Graduating year: May 2020
Stream: Bkin Interdisciplinary Stream
Employed by: Vancouver Summer Program
Position: Program Assistant
Stanley Chow is currently completing a co-op placement with the Vancouver Summer Program (VSP) in Kinesiology, a multifaceted one month project that aims to deliver a comprehensive course for International students around the world.
The VSP offers a wide array of activities which range from conducting skinfold labs to dragon boating along the waters of False Creek. The program seeks to create an enjoyable and enriching experience both academically and culturally for the International students.
As the program assistant, Stanley is part of a team responsible for the coordination of the VSP, ensuring that the logistical aspects of the program are fulfilled.
Stanley explains,”Within the VSP are a multitude of mini-projects that need to be completed prior to the start of the program. For example, I assist in the preparation of course material, scheduling, and the general organization of events for the program. This includes liaising with program administrators, faculty, student ambassadors and external organizations. When the program begins, I will help ensure that the day-to-day activities are running smoothly. Being an international student myself, it feels great to be part of a project that aims to create an enriching experience for other international students. It really creates a sense of giving back, being able to help these students engage in Canadian culture and share the experiences that I went through when I first arrived in Vancouver”.
Stanley is particularly looking forward to witnessing his projects come to fruition, “Though the planning phase of the program is quite enjoyable and exciting, I imagine that watching the program take off after weeks of preparation is going to be even more rewarding. In addition, I cannot wait to meet the students coming in and make some new friends!”
Where can people go to learn more about the VSP and how can they get involved?
The Vancouver Summer Program is a university-wide event that happens every summer! Volunteering with the VSP is a great way to get involved. Alternatively, students can apply to be a Student Ambassador to really engage with the students by taking them around the city. It is always exciting to meet new people, even more exciting when they come from all around the world! Find out more and get involved here.
Advice for future co-op students:
- Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone for jobs! I find that one of the most valuable experience from working as a program assistant is transferable job skills. Many of us are keen on working within very specific fields such as clinics or hospitals, but I find that the social and administrative skills I picked up from a discipline-driven job are extremely transferable to virtually any work space.
- Variation in experience is never a negative thing and can always help contribute towards your growth as a student and a professional worker.
- Embrace the change! Part of being in co-op is learning to manage a quick change of flow and work environments. From taking four to five courses a term to working 40 hours a week can be unsettling at first. As the old saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! Always stay positive and try to make the best out of the situation to create an enjoyable co-op experience.