This week marks my 8th week on coop; time flies when you're having fun.
Today I'm going to share a couple of tips as someone who is now halfway through a coop rotation and perhaps things to remember as we start settling into our roles
1. Don't get too comfortable
I'm starting to get to a point where I am a little too comfortable with the work I do. An important aspect of being a coop student is to challenge yourself in every way possible. If you feel comfortable with the work you are doing, that is a good thing; that means you are learning and have become proficient at your tasks. However, I think it is important to take another step and ask for more challenging work. That way, you can maximize your learning opportunity and make a good impression on the people you work with.
There are also other ways to challenge yourself. You can try networking with people (something I am trying to do) or learn about other aspects of your company that you are unfamiliar with.
2. Connect with the people around you
Connecting with the people around you seems like something that should come naturally, since you spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week with the people you work. However, it's important to consciously connect with people in meaningful ways. For me, I am challenging myself to network with 3 people outside of my team. This goes back to point 1, since networking is something that makes me uncomfortable. In the long run, I know this will pay off. The connections could lead to a position or even a source for advice and support down the road.
Some of the ways I already do this is by partaking in Trivia Night Tuesdays with some of the newer coworkers at my company. I get to know them as people outside of the work setting, which lets me connect and relate to them. I also have assimilated into the team I work with by finding things I can relate to and contributing to jokes that they often say. Not only does this help me connect with my team, it also makes work and meetings funner (I know funner isn't a word haha). I have also been fortunate to not only connect with the other coops but to actually get to a point where I can call them my friends. As people who are going through the same experiences I am as a college student, it has been so easy to get along with them and have fun. I'm so glad to be at a company with so many other coops.
3. Remember, you can still learn outside of the office
Every day, I am learning something new about cyber security. And that's great, but I also have all this free time after work that I could be using to brush up on skills that I'm not using. I guess this tip is just a reminder to myself and other coop students that you can always learn new things on your own too. I am writing this down so I can hold myself accountable until the next time I make an update. My personal goal: get through the Crash Course playlist on Computer Science.
This was just a quick update that hopefully everyone can learn from (@ like the 5 people who actually see this). Needless to say, I am enjoying my time on coop and not having to take midterms. I am starting to miss being on campus though and I am so excited to sign up for spring semester classes tomorrow.