’t hesitate – just go for it! It might add a year or so to your graduation date, but it’s definitely well worth it. The skills, experience, and contacts you gain through the Co-op Program are invaluable and will come in handy in the future.”

Along with an impressive transferable skill set, Carolyn will also bring some great memories with her post-graduation. Whether it’s dancing to lively African music in a classical Chinese garden on a clear summer night during an Enchanted Evening concert, or winning a bet against an American bus driver that Team Canada would win the Olympic gold medal hockey game, Carolyn is sure that these vibrant memories and invaluable work experience will help her on the road to reaching her career goals.