Co Operative Opportunities
The learning process is nurtured
For many teens, balancing school, sleep and a social life can be enough of a challenge, so adding in a 5 am co-op placement would only increase the degree of difficulty. This responsibility was one of Asher Siebesma’s most significant challenges during his term – but it was worth it.
Asher’s placement as a coach at Ideal Fitness meant that sometimes he worked early in the morning or late into the evening, as the fitness centre opened at 5 am and closed at 10 pm. What was most surprising to him during his co-op was how many people arrived at such an early hour to workout and have fun with the other members and the coaches.
The confidence and leadership skills I have gained will help me tremendously during university.”~ Asher Siebesma ‘18
Asher noticed how all the coaches and members are like a big family, rather than just numbers.
Having already enrolled in an Outdoor Leadership course at Prairie College in Alberta, the co-op experience confirmed his fall plans. My co-op has shown me that I am capable of being in a leadership position during stressful situations, which will be very useful in the future.”
Brad Rigby, Operations Manager at Ideal Fitness, was surprised with how well Asher was able to step in and play an equal role in the company.
Specifically how he interacts with our members. His ability to make others feel comfortable, in what is typically a very uncomfortable environment, is a tremendous contribution.”
As someone who is high energy and enjoys talking to people, the coaching was Asher’s favourite part of his co-op placement. Working at Ideal Fitness included many different responsibilities besides coaching like cleaning, filing papers, making videos, and organizing equipment. While he expected to interact with people, he also formed friendships with clients as well as the other coaches.
Ideal Fitness includes co-op students as part of their regular human resource strategy as it provides them with a vast pool of talent. Brad explains, “co-ops are a great way to provide on-the-job training over a more extended period. It gives the students a lower pressure situation to learn as rather than thinking they have a short period to learn and make an impression; they know they are here for several months. The learning process can be nurtured. It has also given us a chance to let people develop to a point where they can feel comfortable and be a leader in the business.”
Brad encourages other organizations to consider taking on co-op students. “You often find great value in these people. Everyone needs to start somewhere and giving them an opportunity in your company with a co-op position gives them a foot in the door and allows them to take the ball and run with it. Some of our most productive team members started in a co-op position.”
Asher recommends other students to consider a co-op placement, “co-op has been an excellent way for me to experience what life is like after school, and has helped to show me where my interests are.”
Adrianne Sprogis, Communications Specialist
Hamilton District Christian