Friday was the first snowfall of the winter and I can say the feeling is peculiar. Peculiar because it reminds me that my coop term here at Sustainable Waterloo Region is rapidly coming to an end and the fact that on the way to my first team meeting, I was sweating walking to the office in 34 degree weather. So with that all said, I ask myself where the term has gone…
My experiences at Sustainable Waterloo Region differ tremendously from my previous work experiences. I’m very fortunate to have been able to experience many of the functional areas within the organization and meet such a wide range of professionals, academics, and community volunteers that together share the same passion and vision as Sustainable Waterloo Region. Coming into this coop term I can truthfully say I had no idea what to expect. I’ve had limited to no experience with not-for-profit organizations and have always worked in the public for-profit sector. I feel the most significant factor that sets Sustainable Waterloo Region apart from other organizations I’ve been a part of is the meaningful relationships that are created for the benefit of the organization, but most importantly, the benefit of the individual. Being a part of many interview processes for the recruitment of next term’s coops, the value in meaningful work is what continues to drive the success of the organization.
So the question I ask now is what’s next? As for me, I will be returning to the University of Waterloo for another term of schooling, but with my studies in the Environment and Business program, I feel my contributions will continue to be seen at Sustainable Waterloo Region. As for next term’s coop students, I’m sure the first couple of days will be overwhelming and a lot to dive right into, but from one program coordinator to another – I can assure that by the last three weeks of their coop term, that rewarding feeling will be mutual!