Thompson Rivers University

Volunteerism at the heart of success

November 20, 2017

Bachelor of Tourism Management student Michelle Davies has been named Co-op Student of the Year.

Recently announced as the recipient of the 2017 TRU Co-op Student of the Year Award, Bachelor of Tourism Management student Michelle Davies paused to take stock of all the experiences that brought her to this point. “Co-op allowed me to sharpen my professional skills, expand my experiences, discover my career interests and undoubtedly made me a more competitive force on the job market.”

During her first co-op term as the Community Impact Associate at United Way, she discovered her enthusiasm for service. “This role shone a light on my strength and love for working with and helping others.”

After completing that first term and a year as a Bachelor of Arts student, Michelle shifted her focus towards a Sports Event Management Diploma. She is set to graduate from the Bachelor of Tourism Management program in December 2018.

Michelle continued to share her experiences through presentations and spent two semesters abroad in Switzerland.

Through conversations with Co-op Coordinator Marion Oke, Michelle further explored her interests and intentions.  After learning that a role was available through the Future Students Ambassador Team, she put in some volunteer hours before becoming the successful candidate for an eight-month work term.

Reta Langlands, Campus Recruitment Coordinator and co-op supervisor remarked, “Michelle has been a wonderful addition to the team. Students, parents and other stakeholders have enjoyed connecting with her. We’ve all marveled at how she consistently goes above and beyond to ensure that student’s expectations are met.”

Michelle remarked, “I saw that role as an opportunity to develop my ability to work with and serve students. A position on the Future Students was an ideal next step in my progression of student-based service.”

As a Student Recruiter and Enrollment Representative, Michelle managed Campus Tours, which she said she “spearheaded with enthusiasm.” 

“I appreciated the opportunity to show current and prospective students around campus. I felt privileged to be a small part of their journey by providing information that enables them to achieve their long-pursued goal towards a specific program or opens their mind to a pathway they didn’t know was possible.”

In the role, Michelle spent a great deal of time on the road. She spent weeks traveling between schools and communities, giving ten or more presentations a day—amid her other priorities.

Michelle also undertook many aspects of the Fall Open House, which hosted over 300 guests.  “I wanted an opportunity to connect with colleagues and bring each corner of the university together.”

Leading up to the event, Michelle reflected on past occasions, connecting with organizers and individuals to gather insights.  “Moving forward with the feedback in mind and a foundation of education, I wanted the Open House to be inclusive and informative for prospective students and their parents.”

In Michelle’s estimation, the link between campus and community is paramount. Volunteerism is at the heart of her workload; she spent many of her lunch hours presenting on study abroad, as well as managing social media and events promotion for the Kamloops Bike Riders Association. “The common thread that exists between my co-op and volunteer commitment is service to others.”

“I am grateful for the many opportunities I had to pair my passion and education. When I introduce myself to students, I begin by crediting co-op as shaping me professionally.”

The TRU Foundation Awards takes place on November 23. This annual award recognizes outstanding achievement in all aspects of a co-op student’s performance, including academic achievement, work term learning, job achievement/co-op employer feedback, contribution to Co-operative Education and contribution to the community through volunteering and extracurricular activities. 

Refer to the website for more information about Career Education.

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