Site visits are just around the corner and students are responsible for scheduling these meetings (email instructions to be sent later this month). Visits will be conducted in-person where possible, by phone for those outside of Vancouver or electronically (E-visit) for those working in the field during regular business hours (special authorization from Co-op Coordinator required for E-visits). Site visits are a mandatory component of each 4 month work term.
Get the most out of your work term by jotting down your accomplishments - while you are still on the job! Keeping a detailed list of your achievements will help you when updating your resume for your next work term search. Think about the specific achievements you have made and record when your supervisor gave you positive feedback so you will come away with more than just a “task list” from your current work term. Don’t forget that the transferable skills you have developed are just as important to prospective employers!
Slapping together a co-op assignment at the last minute isn't going to make you feel good about your work and defeats the purpose of these reflective exercises.Take this opportunity to build on your communications skills and start thinking about what you will do for your assignment before your site visit.
Have an idea for a different co-op assignment? Feel free to pitch your idea during your site visit! Examples of an alternate project include a “Co-op Advantage” article, a manual or guide, or even a short video like the one Jennifer made last term.
Xinyan Wang - Prepac Manufacturing Ltd., Delta, BC
Working as an Engineering Assistant at the Engineering department of Prepac Manufacturing is a fantastic experience. Prepac is a successful North American designer, manufacturer and drop shipper of functional and stylish Ready-to-Assemble home furniture. During my co-op term, I have been given the great opportunity to work with the excellent team at Prepac and to see and learn how an order is processed into real products. My major project was creating packing instructions including 3D layout for packaging lines. In order to do that, I checked all the drawings of existing products and created 3D versions with AutoCAD of all the components of the products that Prepac recently sold in the last 6 month. I was also given the chance to work with the production department to continuously improve the packaging instructions. It was such an honor to see the positive impacts of my project. To me, this experience has been at least as valuable as the lessons I've learned through my academic studies. Thanks to Co-op, now I firmly believe that this work experience has educated me and made me a better employee for the future.
Vinayak Chabria - Canfor, Vanderhoof, BC
My co-op with Canfor, which is based out of Vanderhoof, has been filled with exciting moments of learning and progress. This is my first time indulging in field operations in the winter and it took me a while to find my comfort zone. My crew has been fantastic at keeping the morale up, whether that is a -15 degree Celsius day or a warm and mushy afternoon. Typically we go through a list of blocks that Canfor would like to harvest and then conduct a recce on a chosen block. The boundary layout comes next closely followed by the road layout. We leave stream layout for the summer when we are better able to examine the flow of water. During spring break up, I had the opportunity to join the silviculture team and make planting maps using ArcGIS that would be eventually used for aerial recces. My previous co-op work terms in Finland and Vancouver Island have provided me with an invaluable set of skills and a thirst to explore more, absorb more and contribute more to the forestry industry in this beautiful province. I am looking forward to finally putting my caulk boots on in the summer and interacting and learn from the new summer students that are going to be joining our crew.
Spencer Bronson – UBC Peter Arcese Lab, Mandarte Island, BC
I have recently begun my fourth co-op work term and so far the island life has been everything I have expected and more! Upon my arrival on Mandarte Island, monitoring of the resident song sparrow population (Melospiza melodia) and banding of their nestlings began. Since then I have been collecting data on the territories, movement and feeding behaviour of song sparrows and spent some time mapping the territories of fox sparrows as well. With a population of 3 (myself included), Mandarte Island is the epitome of a small town and I have grown very fond of my coworkers and the life off the grid. Over the last month I have greatly improved my patience, as it is essential for gathering the data we need, and became familiar with the requirements to maintain accurate data records. All of these skills will be transferable to both my studies at UBC and in my pursuit of a research-related career. With the help of co-op, I was able to find a position working in the field which has peaked my interest ever since my first year at UBC. For this reason, I suggest the co-op program to everyone.
Nadia Chan, Natural Areas Coordinator – City of Surrey
We are happy to see that UBC has launched a new Urban Forestry program and have already started interviewing some of these students for co-op positions this summer. Co-op students bring fresh ideas and new energy to the City of Surrey and are a welcome addition to our team. When co-op students join the team we actively engage in teaching them the skills they need to be successful this profession. Some of the training we provide includes workplace safety, working with specialized equipment, trail pruning, invasive plant removal and natural area restoration. Student’s academic training is enriched by the opportunity to apply skills in a practical setting. We are happy to be a partner in this educational process and look forward to working with many more co-op students from the Faculty of Forestry in the coming years.
The 2015 UBC Faculty of Forestry Annual Report features some of the latest numbers, statistics and highlights from May 2015 to April 2016. Co-op’s portion of this year’s annual report is represented in this infographic:
Co-op in the News
Everybody in co-op!
Recently, the Business/Higher Education Round Table – a group composed of business, education and industry leaders, put forth a statement suggesting that co-op placements be mandatory for all post-secondary programs in Canada. They argue that too many students are entering the work force post-graduation without the practical skills needed to be successful, and that co-op placements are one of the best ways for students to gain these much needed technical and soft skills. Listen to the full story, covered by The Current on CBC radio.
Back in August
The co-op newsletter will be taking a break for the month of July but keep your eyes peeled for the next issue scheduled for publication near the end of August. In the meantime you can stay connected via the Forestry Co-op Instagram page (@forestry coop) and see co-op students working around the globe. Employers and students can share theirco-op related images by tagging #forestrycoop or by emailing them directly to Tony Loring at email@example.com.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions?
Co-op Coordinator - Faculty of Forestry
2424 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada