2021 Co-op Orientation

Congratulations and Welcome to Co-op!

Our dedicated team is here to support your transition into co-op and to ensure your experience is a rich and fulfilling one.  To compliment these efforts, we have planned a series of program-specific co-op orientation Q & A sessions over the course of September where you will learn about the co-op journey.

We encourage you to watch the videos below, get to know your co-op team, take advantage of the exclusive opportunities afforded to you as a co-op student and feel free to reach out at anytime should you have any questions.  Be proud of your achievement and be patient with yourself and the co-op process over the course of your first-year as a Brock student.  We’ll be here with you, every step of the way.

Welcome to Co-op Education

Your 2021 Co-op Orientation

FOLLOW THESE NEXT STEPS TO NAVIGATE YOUR 1ST FEW WEEKS IN CO-OP

Step 1.
Register for Co-op Orientation

Step. 2
Sign-up to receive your FREE CliftonStrengths Code

Step 3.
Register for the fall year-1 co-op events

Step 4.
Review Additional resources

Julia Zhu, Associate Director, Co-op Education provides a general overview of the Co-op Journey in the video below and reviews in detail of what to expect, the program structure, goals and learning outcomes when being a part of Co-op Education.

Understanding Your Co-op Experience

Registering for your Program Specific Orientation Session:

Join Julia Zhu, Associate Director, Co-op Education and Candice Edwards, Co-op Transition Advisor as they delve into the ins and outs of your first year as a Brock University Co-op Student. Learn more about how your specific co-op program works, opportunities to engage with other like-minded students and ways to learn more about your strengths and talents during your first year at Brock. To prepare for your Program-Specific Orientation Session please review the above video to get a better sense of your co-op journey and to help prepare questions as there will be an opportunity to ask them LIVE during this session.

Registration is available NOW!

Instructions:

Log in to your CareerZone account using your Brock ID (ex. ab21cd) and password, then click the session link associated with your specific co-op program listed on the right. At least a few days prior to the event you will receive more instructions from the Co-op Education teams on how to access the session online.

For Graduate Co-op students, we will be delivering our Co-op Orientation in conjunction with your program-specific Orientation.

As part of the 2021 Co-op Orientation program, the Co-op Education team is very excited to provide you with the opportunity to complete your CliftonStrengths assessment.  Through a series of 177 rapid-fire questions, you will discover what you naturally do best (your talents) and begin to learn how to develop these talents into strengths.

Over the course of your first year as a Brock co-op student, you will be provided opportunities to learn more about how to discover and develop your own unique strengths and talents, which are the foundation blocks for your career exploration journey.

Note: Please log into your CareerZone account using your Brock ID (ex. ab12cd) and password prior to accessing the registration link. The CliftonStrengths Assessment registration is in the Co-op Calendar to ensure that it is only accessible to co-op students.

Co-op Education hosts several Year 1 Co-op Programming events that will allow you to understand the importance of self-reflection to explore your talents and strengths, as well as learn how to translate your experiences to skills and competencies which will better prepare you for your co-op journey. These sessions are a great way to engage with fellow incoming co-op students and will assist in your continued success during your first year. We highly encourage you to register for one of these sessions offered and to experience more through co-op!

REGISTER for Fall Term 2021 Events TODAY

Discover your strengths Through Reflection

Oct 21, 2021 1:00-2:00PM

Oct 27, 2021 11:00-12:00PM

Bridging Strengths to Skills & Competencies

Nov 18, 2021 1:00-2:30PM

Nov 24, 2021 10:00-11:00AM

Should you have additional questions related to your experience as a Brock co-op student during the COVID-19 pandemic, please see the dedicated COVID-19 Resources page on the Co-op, Career & Experiential Education website.

If you have a unique or specific circumstance related to your own personal situation that is not addressed, please get in touch with our team and we can refer you to the appropriate person or Brock department that can assist you.

CO-OP EXPERIENCE SPOTLIGHTS

What will your co-op experience look like?

Syed Sher

Master of Business Administration, Marketing Co-op

Student of the Year 2020 Award Winner (Graduate Category)

“I needed a platform to showcase my talent and skills to maximize my chances to reach my goal. The Co-op program at Brock University gave me that platform. That platform made my task of achieving my career goal a lot easier.”

Work Term Experience:

  • Hydro One

Joel Gritter

Honours Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Co-op with a minor in Business

Brock University Co-op Student of the Year – Undergraduate 2020


“Participation in the Co-op program at Brock has allowed me to grow and flourish. The tight-knit community at Brock facilitates a friendly environment for learning; to find what you enjoy doing and to dive into it. The community is small enough to know many people by name, yet big enough that Brock is indeed world class.”

