BY DEVON HAYES
It’s that time of year again – summer is coming to an end and Conestoga College is getting ready to welcome their next batch of students, all of whom are excited to make new friends and maybe even live away from home. When students start at colleges and universities, work experience and long-term future plans may not always be on their minds, even though they should be. Conestoga’s Co-op and Career Services is available to students throughout the school year to help them find work, whether it be for co-op or for work after graduation. The most important aspect in finding employment, however, is experience. Not just in the classroom, but hands-on, placement experience. Many programs, from accounting to mechanical engineering, have co-op components, which are a great tool for students to get their foot in the employment door. “We have about 52 co-op programs currently,” Craig Black said. Black, who is the marketing and events co-ordinator for Co-op and Career Services, said students are generally in better shape for moulding their future because they know what they want to do, and know what to expect in their future career. “If you take a general stream marketing student into the work world, they get a picture of the gamut of possibilities available,” Black said, “whereas a co-op student will learn so much, and they go out and they apply it. They get a chance to see some of the specializations. “They’re exposed to that networking and really looking ahead to the work world when they graduate, and are a little bit more fine-tuned as far as what’s out there and where they want to be.” Black said he finds students graduate with unrealistic expectations of entry level jobs, adding finding management positions as an entry-level employee is not likely. Co-op and Career Services provides many opportunities for students including visits to job and career fairs, one-on-one appointments with advisers and attending workshops. Students also have access to the MyCareer website, which can be accessed from the Conestoga College website as well as from their student portal account. Co-op and Career Services is located in the Student and Client Services Building at the Doon campus.