The University of Ottawa's Co-operative Education Programs encourage you to take the time to consider your career path. Writing reflections on your work term will help you deepen your understanding of your values and beliefs and therefore, what career path will be the most rewarding for you.
Reflection questions enable critical thinking with regards to career path development.
Reflection no. 1
So far, what do you like and dislike about your work term and why? (For example, what do you think about the tasks, environment, people, roles and responsibilities?)
Example of a good, well-detailed response: It's important that I gain work experience, and the CO-OP work term is definitely providing that. But I've already discovered that there's more to CO-OP than just getting paid work experience. For example, I firmly believe that organizations need to act as good corporate citizens. I like that this company has been recognized as a leader in corporate citizenship, and it has encouraged me to participate in one of their initiatives. Corporate citizenship is something I will look for in my future employers. I dislike the commute.
Example of a poor, incomplete response: It's important that I gain work experience and the CO-OP work term is definitely providing that.
Reflection no. 2
Based on your performance and learning so far, what strategies do you propose for continuing to boost your performance and learning for the remainder of the work term?
Example of a good, well-detailed response: In terms of performance, I complete all the tasks required, I am always prompt, and I work hard. I also make a special point of demonstrating my work ethic by listening carefully to what's required, seeking clarification when necessary and showing initiative by taking on more than what's expected. In terms of learning, I have been asked to chair two meetings, and this has called on my leadership skills and given me the chance to try some of the management strategies covered in my academic program.
However, I do need to learn more about human-resource policies and the strategic plan of the organization. Therefore, I will ask my supervisor to provide me with more information on these topics. If I show the initiative required to learn more, I would boost my performance and learning for the remainder of the term.
Example of a poor, incomplete response: At this time, I would give myself an "A" for my performance and learning. I complete all the tasks required, I am always prompt, and I work hard. Additionally, I am learning a lot.
Reflection no. 3
Based on the work you have done and anticipate completing over the rest of the placement, what do you think you will write about in your work-term report?
Example of a good, well-detailed response: My work-term report will focus on what I have learned, with a special emphasis on labour relations.
Example of a poor, incomplete response: My work-term report will probably demonstrate what I learned from my work term.