Work Term Experience:

  • RBC Royal Bank Amplify

Ahmed Jawa

Honours Bachelor of Business Administration, Co-op

Brock University Co-op Student of the Year – Undergraduate 2019
Student of the Year for Co-operative Education at a University 2019 (CEWIL Canada)

“Working for the United Nations was a fascinating experience like none other; the UN internship challenged my abilities, intellect and skills with valuable work and left me with an international experience that taught me more than my expectations. Every day had something new and exciting, from consulting and managing projects that change the lives of many…”

Work Term Experience:

  • General Motors of Canada Company
  • Niagara Region
  • United Nations Association in Cambodia

Brad Klassen

Honours Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Co-op

Brock University Co-op Student of the Year – Undergraduate 2019
Education at Work Ontario (EWO) University Co-op Student of the Year 2019

“The Brock University Co-op program has allowed me to go from no professional experience to working at top companies in the industry. The one-on-one training and personal development has helped me to create valuable professional connections, while providing me with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the workplace.”

Work Term Experience:

  • Ministry of Transportation
  • Canadian Tire Corporation
  • RBC Royal Bank

Diana Oprea

Honours Bachelor of Business Administration, Dual Degree Co-op

“Co-op has been a truly transformative experience which allowed me to broaden my skillset, expand my network and grow professionally. My advice to future Co-op students is to apply early and focus on making meaningful connections!”

Work Term Experience:

  • RBC Royal Bank

Jayna Sutaria

Honours Bachelor of Business Administration, Co-op

“Through my co-op experience, I developed an understanding of how high-performing cross functional teams collaborate and gained invaluable insight into the FinTech industry. In addition to the exponential growth in knowledge, I had the opportunity to build scalable solutions using leading edge technologies and create positive change within a global organization.”

Work Term Experience:

  • RBC Recruitment and Learning

Nicholas Muraco

Honours Bachelor of Business Administration, Co-op

“One thing that co-op has taught me – beyond gaining experience in the workplace – is to say yes. After completing my current placement at FENA Insurance Solutions, I felt as though I had stumbled upon a hidden gem in the business world and I am now working towards getting my insurance license. It is important to remember that you will never know what you like until you have tried everything. I challenge everyone to take a risk with one of their placements and try working somewhere where they wouldn’t conventionally see themselves working. For me, the simple risk of saying yes to this placement has redirected my career path and I am exciting to pursue the Insurance Industry.”

Work Term Experience:

  • Meridian Credit Union
  • FENA Insurance Solutions Inc.

Nicholas Sardella

Honours Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology, Co-op

“My Brock Co-op experience was the most valuable takeaway from my Biotechnology degree at Brock. With the help of Brock’s Co-op staff, I was able to find placements that provided me with relevant hands on experience in laboratories which I would not have been exposed to in a teaching laboratory, and I was also provided with experiences that allowed me to grow my network with potential employers for after graduation.”

Work Term Experience:

  • Brock University
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada

Zain Virani

Master of Business Economics, Co-op

Brock University Co-op Student of the Year – Graduate 2019

“Besides complementing my academic experience at Brock, my co-op experiences helped me uncover my latent potential for business analysis and project management, while concomitantly reinforcing my desire to work with quantitative data within the public sector.”

Work Term Experience:

  • Rel8ed.to
  • Niagara Region

Zhengxi Dai

Master of Professional accounting, Co-op

“This co-op experience had broadened my view on the different types of auditing practices.  I have learned to work with various IT Auditors each possessing specific knowledge and skill-sets.”

Work Term Experience:

  • Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

DOWNLOADS & RESOURCES

Download these virtual backgrounds for use in upcoming events, meetings and classes.

VIRTUAL BACKGROUND – PROUD CO-OP STUDENT

VIRTUAL BACKGROUND – EXPERIENCE. MORE.

VIRTUAL BACKGROUND – SIR ISAAC BROCK

For more information about Brock’s Co-op Programs check out the link below:

CO-OP PROGRAMS GUIDEBOOK

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

MEET YOUR CO-OP EDUCATION TEAM

Alesia Dane
Manager, Talent Partnerships & Relations
Co-op Education
905 688 5550 x4252
adane2@brocku.ca

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

  • Career development
  • Relationship building
  • Professionalism

After graduating from the University of Guelph, Alesia threw herself into human resources and worked for a local brewery. She realized this position was not the right fit for her and decided to take a job as a youth employment counsellor, continuing in an area of work she began as an undergraduate volunteer. This position turned out to be her dream job, and she continued to work for non-profit organizations for several years. As a next step, Alesia worked for the Canadian Hearing Society, furthering her skills as a job developer. Having decided that she wanted to work with students in a career setting, Alesia networked and met with people from several post-secondary campuses. Consequently, she secured a job development role with Co-op and Career Services at the University of Guelph. Life circumstances brought Alesia to Niagara, where she began networking and landed a job with Co-op Education at Brock University!

