BA 2011: Major Psychology

Where did Kiran work?

Work Term 1 (8 months):
Co-op and Recruitment Assistant, UBC Forestry, Department of Wood Science

Work Term 2 (8 months):
Study Coordinator, BC Women’s Hospital, Women’s Health Institute

What did Kiran accomplish?

UBC Forestry
Her volunteer experience at UBC Arts Advising and the Psychology lab gave Kiran advising and writing experience, skills that were necessary for a Co-op and Recruitment Assistant. She was able to build on her skills when writing student and alumni profiles, creating the 2008-2009 annual report, as well as advising students on resumes and answering questions about the co-op program. Moreover, her organization skills were critical when arranging presentations at high schools, recruiting senior students to present at the annual Co-op night, and assisting with co-op and tri-mentoring related events.

BC Women’s Hospital
Coming into the co-op program, Kiran’s dream job involved some kind of research. Not only did she obtain a position in research that is relevant to her academic studies, she also had the opportunity to travel for work to Paris and present at an international research conference, something Kiran did not imagine when beginning her work term with the Women’s Health Research Institute. The writing skills she developed during her time at UBC Forestry were crucial in obtaining this position. Kiran was hired as a Study Coordinator and was responsible for recruiting 700 infants, and gathering and analyzing data on a congenital infection that causes hearing loss in babies. Her experience gave her the opportunity to plan a study from beginning to end, and to develop her writing and public speaking skills which will greatly benefit her in graduate school.

What would Kiran tell others about Arts Co-op?

To prospective students, Kiran shares two words about joining co-op, “Do it!” she goes on to say, “Co-op was a great experience and if you have any reservations about finding your dream job, keep looking. Putting in effort will help you find a job that will give you transferable skills after you graduate.” During her job search, Kiran didn’t initially see any research related positions, but her persistence paid off and she succeeded in obtaining a position in the Department of Forestry for her first work term.

How did Arts Co-op benefit Kiran?

Discovery of a Career Path
Going into her first work term, Kiran’s goal was to obtain experience to enhance her application for graduate school in Psychology. As a result, she was looking for a job that was research oriented. During her time with the BC Women’s hospital, Kiran had a lot of contact with health professionals and had the opportunity to observe their interactions with patients. She gained a good sense of what day to day work was involved with each profession, and has now decided to pursue Dietetics.

Skills & Experience for a Head Start
Over the last couple years, Kiran has come to realize the importance of writing skills. This skill was valued by her previous supervisors, and was a requirement for both positions. She was able to build on her writing experience during her first position, giving her an advantage when applying for her second job. Her skill development illustrates the stepping stone process that Co-op provides, making students more competitive applicants when applying for more advanced positions later in their co-op careers.

Kiran is confident that having 16 months of full-time, paid, work experience will give her an edge over other applicants in the future; and due to the advice and support of the co-op office, Kiran feels better prepared for the job search process.