An opportunity to experiment: Advice from Arts Co-op alumni

Thinking about your career plans post-graduation can be daunting! The multitude of career options available and job preparation needed can seem overwhelming at first, but there are programs and resources available at UBC to support you on your journey in making these big decisions.

The Arts Co-op Program is one of them. It offers students the opportunity to participate in a series of paid, professional work terms in between academic terms. This program gives you the chance to integrate your classroom learnings in Arts into real workplace situations, build a network of professional contacts and mentors and gain valuable job preparation skills. Most importantly, it provides you with the experience and confidence to plan for your future career.

We reached out to five Arts Co-op alumni to ask where they are in their careers today, how the program helped them get there and their advice to students who are considering applying to the program.

Azar Eskandarpour, BA’06

Current Position: Protection Specialist, International Committee of the Red Cross
Degree: Political Science and International Relations
Co-op Terms: Three

“Take this opportunity to try on different careers and workplace environments to see what really fits or doesn’t fit. It will give you so many more answers than if you had just spent your degree going from class to class.”

Aaron Sanderson, BA’08

Current Position: Chief Development Officer, Kids Help Phone
Degree: Political Science and International Relations
Co-op Terms: Four

“I don't think I would have had such success so early on in my career unless I'd had that opportunity, in those short stints, to try out these different work environments through the placements.”

Avril-Espinosa Malpica, BA’18

Current Position: Executive Policy Advisor, Global Affairs Canada
Degree: Economics, Political Science and French
Co-op terms: Six

“Arts Co-op helped me form relationships with peers and mentors whom I still turn to today for advice and guidance.”

Jouel Tiu, BA’02

Current Position: Concept Description Specialist, IKEA
Degree: English Literature and Commerce
Co-op terms: Four

“Use Co-op as a springboard for experimentation, learning, discovering and also for failure. Make the mistakes now as that sets you up for success in the future.”

Maryn Wallace, BA’06

Current Position: Senior Manager and Client Service Leader, Deloitte Canada
Degree: Sociology
Co-op terms: Three

“Arts Co-op is the foundation to where I am today. I give so much credit to the hands-on training around interviewing, preparing resumes, being diligent, thoughtful and always showing up prepared.”

Interested in learning more about Arts Co-op or ready to apply? Send in your application for the 2021/2022 intake by September 27, 2021!