Alex Graham
Talent Development Specialist
Co-op Education
agraham@brocku.ca

PROGRAM AREA(S):

  • All disciplines

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

  • Coaching and mentoring students
  • Workshop facilitation
  • Employment preparation

Alex is a proud alumna of Brock University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a post-graduate certificate in Concurrent Disorders. With eight years of experience working with students and employers in multiple capacities, she understands the unique needs of students and how to help them navigate the ever-changing labour market. Alex started her career in social services, where she first created a youth summer camp focused on increasing participants’ self-esteem through the arts, media literacy, mindfulness techniques, and practicing gratitude. She then worked as a Case Manager and Mental Health Clinician for youth experiencing homelessness, as well as mental health and substance use challenges in Hamilton. From there, Alex transitioned into employment services, as a Job Developer and Employment Advisor for individuals with self-disclosed disabilities.

Alex is a strong advocate for marginalized populations in our community and is passionate about helping individuals gain the tools they require to achieve their next goals. As a Student Talent Development Specialist, Alex supports students by ensuring that they are fully prepared to embark on their job searches and co-op placements.

Outside of the office, Alex enjoys spending time laughing with family and friends, hiking through the Niagara Escarpment, and teaching herself new songs on the piano.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou

Andrew Bassingthwaighte
Talent Coach
Co-op Education
905 688 5550 x5577
abassingthwaigh@brocku.ca

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

  • Career development
  • Mental health and wellness
  • Human rights

Possessing over 15 years of transatlantic career development experience, Andrew has worked with individuals across a variety of contexts, including post-secondary institutes. He is a strong advocate of lifelong learning and believes that students can learn something new on a daily basis.

Andrew has always been impressed with the passion and pride that people have for Brock, and this is something that he strives to pass on to his students as they start their careers. Having experience in both Canada and Europe, Andrew understands a variety of employment trends and needs; however, his main consideration is always the well-being of the student: jobs come and go – you remain.

In order to better serve his students, Andrew has completed degrees in Sociology and Education, a graduate diploma in Career Development and will shortly be pursuing a master’s degree in Social Justice and Equality at Brock.

Candice Edwards
Transition Advisor
Co-op Education
905 688 5550 x6756
cedwards3@brocku.ca

areas of expertise:

  • Transitioning into co-op education
  • Coaching

Candice is a Brock alumna with a BA in Recreation and Leisure Studies and several years of experience working with students from an international and domestic background. When Candice graduated from Brock, she worked for six years in the Career Development Field, where she helped young adults to achieve their academic and professional goals. Throughout her 14 years of professional experience, Candice has worked in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors helping others to succeed and find their own path in life. Prior to her role within Co-op Education, Candice worked in Brock’s Department of Residences, where she assisted first-year students as they successfully transitioned into a post-secondary environment. In her current role at Brock, Candice assists students within co-op degree programs by providing support, engagement opportunities and referrals, as well as aiding first-year students who are wanting to transfer into a co-op degree program.

Candice was honoured with the Mohawk College Recreation and Leisure Faculty Award in her last year of studies at Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology.

Christine Eaton
Career Development Consultant
Co-op Education
905-688-5550 x3748
ceaton@brocku.ca

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

  • Career development
  • Coaching and mentorship
  • 0N/5N90 course management and instruction

Christine has a passion for helping others to recognize their true potential by taking manageable risks and showcasing their talents. She learned the importance of building a strong professional network and the value of transferable skills articulation when she worked with and alongside diverse populations in both the private and public sectors. Her experience includes working for McMaster University’s Centre for Simulation–Based Learning, Literacy Link Niagara and as an Instructor for the District School Board of Niagara. Christine also worked as a Case Manager at Niagara Region, an Assistant Property Manager for Oxford Properties Group as well as a Literacy and Basic Skills Manager at Port Cares.

Christine is an experienced Career Development Consultant with more than 10 years experience in adult education, working directly with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. She is well versed in curriculum development and evaluation, facilitation, creating resources, and database management.

She holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology from York University and a Social Service Worker diploma from Seneca College. She also recently achieved a postgraduate Professional Management Certificate from Brock University.

