Unconventional Tips for being the Least Hated Co-op Student or Intern

Co-op placements and internships can be challenging, exciting, and eye-opening experiences. It can be hard to get a good one, but if you’ve worked hard and landed yourself the placement of a lifetime, you want to do everything you can to make a good impression and get the most of the short time you have. Obviously you should pay attention to the conventional tips; show up to work early, stay late, be pro-active, look for ways that you can be an asset to your employer, and be humble; you’re not going to be a Senior Sales Manager on your first day. However, I think the unconventional tips are what are going to potentially save you from being the idiot 20 year-old at the company. It won’t matter if you work 60 hours a week and single-handedly earn the company $100 grand if you hook up with your boss’ daughter, so read these Unconventional Tips for being the Least-Hated Co-op Student at your company.

1. Let’s start off with a simple one: Don’t get in road rage. Why, you ask? Well, unless you work for a company of three, and those three people have no clients, relatives, friends or network of any sort, the chances of you flipping off your company’s CEO, your manager’s next potential client, or the husband of your co-worker (whom you will meet at your company Christmas party), are quite high. It’s Murphy’s Law. So what if there are 500,000 people in your city, I guarantee the person you call an #$*%’ing idiot and tell them to go back to driving school WILL be someone you know. So the next time you get pissed in traffic, take a breath, put on some classical music and move on.

2. Change your phone ringer to sound like a phone, or better yet put it on silent. Having “Slave 4U” going off in a business meeting will not gain you respect, if you get lucky it will make your boss think that’s your offer to work Saturday and Sunday. Either way, just change your ringtone.

3. Always double check your “TO:” line in your e-mails, even the CC: and BCC:’s. “OMG my boss sux sooo much and his secretary is a total biatch” will likely get you the boot, but if it doesn’t get you fired it will definitely make for an unpleasant few months. I hope to God you would never be dumb enough to send an e-mail like that in the first place, but if you are that dumb, at least make sure that it’s going to your BFF and not your CEO.

4. If you have a car, make sure that it’s clean and change your radio station to classic rock or something boring before you get out of the car. You might think I’m going to far with this, but you’ll wish you listened to me when a colleague needs a ride home and “Let’s get N-A-S-T-Y get ready for a nasty time” is bumping and you have last week’s McDick’s wrappers on the floor. You might not lose your job for it, but you’ll definitely solidify your status as the “20 year-old tool” of the office.

5. Depending on how much of a party guy/girl you are, this one may not sit well with you – but don’t bring home any hotties from the bar for the duration of your placement. Like I said about Murphy’s Law, that hot babe you’re picking up WILL be your boss’ daughter, and honestly that’s only hot until you have your desk packed up for you on Monday morning. I’m certain there’s no one-night stand worth losing your hard-earned job for. If this just seems like a FAR too challenging task for you (Ew, go on a date, don’t pick people up in bars) at least make sure you do some research before doing the dirty. Tell the person where you work, if they say “Oh! You must know my Mom Jane in accounting!!” - Run.

Hopefully these tips will help you out in the future. If you think of any unconventional tips I’ve forgotten, write a comment, maybe we can save some poor co-op students from failure.

Peace and Love,


Love your neighbour as yourself.

So it's 4:30 in the morning and I just got off the phone with my brother. He is a fantastically talented and overall wonderful person in Waterloo. Tonight my brother called me upset because some asshole called him a faggot. So first of all, my reaction is "who is this loser and why didn't you punch him square in the face?", Ryan is slightly more reasonable than I am I suppose. So Ryan continues to tell me that not only was this guy calling him a fag but that his friends were saying "he doesn't hate gay people he's just using a word". Okay, I call bullshit...sort of. He might not hate gay people, but he certainly knows how to wield his words to hurt gay people.

So why does he want to hurt a great gay guy whom he doesn't even know? I have a few thoughts on the matter, but the main one is that he hates himself, or at the very least a part of himself. This guy, like many many others have in the past, got too drunk tonight and his true feelings about himself came out and he decided to take it out on the most obvious target. I mean, you're not going to take it out on a black man, a Jewish woman, a physically disabled person... No one will stand back and watch that happen (that's probably not true, but I'm trying to be slightly optimistic about society). So why do we stand back and watch someone call another human a fag? Why do we let people at work make rude gay jokes about other straight guys? Why do we let people make remarks about their bros calling them fairies? The last time I checked having someone say "you're so straight, you probably love guys" wasn't a very funny insult, but sexual orientation is somehow funny regarding gay people.

