I don’t want to bore readers with a blog aimed at introducing myself, so I will spare you the details and keep a long story short and quickly introduce myself; my name is Steve Karavos, I am a BBA Honours student at the Goodman School of Business, fortunate enough to have an opportunity to be involved in the co-op program, which is what brings me to the BioLinc blog. I am the new BioLinc Ambassador; my role is essentially to handle student outreach (presentations, event help, etc.) and lend a hand wherever else I can to help spread the word about BioLinc. The only thing that really comes to mind to talk about is any insight I can provide any current university students or future university students that may happen to stumble on to this blog.
The first thing that comes to mind is to stress the importance of taking advantage of any possibility of co-op. If your program has the luxury of having a co-op option I can’t stress enough how valuable the experience will be. Co-op work terms provide you with a huge advantage over other students, because you get the opportunity to experience real-life work positions prior to graduation, you gain work experience to put you one step ahead on your resume, and not to mention you are in a position to exit school with significantly less financial burden than you might otherwise be burdened with. On top of all of these benefits co-op work terms also put you in a position to get comfortable with working in a professional environment, while creating future connections and further developing your professional work skills. The list goes on and on to the benefits of co-op work terms and I urge anyone reading this to do whatever they can to make co-op part of their post-secondary education.
The next piece of advice I have is to create a good work-life balance. No, you probably won’t ever establish the work-life balance that you dream about but I personally believe it’s very important to be able to experience both sides of university life. Do what you need to do to get the marks you seek to achieve but take a breather and interact with those around you, whether that is through residence, clubs, intramurals, etc. Besides obviously building strong friendships, the relationships you create here could easily be your best connections years down the road. Even if you may be a shy person (I generally always have been) the best way to prepare yourself for your future professional career is to experience the uncomfortable situations early and as often as possible; you will eventually realize they’re not nearly as big of a deal as you may think and you will grow comfortable with them – public speaking is a great example.
The last piece of advice I’d really like to stress is: don’t be afraid to ask questions. No matter where you need to look for answers, whether that is fellow students, professors, study groups, or any other resources, ask for clarification if you need it. You could spend much more time trying to figure something out on your own than if you just ask questions, time that could be spent socializing, or on other work, it’s very important to manage your stress levels, and asking questions will help manage your stress levels. Just be ready and willing to reciprocate!