Contributed by Monica Alves, Special Projects Worker
Remember those four interns we welcomed from Simon Fraser University’s Co-Op program back in May? Well, another Co-Op term has come and gone, and the communications crew and I are wrapping up our summer here at posAbilities. It feels like just yesterday that we were confused little rookies trying to find our place in the office. Fast forward to 93 days later (but who’s counting) and we’re ready to take on the world!
The experience gained from this job opportunity has been immeasurable. Each intern brought something different to the table and learned valuable career and life knowledge.
Let’s start off our bittersweet goodbyes with Connor Tall Guy Desharnais. Coming in at 6’2”, Connor’s height was incredibly useful around the office for anyone needing a little extra reach, which earned him the respectful title of “Tall Guy”. But this Tall Guy quickly proved he was more than just that. “I didn’t really know what to expect”, says Connor, when reflecting on his first week starting this job. “I was a little nervous, but everyone at the office was super nice and helpful.” Connor gained many valuable skills during his time here, which he used to plan a posAbilities booth at the annual Taco Fest! Why was this by far his favourite project? “It gave me a lot of great experience with a variety of different communication skills. I got to post to social media, try out event planning, design a poster, prepare all the supplies for the event, and eat a bunch of tacos! Okay, that last one isn’t really a communication skill. I don’t know if it could even be considered a skill.”
“I want to thank the entire posAbilities crew for being so kind and supportive throughout this whole experience. I’m not exaggerating when I say they’ve been the nicest group of people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. Being a Special Projects Worker at posAbilities will be an experience that I will never forget and it has been a true honour to work with everyone.”
Next up, is Krista Grieg. This stationary obsessed Event Planning Extraordinaire felt comfortable in the first week on the job and “couldn’t wait to see what projects [she] was assigned.” She gained the ability to think creatively and outside of the box, and enjoyed planning events like Car Free Day and an event with Exeko, and creating marketing materials for Clothes Drop and Don’t Sweat it Services! When asked what advice she’d pass along to future co-op students, Krista said “Always ask questions. It’s better to clarify and do it right the first time than to do something entirely wrong and have to fix the mistake. That said, mistakes do happen. Learn from them.” She also suggests “Tak[ing] on a wide range of projects and tasks. This gives you a broader experience to walk away with and exposes you to new things you wouldn’t necessarily have taken on otherwise.”
“I want to thank EVERYONE for making my time at posAbilities an incredible learning experience. I can honestly say everyone here is so kind and caring that it makes coming to work something to look forward to. It’s really great to see organizations that give young people a chance to take on real responsibilities and jobs at work, and so I commend posAbilities for taking on 4 students in the summer.”
What would a crew of communication kids be without a Design Wiz? Nelson Hang brought his talent in publishing to posAbilities. Graphic designer by day, dart fanatic by night, Nelson admits his first week at the office was a bit overwhelming. But he states that, “after a few weeks of which I call an ‘adjustment period’ I had become fully adapted to the culture here at posAbilities.” The Creative Station at head office became his second home and he was able to enhance his current skill set and learn something new every day too. A challenge Nelson faced on the job at times was “being stuck in designer’s block”. When asked how he worked to overcome this, he says “My remedy for these kinds of situations would be to result to asking for a second opinion and of course, teamwork.”
Nelson was ecstatic to work on a project called EXPLORE, which gave him full creative freedom to design posAbilities’ services in uniquely packaged marketing material. He even made a posAbilities cootie catcher! “This project alone has truly been the experience I had always wanted when I stepped into this office for the very first time and I really appreciate being assigned this project.”
And that leaves me – Monica Alves, a self-proclaimed Busy Blogger Bee who used to study Creative Writing. During my first week, 50% of me was a ball of excitement and the other 50% a nervous wreck. But I quickly found my groove and discovered my new found love for writing blogs for posAbilties’ website. My favourites were the ones that required me to attend events such as Stage Door’s play and the first Disabilities Pride Parade in BC. I loved the process of taking photos, chatting with others, and coming back to the office to share my experience online. This role allowed me to utilize my creative writing skills (mostly puns and alliteration) and gave me freedom to inject a bit of my own personality into my work.
I’m beyond grateful to have landed this position as my first co-op. I was surprised by the variety of work I was given and loved how different every day was. From content writing, and promotional marketing to event planning and designing, I learned so much this summer. More importantly, this role reassured me that I’m in the right field of study for me! My passion for communication has grown even more. Thank you to all the lovely people I met along the way for making this experience so memorable.