Co-Op Confessions: Being a College Student in the Workplace
By Diana Gebbia
One of the major differences of taking a co-op instead of taking classes is that you are working with people who are older than you, rather than students who are the same age as you. This can seem intimidating, but it isn’t a bad thing at all. There are many skills that college students contribute to the workplace that adults find useful.
Today, many fields of work require blogging to be done or articles to be written on a website. College students are very good at this, considering we spend much of our time on the Internet reading blogs or articles. Young adults can quickly produce blogs about current events, opinion articles, how-to articles and more. This can prove to people in your workplace that you are productive, which is a valued skill in the workplace.
Another strength college students bring to the workplace is social media skills. Most companies have social media pages. Most college students have many of their own social media accounts, and can use these accounts with no trouble at all. Often, when some adults try to use social media, it can take a while for them to really understand it. Hiring college students who are more accustomed to using social media is definitely a good for a company.
The only weaknesses I think adults would find in college students in the workplace is that we have not yet finished school and do not have long-term work experience. Although this may be true, I think that co-ops can help fix this problem. Co-ops allow college students to learn workplace skills before they have a full time job. If students consider taking a co-op instead of a class, they will limit their weaknesses in the workplace and gain strengths instead.
Although some people may think that having college students around the workplace can be risky, it can actually be great. College students have more strengths than they are often given credit for. Students can contribute a lot to a company, and be considered valuable, so long as are focused, willing to learn, and respectful of others.