This article highlights my time working at The Sustainable Switch as their first-ever co-op student.
Written by: Thomas Tinmouth
Time really does fly when you are having fun. It feels like just yesterday I had my first day with The Sustainable Switch and I’m now in my last week! This co-op term has been filled with writing articles and gaining new knowledge on a wide range of sustainable topics, professional development tasks and lead generation, and much more. Not to mention a very supportive and fun work environment. January to April 2021 was a very tough time for co-op students to find summer placements because of the vast amount of changes for companies brought on by the Covid -19 pandemic. Cases were spiking and uncertainty was high. After going through many interviews and sending my resume out to a multitude of companies, I finally landed a placement with The Sustainable Switch, and oh am I glad that I did!
So, what does your typical day as a co-op student look like? My core working hours were 8:30am-4:30 pm, but this can be discussed upon your start date. On Sunday night you will receive a schedule for the week highlighting your tasks for each day. I really enjoyed getting this schedule before the week got rolling because it gave you an idea of what each day would entail and allowed you to pre plan possible ideas to write about or companies to reach out to. This also means you start each day of your co-op term with a clear task and goal for that day. When the task was completed for the day I would share it with a supervisor and depending on what it was, moved on to the next stage of posting it or further reviewing and editing the doc.
During each task help is only an email click or video call away. Saige, Raquel, and Mira are always there to answer questions and give you further guidance on what they expect from that task. The work environment at The Sustainable Switch is very inclusive and has a strong “Team” mentality. To accomplish success, everyone in the organization must execute their tasks effectively, but this doesn’t mean you are alone in doing so. Before this co-op term I had never had a fully remote job before, like many others prior to the pandemic. Having a quiet space in your house with a desk and monitor is important to be able to work at home effectively with no distractions. I would suggest setting up a spot in your house prior to starting so you can focus solely on your work tasks from day 1. Also, laying out personal schedules for each day can help keep you organized and on task. For example, if it is Monday and your task is to write an article highlighting the new IPCC report, make sure to schedule some time to eat lunch and stretch your legs as you can get lost just sitting at your desk working all day. Remember to eat and get some sunlight if you can!
My favourite thing about working at The Sustainable Switch was the vast amount of knowledge I gained through writing articles. I got to focus on articles pertaining to the environment and sustainability which are where my interests lay. Coming out of this co-op job you will definitely have increased knowledge on various sustainable topics and your writing skills will greatly improve due to the fact that you will be writing and editing so often.
Overall, this has been an amazing co-op term and I would recommend working at The Sustainable Switch to all other co-op students, particularly those with an interest in the environment. This is a great place for a co-op student to be and I am really excited to continue to watch the company grow!