So now what? The word is out there, my brother is upset, I wish I could say this was the first time this had ever happened, but the world is full of douches so of course it isn't. This guy, just like some of the guys on the UW football team (making us proud one season at a time), some random bros, some insecure closeted gay men etc. have all used this word in an act of supposed hate against my brother. My thought is that these guys (no I'm not being sexist, it's just always turned out to be other males) have the IQ's of trolls. That doesn't excuse them by any means, but trying to explain self-esteem and love and compassion to a guy who can't understand how to tie his shoes is going to be difficult.

My question is, who are the people standing around listening to these morons and not saying a single word? They are (potentially) smart, well spoken, loving, wonderful people, and yet they still let their friends insult total strangers. That's not okay with me, and it shouldn't be okay with you. Sure, someone called my brother a fag, but if that guys best friend turned to him and said "hey man, not cool" I would bet the conversation would've ended there. But instead everyone kept partying and pretending nothing was wrong, which empowered an empty-headed loser to keep going.

This whole "it gets better campaign" is great, but my brother is 23 and is getting hated on like I did when I was 7. Sure, it does get better eventually, but what are you doing personally to make sure it gets better? I'm a straight white female, I have absolutely no reason to stand up for gay rights. Yes, I have a gay brother, but we all share the earth, we're all here together, so you have a gay brother too. In actuality, you probably have a gay uncle, a gay friend, a gay teammate, a guy professor - so if you need to have a tie to someone in order to have a backbone and stand up for gay rights, do it for them.

The word fag is not okay. It will never be okay, and I can't stop someone from using it, but I can stop them from feeling empowered to use it. You're right, it would be much easier to let it go and pretend you heard nothing because it's just none of your business, you didn't say it. But how many more years do people like my brother have to wait before it gets better? Hopefully not too long.


No Girls Allowed

I promise this will be my last gripe-y blog for awhile. But I have a bone to pick..and what better way to voice my opinion than on here?

First of all, I'll start out with the good stuff.
I'm on a co-op term from January to April, and so far I'm really loving it. I consider myself very lucky to have the position that I do because it isn't related to my major, and it is for an intermediate or senior student. I feel really blessed to have gotten such a great position, and definitely have my Dad to thank for it :) The old phrase "it's not what you know, it's who you know" certainly comes in to play.

Now with that being said I'll explain the job a bit. I can't explain too much without the chance of getting in trouble haha, but basically I'm working on marketing and business development for a...company... in Waterloo. So far I've been working for this company for a few weeks, and I've met some really interesting and influential people.

So here's the bone I have to pick: I went to roughly 5 meetings this past week, and aside from my boss and myself, the only people in these meetings were men. Now I understand that there are certain jobs that attract men, and there are certain jobs that attract women... but you cannot tell me that I am one of the only women in all of Waterloo that would like to be in this kind of fast-paced corporate atmosphere. When I was sitting in one of my meetings this week, I was in a boardroom filled with a couple of CEO's and mayors (no, I'm not a big deal, I just take notes) and I notice that the only women in the building are secretaries. So not only can you not tell me that I am one of the only women in Waterloo that wants to be in this industry, you can't tell me that every woman in that building aspired to be a secretary. I highly doubt that when they were a little girl they dreamed about getting coffee for important people... Nope, I think they probably had dreams of being one of the important people too.

I don't really understand it. Maybe I will in the future, but at this point in time I really don't. Are these demographics based on a woman's ability, or are they based on something else? Do young women see themselves as secretaries from an early age? And yes, I know that there are lots of women in very influential positions that are way more successful than any of the men sitting in that boardroom, but why is it that the odds are if you're a woman you'll be a nurse, teacher, or secretary, and if you're a man... well, you can be whatever you want to be? So here's my question... do women choose this, or is it just easier than fighting to get in to the boy's clubhouse?

On a closing note, my boss told me on Thursday (after I pointed out to her that we were the only women in the office not pouring coffee): "Learn how to play golf and drink whiskey, or else you'll always be a step behind".

Peace and love,