Dana Tonus
Manager, Employer Relations and Special Initiatives
Co-op Education
1-866-618-9373 (Toll free)
dtonus@brocku.ca

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

  • Job development and strategic employer relationship building
  • Career coaching and facilitating student professional development
  • Fostering alumni relationships

After working in brand management at Heinz, Dana (pronounced Donna) dedicated the majority of her professional career to helping students succeed by assisting them in finding career-related co-op employment. She uses her BComm and MBA degrees to effectively market Brock University co-op students to prospective employers, and her passion for Human Resources to council and guide students throughout their career journey. Dana works remotely for Brock, and with over 20 years of co-op experience she is able to seamlessly assist students in succeeding in their job search efforts and work term endeavours. She has high expectations for herself and for the co-op students who represent the Brock Co-op brand, and she takes pride in her students’ achievements. She is a passionate spokesperson for the benefits of co-operative education and is determined and committed to do her best to persuade every employer to hire a Brock co-op student and assist every student to have a successful Co-op Education experience.

Jason Peng
Talent Coach
Co-op Education
905 688 5550 x3126
jpeng2@brocku.ca

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

  • Mentorship and Development
  • Building Relationships

Jason joined Brock University in 2017 after working in the educational sales industry. He studied Psychology, Economics and Communications & Culture in Toronto, completing his BSc and MA. His work experiences have afforded him opportunities to travel from coast-to-coast, visiting post-secondary institutions from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island. Jason has observed one thing they all share: the spectacular amount of discovery happening in Math and Science across Canada. Who will help facilitate all this new discovery? Jason’s goal is to align emerging industry needs with emerging Brock talent.

Having grown up in the Niagara Region, Jason is excited to be back home advocating for Brock University in support of Math and Science co-op students. Driven by a belief in continuous education and self-actualization, Jason hopes to support the development of students towards both their professional and personal goals.

Math and Science operate in a liminal space of discovery. As students, the best place to start is often in discovering yourself—what are your interests, your goals, and your challenges?

Kate Balint
Administrative Assistant
Co-op Education
905 688 5550 x4182
kbalint@brocku.ca

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

  • Troubleshooting and problem solving
  • Reports and documentation

Kate is one of our energetic Administrative Assistants who displays a sincere desire to help others. She has been an invaluable asset to Brock University since 2009, first with the Department of Residence and now with the Co-op Education team. Kate excels in her work capabilities with unique insight and ability — she drives the co-op engine from within. With a keen eye for detail, anything she gets her hands on is quick to achieve completion.

Kate was honoured with the “Create a Better Way” award at the Niagara Health System (NHS) for creating a new system on the NHS intranet that made processes more accessible, time and cost efficient, and effective.

Kate loves working at Brock because her efforts and actions make an immediate impact on the team and the University.

Kayla Klimasko
Supervisor, Student Talent Development
Co-op Education
kklimasko@brocku.ca

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

  • Coaching and mentorship
  • Leading and developing teams
  • Career and professional development
  • Resume and cover letter writing
  • Job interview skills and preparation

Kayla combines her passions for student success with professional development as the Supervisor, Student Talent Development. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Supervision from Purdue University.

With previous work experience in career services at Purdue University, Fort Wayne and the University of Waterloo, Kayla combines her years of experience in career counselling and co-op to support the pre-employment activities of Brock’s co-op students to ensure they are prepared for the job search process.

A lifelong athlete, Kayla enjoys spending her time outside of the office playing soccer, lifting weights, and being outdoors with her family exploring all that the Niagara Region has to offer.

Kristen Wall
Talent Development Specialist 
Co-op Education
905 688 5550 x 3482
kwall2@brocku.ca

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

  • Coaching and mentoring students
  • Workshop facilitation
  • Employment preparation

Kristen graduated from Brock University in 2017 with an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration – concentration in Human Resource Management. In her final year, Kristen worked with the Goodman Career Education team as the Junior Career Associate, helping to provide students with preliminary career advice. After graduating, she started working with Brock’s Human Resources department before transitioning back into the Career Education team. As a Career Consultant, she mentors students through 1:1 consultations, workshops, events and more.

