Rand is a grade 12 student who spent this past semester doing a four credit co-op at Hawkins & Co. Accounting- Professional Corp. We met with Rand before she started her placement and were excited to have the opportunity to touch base with her partway through her placement to see how things were going. You can read her pre-placement blog here and her mid-placement blog here. Now that the semester has come to an end we wanted to touch base with Rand one final time to learn about her reflections on her placement overall. We are thankful for Rand’s willingness to meet with us and we wish her all the best as she embarks on a new chapter.


What has been the highlight of your co-op experience?
The highlight of my experience had to be this financial boot camp taught by one of the partners at my placement. It was extremely informative, and actually taught me a lot about personal finances. I really appreciated the opportunity of sitting in on it.


Has this placement encouraged you to continue pursuing this career path?
This placement has encouraged me to keep pursuing accounting. It had its ups and downs but overall it’s made me decide for sure. The next steps are definitely just throwing myself into my studies and completing a degree.


What did you find to be most unexpected or surprising about your placement?
The lack of math was surprising. I actually really hoped I’d be able to do more math there, I like the subject and that was a big reason I wanted to go into accounting. Perhaps in different fields of accounting there will be, that’s now for me to explore.


What skills were most important for you while you were on your placement?
Well I didn’t do much skilled work, mostly scanning and filing. Patience was a big help to have and organization because of the nature of the work I was doing. Perhaps though real account work needs different skills.


What advice would you have for students who have signed up for a co-op placement next year?
Don’t expect it to be perfect. Every place has its negatives and positives, but you have to keep positive because it’s good experience on a resume and life in general.


How important do you think co-op placement is for career navigation and exploration?
It’s very important. You get to see the good and the bad from behind the scenes. Sure the internet and colleges provide information, but it’s nothing like the real thing. You get to understand the stress and amount of work that comes with the job. That really helps decision making.


Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
I think I want to mention that in the end it was an experience that I would recommend. It’s taught me a lot about dealing with difficult situations or people. I believe it’s given me a lot more life knowledge than a traditional class setting would’ve given me.


If you’re hoping to take a co-op placement, are looking to understand more about experiential learning or are hoping to find an employer who will host you, then be sure to check out our experiential learning hub here.