BA 2010:  Major Geography, Minor in Visual Arts (photography focus)

Where did Phil work?

Work Term 1 (4 months)
Rescan Environmental Services , Socio-Economic Research Assistant

Work Term 2 (8 months)
Teck Resources Ltd., Sustainability Research Assistant

What did Phil accomplish?

At Rescan, Phil was able to use the GIS (Geographic Information Systems) skills he gained in an academic setting through his coursework in Geography and apply it in a practical environment.  He used GIS to “assess and mitigate any adverse impacts mining projects might have on people and communities.”  Phil also coordinated information sharing on several projects and assisted with writing and research during his time with Rescan. His second 8-month placement with Teck Resources Ltd further developed Phil’s abilities in this field. With resource-based companies becoming increasingly concerned with environmental and social sustainability, Phil will likely find that his skill set serves him well post-graduation.

What would Phil tell others about Arts Co-op?

Phil says that “doing a Co-op degree was the smartest choice I made at UBC!” He adds this piece of advice for prospective students: “You have to be proactive in applying for jobs, you have to take advantage of the resources the co-op office provides, and you have to build yourself up to get better jobs.”  Successful students invest many, many hours of their time applying for positions, practicing their skills and preparing for job interviews.

How did Arts Co-op benefit Phil?

Skills and Experiences for a head start

Through Co-op, Phil found a career path he is interested in pursuing:  promoting “social sustainability through community development and engagement in the natural resource extraction industry.”

Phil is also eager to point out that Arts Co-op does not simply place you in jobs – you compete with other students for opportunities, and you get out of the program what you put in. Part of the program is learning to excel in creating resumes and cover letters and perform well in interviews.  “Nothing is handed to you on a silver platter.”

Besides possible job offers, Phil now has several skill sets that are transferable to a multitude of employers.  These include technical writing, advanced use of GIS for mapping and planning, hours of practice with Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite, and even an understanding of the mining

Where is Phil now?

Two of Phil Casey’s former Co-op employers have made unofficial offers to have him return to them post-graduation.


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