Latest co-op numbers, student stories, employer testimonial, summer to-do list and Co-op Cookie Awards!
Co-op Gets Noticed
All four of the undergraduate programs in the Faculty of Forestry were recently reviewed. The reviewers were very positive about all 4 programs and particularly so about co-op. One of the reviewers maintains a blog as part of his extension role at a US university and the following excerpt is taken from a blog entry made after his return from the review of the Wood Products Processing program:
“The best component of the program is its optional "Co-op" program, in which students can take advantage of up to five different co-op opportunities with different companies, all coordinated with and monitored by the department. I witnessed first-hand the result of this approach...in interviews of current graduating students, I met the most mature, well-prepared, soon-to-be college graduates I've ever met.”
Summer 2015 numbers:
Positions posted: 1094
Applications sent: 1945
Available to work: 177
Hired: 120 (68%)
International work terms: 17
2 South Africa
Co-op Professional Development Day
On April 13th we presented all the changes to the Faculty of Forestry Co-op Program over the past year (which included the new Co-op Workshops, the PAR form, “Stand Out” Poster, Co-op Student Handbook, Treerings Newsletter, the Co-op Jobs Website and the revamped co-op website.) We received a lot of positive feedback from other UBC co-op programs who approached us afterwards to say how impressed they were with what we've done with the Program. The Science co-op program asked for the name of the marketing firm we hired and was surprised to learn that everything was produced “in-house”. We have Jamie Myers, Editor/Graphic Designer, and Robert Kwei, Web Co-ordinator, to thank for their help in developing many of the marketing and online tools that we use today in the Co-op Program. Thank you to both Jamie and Robert for all their skilled help!
We recently completed the third and final co-op workshop, "Transition to the Workplace", with all new intakes to the Co-op Program. In addition to walking students through all the forms, assignments and deadlines they are responsible for during their work terms, we had guest speakers from WorkSafe BC and the UBC Equity and Inclusion office to provide advice for students entering the workforce. This important information is available here for review:
Co-op Course Registration
If you are scheduled to work this summer you must be registered in a co-op course for the summer co-op work term. All students must first pay the $100.00 deposit before registration can begin. Students in the WPP program will register themselves in the co-op course while all other co-op students will be automatically registered in the appropriate course.
Jill Meng – Tolko, Vernon, BC
Working as an Export Product Coordination Co-op student at Tolko, I explored the lumber and panel sales side of the forest industry for more than four months. At the very beginning, I felt a bit overwhelmed, as all the tasks were brand new to me. But by the end I became quite confident and enjoyed what I was doing. I acquired experience in coordinating shipments from the mill to the reload and through to the end customer. I also created load plans according to product availability and overseas shipping capacity. I monitored panel production schedules, managed inventory levels and timely delivery to customers. I am glad I have joined the Co-op program. I appreciate the opportunity to work in the forestry industry before I graduate. The Co-op program has provided me a comprehensive understanding of my school subjects while gaining work experience outside of the classroom.
Austin Gess – West Fraser, Williams Lake, BC
As a co-op student working for West Fraser, one of Canada's top 100 employers, I have been given the opportunity to further develop my forestry skills in a professional, friendly environment. West Fraser has provided me with the tools and resources I need to flourish as a young worker in the forestry industry. For the past 6 months I have been working within West Fraser's Williams Lake Division as a part of their woodlands team. Throughout my term I have been given an increasing amount of responsibility which has promoted confidence in my own work. I have advanced my forest planning skills in addition to developing new forest operations based skills. At West Fraser I have been involved in various projects ranging from cutblock layout to bridge installation and road deactivation. Needless to say, this co-op term has provided me with countless invaluable opportunities to evolve my technical skills with regards to forest management. Without co-op I am confident that I would have struggled to achieve this level of professional development so early in my career.
Grace Zheng - Forsite, Kamloops, BC
I completed my first 2 co-op work terms at Forsite Consultant Ltd in Kamloops, BC. I grew into this job and the friendly crew that I was working with, and continuously expanded my knowledge of the forest industry. Throughout the summer and into the fall, my position involved completing stream assessments, road traverse, silviculture prescriptions, boundary layout and GPSing for Tolko Heffely and BCTS Kamloops. At first I was working in Tolko’s projects with skyline cable logging blocks, which was a great workout for me all through the summer. Then my position shifted its focus to cutblock layout for mountain beetle infested lodgepole pine forests for BCTS Kamloops. This was a different experience from Tolko’s project, because instead of harvesting healthy and living trees, BCTS wanted to harvest the dead pines. This was great for the forest because it makes growing space available for regeneration. Working at Forsite was a learning process for me, because it was my first forestry job. Based on my knowledge from school, I was able to learn fast and understand what is best for our clients. If anyone ever asks me whether or not it is worth going into Co-op, my answer is “Definitely,” because not only do you get a head start in your career but also work experience like mine definitely supports my learning in school.
Summer To-Do List
No doubt you will miss your Co-op Coordinators when you leave for work this summer. Luckily site visits are just around the corner! These phone meetings are in two parts:
A call with your supervisor
A call with you
We will discuss your work term, assignments and the progress you have made towards your Learning Objectives. If there are any concerns, we can discuss them and assist in resolving them. We will be sending you an email with booking instructions in two months!
Work Term Assignments prepare you for writing reports and delivering presentations, which are major parts of professional work. Assignments also provide you with samples of your work to show to prospective employers. For more information about assignments consult the Co-op Student Handbook.
Pictures and Paragraphs
While you are on a co-op work term, you will remain in close contact with your Co-op Coordinator. As part of your commitment to the Program, you will be submitting pictures and a written account of your work term for use in promotional materials, the Treerings newsletter and the Faculty of Forestry Co-op webpage.
Janine Gervais, Field Operations Coordinator
Canfor – Prince George, BC
One of the things that I like about the UBC Forestry Co-op Program is that we are able to hire students for longer terms. By the time a non-co-op student gets up and running and fully trained, their 4 month term is over and they leave us. Hiring co-op students allows us to get more out of the experience by investing in an 8 or 12 month term as opposed to just one summer. This also benefits the student because we are able to give them more in-depth tasks and responsibilities over time, giving them a more complete understanding of timber planning operations and the ability to physically see forestry in action.
Many of our co-op students are on work terms this summer thanks to UBC faculty and staff who have chosen to hire from within the Co-op Program. This year's Co-op Cookie Awards go to:
Dr Allan Carroll
Dr Nicholas Coops
Dr Lori Daniels
Ken Day, RPF
Dr Sue Grayston
Dr Robert Guy
Dr Shannon Hagerman
Dr Shawn Mansfield
Dr John Richardson
Dr Suzanne Simard
We are currently accepting job postings for the fall and winter terms. Please send your job posting to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-827-5196 and we will write a posting for you!
Questions? Comments? Suggestions?
Co-op Coordinator - Faculty of Forestry
2424 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada