Lincoln Hood | Co-op Student
As my co-op with Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) comes to a close I recognize how time flies. I began this job 8 months ago and since then worked on a number of projects, gained valuable skills, and had the opportunity to work alongside numerous amazing people.
Before starting at ONC I would have said that I knew about Ocean Networks Canada, but after working here for 8 months I can’t believe the extent of what I learned about Ocean Networks Canada and the ocean in general. The amount of hard work being done by the staff at ONC to bring ocean science and data to researchers, students and the general public is more than I had realised. I worked here for less than a year and participated on a lot of projects, so to think about everything staff members worked and continue to work hard on is humbling.
Some of the projects I worked on to help bring ONC’s data to students and the public were:
- Helping to organize World Oceans Day events in Victoria, B.C.;
- Working with Dr. Ross at Dalhousie University to provide her students with data packages to use for their projects in the Conversations with Scientists class;
- Helping to develop a television show called Ocean Alive in which interviews with experts, motion graphics and ONC data is used to tell viewers stories about the ocean and;
- Building a national ocean student group.
This ocean student group is the project closest to my heart and I will continue to work on it after my co-op is over. This is a network of students studying anything related to ocean science at institutions across Canada. The steering committee is currently working to develop a clear mission, vision and 5 year plan for this group. If you would like to provide input for this group as a researcher, professor, student, or ocean enthusiast please fill out this survey before January 31, 2014 or join our Facebook group.
After working on those projects and assisting coworkers with their projects the three main lessons that I have learned over this experience are:
- Having a team who can help brainstorm ideas and solutions, share workloads and teach you things based on their experience and expertise is one of the most valuable assets you can have in a job.
- Networking and making connections is a skill that you should always work to improve and use as often as possible. Having a large network can often lead to knowledge and opportunities that you might not have otherwise had.
- Being able to communicate ideas and concepts in a relevant and interesting way to a general audience is key. Having this skill means you truly understand the topic and recognize the value in sharing this topic with multitudes of people.
Gaining skills for your career and learning these kinds of lessons is where the value lies in co-op programs. I am so grateful to be able to participate in the co-op program at the University of Victoria and for companies like Ocean Networks Canada who take students under their wing and help them to grow.