Co-ops in Schools (CIS) is a province-wide initiative that the BCCA runs annually to increases youth awareness of the co-operative model and sector. This professional mentorship program provides students with the opportunity to learn from mentors who champion and work directly with the co-op model. It fosters the development of productive, ongoing relationships between youth and the sector.
Rudia Nam is a third-year UBC student majoring in International Relations. Mentored by our own Community Administrator Maggie Miland, Rudia shares her experience with the CIS program as an alumnus of the CIS 2018-19 cohort.
Entering into the CIS mentorship program, I had no idea what to really expect but I knew I wanted someone to help guide me in figuring out some clarity in my future career. When I met-up with Maggie for the first time, I was honestly so shocked as to how many of our interests and values aligned with one another. I immediately felt so understood and her caring nature really helped comfort me when thinking about my future, post-graduation.
In the subsequent meetings, Maggie encouraged me to have several informational interviews with other working professionals in different sectors within Vancouver. With her advice, I had 3 informational interviews and was able to glean a lot of knowledge from their own experience in what they have done to get to where they were. I obtained some valuable pieces of advice such as it is okay to work for a couple years post-graduation and in fact, it may be more beneficial to work before going back to grad schooI. I was greatly encouraged by these professionals and Maggie to not worry about having a step-by-step plan of my future career path, rather, seek out different and new opportunities to hone in or refine my skills or even develop new ones.
Early on, Maggie encouraged me to apply to the Young Leaders Delegation for the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) Summit which took place in February 2019. After looking at the banking on values movement and with a piqued interest in learning more about finance, I was really excited and applied. I was later notified that I was selected as one of 35 other young individuals for the delegation. After attending the conference (which I was able to attend with my mentor as well), I am so grateful for the opportunity to have learned so much from GABV and to be a part of a new community of the Young Leaders Delegation. Out of the conference, our YLD is continuing to meet-up and trying to make efforts to have something more substantial and long-term also continue. Some of us have suggested that the YLD could potentially run workshops based on our own areas of expertise and open up these spaces to the public as well. For me, this conference was one of the most rewarding experiences of the mentorship program because I would not have been able to attend without the support of my mentor! Furthermore, the focus of finance of this conference helped tie into my new-found knowledge of the co-operative business model that I had learned from Maggie. It was surprisingly fitting and helped increase my knowledge of how money can change systems in meaningful ways both locally and internationally.
I am so appreciative of the BCCA Co-ops in School program. Moving forward, I feel much more empowered in pursuing unique opportunities and asking people, who are already working in sectors that I am interested in, for more information or other opportunities that they may know of. I was also able to learn how I should be using LinkedIn as a resource, how to clean-up and refine my resume, and network with other professionals. These are tools that are bound to be useful to me in my search for a full-time job in the years to come and help me in my professional development.
I would encourage any student to be a part of this program – I would love for any individual to feel supported in their own career aspirations!
– Rudia Nam
Rudia Nam is a third-year UBC student majoring in International Relations. Stay tuned as she follows up as a guest writer with a article on her experience being one of the 35 international members forming the Young Leader Delegation at the 2019 Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) Summit!
Interested in joining the CIS program as a mentor, student, or supporter? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can collaborate!