Sadly, we must say goodbye to our summer co-op students. Timed with the wrap-up of their ONB tenure, this week’s content comes from our students.

Summer at Opportunities NB (ONB) has been an incredible educational experience. I have learned a lot about the work ONB is doing to drive both economic and workforce growth in this province. I even learned plenty about myself, my goals, and my unique talents.

Below are three key lessons I will take away with me and apply to any job I have moving forward.

Professionalism is an imperative

Everyone should work in an office environment at least once, even if your career path ultimately leads to a non-office setting.

Working in an office setting teaches professionalism like nothing else. As a student, coming from a daily routine that allows for wearing anything you want to class, it’s a big (and welcome) change to be expected to wear a suit, dress pants, and nice dress shoes every day. When you are working six feet away from coworkers (and in the same office as the CEO and VPs), you learn to be on your best behaviour always. It was certainly a culture shock, and it helped me grow as an adult. Simply put, it’s easier to be motivated to work when you have dressed appropriately.

Teamwork makes the dream work

Of course, this is something I knew before arriving at ONB. However, I’ve never worked in a place that demonstrated this sentiment as strongly as ONB. As the organization shifted to focus on new priorities, the strength of ONB’s team became apparent. My coworkers offered to help each other with new projects, assist with reorganizing and provided general emotional support.

This was a very impactful learning experience for us as students. We learned about the unpredictability of the real-world work environment. Most importantly, we were able to witness how much everyone in the organization cares about one another.

New Brunswick is growing

Coming from a family that moved away to find jobs years ago, it is heartening to see my home province growing, and to see people choose New Brunswick as the place to begin a great new career. In Alberta, I meet people who left the East Coast to find jobs in the oil patch. This summer I got to learn about people doing the opposite. I learned just how much New Brunswick has done in recent years to spur growth in industries like cybersecurity, financial services, and cannabis and how great its future can be.

Written by Kathleen Willett

ONB’s Student Program is open to fall and winter co-op placements and a summer work term. One hundred per cent of participants would recommend ONB to other students as a place to work. Interested in applying? Contact us.

Cover photo via Flickr Creative Commons