From the classroom to the job site: co-op creates career successes

Wed, Jan 20, 2016

Metro Vancouver, B.C. – Between them, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) alumni Brett Ing and Gurjit Lalli took advantage of six co-op placements as part of their BBA in human resources management program.

Keen to apply the skills they were learning in the classroom, as well as make industry connections and gain practical job experience, both graduates turned to the university’s cooperative education and career services department to enhance their education.

“It gave me the opportunity to get real-world experience. There’s nothing better than learning directly from professionals who have been in the industry for many years,” said Lalli, who graduated with his degree last August.

Lalli did two placements in a Canada Revenue Agency tax centre, another in the organization’s HR department, and a placement as a human resources coordinator with Finning International, which immediately offered him the full-time job he holds today.

“It’s a great opportunity to get a jump start on your career in a supportive environment,” he added.

Ing’s experience in KPU’s co-op program was similar to that of Lalli. After two placements with Cloverdale-based Mainroad Contracting, the HR graduate kept in touch with his supervisor as he finished his studies. He took a full-time job in his area of work after graduation.

“It’s a great way to learn and get some hands-on practical experience while you apply the concepts learned in the classroom,” Ing said.

Co-op placements offer students a variety of benefits that can help them on their path to success. Not only is on-the-job work experience a strong complement to in-class education, placements offer job-seekers invaluable networking opportunities. “The tireless work the KPU instructors do to secure co-op job opportunities and prepare students is one of the main reasons I am in my current position,” Lalli said.

Co-operative education at KPU works with employers to develop relevant work experiences for students. To learn more, visit

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at    

Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

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