Stephanie Baziuk, left, chats with a UBC Okanagan Co-op student.

UBC Okanagan co-op students making an impact

University links organizations with a new generation of talent

From an extra pair of hands to a fresh new perspective, UBC Okanagan’s co-op education program is a winning partnership that allows employers to harness the energy of student talent.

Kelowna’s coLab recently finished its first co-op position, welcoming Luan Jardine, a management student from UBC Okanagan. Offering creative skills in photography and graphic design, she worked in administration, digital marketing, social media, event logistics and some special projects.

“We chose wisely and were thankful to find a student who had everything we were looking for and more,” says coLab founder Shane Austin.

How it works

The UBC Okanagan co-op education program connects university students and community partners for a number of work-experience opportunities. Learners enrolled in a variety of studies – everything from languages, sciences, human kinetics to management – receive real-world experience, and employers access energizing and youthful students connected with the latest methods and practices.

Placements last four, eight and 12 months and are available across a wide variety of programs. Students eager to expand their resumés with meaningful experience are vetted through an intake process conducted by UBC Okanagan.

“Working closely with our office is a huge benefit for both students and organizations. If there are any questions or hiccups, we can provide that support,” explains Stephanie Baziuk, co-op & career coordinator at UBC Okanagan.

“From the student perspective, the experience they get is a huge piece but it’s also a chance to see what they like and don’t like.”

A boost for business

While hiring a co-op student does require a time commitment from the business, coLab’s experience provided a cost-effective boost for the team and allowed them to experiment with new goals.

“As a business attempting to transform and grow, the opportunity was wise, and ended up being valuable,” Austin says.

“It’s always exciting when you put an idea in front of a team member, and they run with it, with enthusiasm. We ran a weekend-long hack event for artists, animators and tech professionals called Press Play. With hardly any direction, Luan was able to pull together a large number of resources, co-ordinate the event, and bring a huge amount of creativity to our promotional efforts.”

Because businesses and nonprofits know they have an extra support for a set period, a co-op placement can also be perfect for special projects in need of a dedicated person, Bazuik says, noting BC interior-based employers can also access a grant from the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust to help off-set some of the hiring costs.

The experience will likely encourage coLab to welcome more students.

“Our company vision was advanced. We definitely escalated our efforts in providing value to our members, and connecting to the broad community.”

For more information on UBC Okanagan Co-op Education, visit coop.ok.ubc.ca/partners or reach out via email at coop.ok@ubc.ca.

Just Posted

Penticton photographer publishes book showcasing resilience of Okanagan people

Okanagan Strong showcases the bravery of many during crisis; from COVID-19, to floods, and fires

Summerland steam train to begin operations

Reduced schedule, physical distancing planned for Kettle Valley Steam Railway beginning July 18

Summerland to hold meeting on solar project

Event on July 13 at 1 p.m. open to comments from the public

LETTER: Land for Summerland’s solar project site was designated for growth

Site represents close to 20 per cent of land marked for future growth

South Okanagan RCMP member speaks out against criticism

Police have been the subject of intense scrutiny in recent weeks

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Kelowna taxpayers could pay $90K for losses caused by cancelled Memorial Cup

$135,000 would be put aside for a potential bid for a future opportunity to host the tournament

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Motorcycle rider seriously injured in collision with vehicle on Highway 97 west of Pritchard

Chase RCMP report that motorcycle was attempting to pass when crash occurred

Predator mutilated cats in Kelowna: BC SPCA

The BC SPCA confirmed a mutilated cat was killed by a predator

LETTER: Former Summerland mayors speak out on solar project

Five former Summerland mayors sign name to short letter

Emergency crews conduct CPR on unresponsive person in Okanagan Lake

West Kelowna emergency crews are on scene at the shores of Jubilee Mobile Home Park

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Most Read