Megan MacLennan
Talent Development Specialist 
Co-op Education
905 688 5550 x 4853
mmaclennan@brocku.ca

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

  • Coaching and mentoring students
  • Workshop facilitation
  • Employment preparation

Megan graduated from Brock University in October 2019 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Labour Studies (co-op). While studying at Brock, Megan worked at CareerZone, where she helped students navigate their short- and long-term career goals, primarily through drop-in career conversations. As a co-op student, she had the opportunity to lead and facilitate the Youth Job Connection: Summer program for two summers, which allowed her to broaden her skills by working with employers, job seekers and community stakeholders. After working in sales and social media in Toronto, Megan decided to return to Niagara to pursue her passion for working with students. She is currently a Talent Development Specialist in Co-op Education who works with co-op students through one-on-one consultations and workshops. Megan is driven by her desire to help others progress in their careers by providing job search assistance and education, as well as personal support. She is passionate about empowering students to reach their full potential and find a career they love.

Melissa Beamer
Manager, Talent Development and Engagement
Co-op Education
905 688 5550 x4633
mbeamer2@brocku.ca

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

  • Managing and developing teams
  • Relationship-building
  • Mentoring and developing students

Melissa is a proud Brock alumna who has a passion for student success. She describes herself as a “high-energy person” and thrives in fast-paced environments where change is the norm. Immediately after she graduated, Melissa started her career at Brock as a Student Recruitment Officer. She moved through various positions and progressive levels of responsibility, which eventually led to her current role as a Senior Employer Development Manager in Co-op Education. She is an experienced project and people manager who strives for excellence in her work. Melissa believes that work and fun aren’t mutually exclusive, and that fostering an environment of enjoyment and comradery increases team productivity and performance; this is at the heart of her leadership style. Currently, Melissa leads the Arts and Science team, matching co-op students with employers to make connections and meaningful co-op work term experiences.

Melissa is a Brock graduate twice over, with an honours BA, Combined Politics and Psychology, as well as a Master of Education, Administration and Leadership in Education.  She also participates in various community events throughout Niagara — The Rankin Run is her favourite.

Ryan DeSouza
Talent Partnerships Consultant
Co-op Education
rdesouza3@brocku.ca

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

  • Business Development
  • Coaching and Training
  • Relationship-building

Ryan is a business development professional with several years of experience in the beverage and travel industries. He has a passion for relationship building and enjoys creating memorable events to showcase brands while crafting unique experiences. He enjoys teaching and training others, and he loves public speaking!

He enjoyed working with youth and students by volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel Region, being an active child sponsor, and coaching a youth soccer team in Mississauga.

He is a “lifelong learner” and he holds an undergraduate degree in Commerce from the University of Toronto, a Certificate in Adult Education from Seneca College, and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Newcastle in Australia.

Outside of work, he is an avid traveller. He enjoys discovering new food, wine, and beer, and he is a big sports fan – with his passion being baseball!

He hopes to support the development of strong employer relationships so that Brock students can work towards attaining their personal and professional goals.

“Don’t aspire to make a living…aspire to make a difference.” – Denzel Washington

Ryan Larouche
Talent Partnerships Consultant
Co-op Education
905 688 5550 x4502
rlarouche@brocku.ca

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

  • Business development
  • Talent acquisition and recruitment
  • Relationship management

Ryan started his career in staffing and recruitment with Scotiabank, where he quickly moved up to manage corporate recruitment initiatives for multiple business lines across Canada, the United States and Latin America. His area of expertise is recruitment in the banking and finance sector, helping to pair talented Brock co-op students with amazing co-op partners!

Sha Uppal
Administrative Assistant
Co-op Education
905 688 5550 x5215
suppal@brocku.ca

SKILLS/AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

  • Administrative Support
  • Intercultural Communication

Sha Uppal is a cheerful and dedicated team member with plenty of quirks to make you smile. Her journey has taken her to many interesting places before finding her home at Brock University.

Prior to joining the Brock team, Sha gained diverse work experience in both China and Canada across various sectors including education, marketing, media, real estate and tourism. Her years of experience in various environments equipped her with excellent customer service and problem-solving skills.

Sha holds both a Master of Education in Leadership and Administration from Brock University as well as her bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management from Harbin Normal University in China. She is bilingual in Mandarin and English.

Simone Lammers
Talent Partnerships Consultant
Co-op Education 
905 688 5550 x3367
slammers@brocku.ca

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

  • Working & Supporting Students with Disabilities
  • Building Relationships with Employers

Simone is a proud alumna of Brock University who brings integrity and passion in all that she does. With nine years experience working as a job developer in employment services, she understands the complexities of the local labour market and how to effectively promote her students. Simone started her career in social services, where she supported vulnerable members of the community. She then transitioned into employment services, specializing in job development for people with disabilities.

As a Talent Partnership Consultant, Simone now works with employers to help them find the best talent and ensure successful partnerships.