From Walt Disney World in Florida to kayaking the Salish Sea, Vancouver Island University students had a busy summer thanks to co-operative education.
Diane Awad spent the summer working toward her hospitality management degree by keeping things magical for visitors to Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café at Disney World, and tourism management student Alyssa Deggan took to the waters of the Salish Sea where she used her newly acquired skills to guide paddlers for Pender Island Kayak Adventures.
The two are among the fourth-year students in the recreation and sport management and tourism studies and hospitality management programs to share their workplace experiences at VIU’s faculty of management Co-operative Education Symposium on Friday (Sept. 21).
Awad put in a three-month stint at one of the world’s largest quick-service restaurants, and while she didn’t earn a lot of money for her time behind the counter, it was a rewarding experience.
“It’s very helpful to be able to apply things we’ve learned to a job – all those little management things and business concepts,” she said.
Deggan, who grew up in Ladysmith and had limited kayaking experience, needed to prepare quickly for her co-op job.
“I was on a study abroad program in Mexico in March when I was contacted about the opportunity,” she said. “I came home in April, took a five-day intensive kayak guide training course in May and started work in June.”
Over the past year, 186 VIU students participated in co-operative education work with participants hired locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.