Thompson Rivers University

Choose your own co-op

August 30, 2016

Jake MacLaren in front of the International Building.

Bachelor of Arts student, Jake MacLaren, is wrapping up his co-op with TRU’s School of Business and Economics before heading back to classes this September.

MacLaren is going into his fourth year, pursuing a major in mathematics and a minor in creative writing. He’s spent the past four months as a student recruitment and enrolment representative, where he says he’s been honing his communication skills.

MacLaren has been tasked with a variety of projects, interacting with new undergraduate BBA students, creating a contest to incentivize MBA alumni to update their personal information and planning orientation activities during the first week of September. In that regard, he says, “my communication, organizational, creative writing, time management, teamwork, Word and Excel skills have all significantly improved.

“I absolutely recommend doing a co-op. You basically create what you want to get out of a job. Not only that but you’re always supported throughout the position and get to build your network of contacts, which will no doubt help in being employed in future careers. It’s a win-win all-around.”

One of MacLaren’s interesting projects combines his creative writing skills with his love of technology. He has been authoring the story and producing the structure for a choose-your-own-adventure game themed around the majors you can choose in business at TRU.

Play MacLaren’s choose-your-own-adventure game

“The intention behind this was to create a fun way to show how business skills can be applied to the real world. Albeit, in a fictional scenario, it was also to get students engaged and interested in taking a BBA at TRU,” says MacLaren, adding, “It’s been really fun flexing my creative muscles. I hope it entertains, interests, and engages students as much as I want it to.”

He is still deciding on his plans after graduation. “I wouldn’t mind working as a data analyst or statistician for a major company, but I’m also interested in other careers like marketing and using my creative writing skills in that regard. However, if I ever make it big writing screenplays, I would definitely not be opposed to that either.”

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