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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As a business student at Laurier, the co-op program is something important to all of us. When I found out I didn’t get into the program, I was pretty disappointed. It felt like everyone was moving ahead, while I was still left behind. Even though I felt discouraged after finding out the news, I found myself wondering what other ways I could succeed and gain experience. I’ve come to realize that there are plenty of opportunities that I never knew about.

Internships

Realistically, internships are exactly the same as co-ops. The only difference is you have to apply for positions on your own, and basically do the whole process on your own. Many companies are always hiring interns for the summer, so there are plenty of positions you can find and apply for. A great place to apply for internships is LinkedIn. Many recruiters tend to pay more attention to your resume and even LinkedIn profiles. It’s a great source for job hunting. You can also apply directly on the company’s website.

Part-Time Jobs/Volunteering

Sometimes internships can be hard to find, that’s why a great alternative is having a part-time job or volunteering somewhere. It’s a great way to gain experience and might be less work too. It’s also a good addition to your resume.

School Clubs

School clubs are still considered to be experience. It shows that you’re involved with school outside of academics. When you join school clubs, recruiters find you more intriguing and want to know what you’ve learned from these clubs. After being rejected by co-op, I started joining a bunch of clubs at my school. Applying for executive positions is a great way to gain experience, especially in particular fields you wish to pursue. For me, I’ve been interested in Marketing, so I applied for executive positions related to that field. I found that joining clubs definitely makes my resume stand out even more. On top of that, it’s a great way to make new friends!

Networking

Networking is an amazing resource. Meeting people from different companies will allow you to form connections with all professional levels, exchange ideas and will even make you stand out. Forming these connections can always benefit you in the future. That can be from getting a future job or even taking some helpful advice.

Learning New Skills

In addition to gaining more experience, learning new skills or even improving on current ones can make your resume look good as well. Not only will this benefit you in a job, but even in real life. You can take courses, get a certification, watch videos on YouTube and more. There are an endless amount of skills you can learn in your spare time. Try learning skills related to the job you want, since it’ll boost your chances as an applicant.

With the help of some of these opportunities, I finally feel like I’m doing something more with my future. I’ve managed to land an internship for an insurance company this summer. After so many failed interviews and obstacles, words can’t explain the feeling of pride that I feel, in a non-arrogant way of course. If you don’t get into the co-op program at your school, it’s not the end of the world. There are so many more opportunities for you to explore. Everything works out in the end, whether it feels like sometimes the world is against you at times. With effort, patience and determination, you can go anywhere in life.

Sahaana Jeevendra

Wilfrid Laurier '24

My name is Sahaana Jeevendra. I'm a first year student at Wilfred Laurier University studying Business Administration. Some of my aspirations for the future are being a successful woman, be happy, and continue to live life to the fullest.
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