At Immaculata, CO-OP Work Experience is Paving the Way For Bright Future Careers

Patrick Taillefer

Learning beyond the four walls of the classroom has
provided students with diverse educational journeys.

DANA LEAHEY  Co-op placement director at Immaculata oversees a thriving program for ambitious students

DANA LEAHEY Co-op placement director at Immaculata oversees a thriving program for ambitious students

As a testament to Immaculata High School’s commitment to experimental learning, five standout students have embarked on diverse educational journeys, contributing their skills to fields across the City of Ottawa. Ranging from healthcare and electrical services to art and mechanics, these ambitious students navigate real-world workplaces on co-op placements. Each of their experiences offers a compelling narrative of personal growth, skill development, and the invaluable intersection of education and practical application.

According to Dana Leahey, Immaculata’s cooperative program teacher, students register themselves to participate in the co-op program and then determine the careers they are interested in pursuing. Before beginning their placements, students must complete all of the required health & safety training, build their resumés, practice interview skills and learn about worker’s rights and responsibilities just to name a few. Leahey singled out the willingness of employers in the Ottawa region to take on co-op students as the main reason for the success of Immaculata`s program.

“We have many excellent employers in the region who welcome our students into their workplaces year after year and provide valuable learning opportunities for young people. We are always seeking new opportunities in the community for our students and local employers often reach out to inquire about having one of our students work with their team.”

Next, we interviewed another 12th grade student, Julian, who was working his placement at the Ottawa General Hospital and other campuses across the City. Cool, calm and collected, the young man expressed his desire to pursue a future career as a doctor, a role which mainly influenced his decision to work his placement in healthcare. He then explained his contributions as a co-op worker at the local hospitals.

“I work in medical imaging, meaning I assist medical imaging technologists with their scans, such as x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging, and then help the technologists identify components of each scan.”

Post-graduation, Julian plans to pursue a university degreein biomedical science or health science, followed by studies in neurology, dermatology or radiology at medical school. He then plans to do a residency and become a qualified healthcare professional.

On a recent visit to Immaculata, The Mainstreeter interviewed Emma, a 12th grade student working her placement at the Ottawa School of Art. Citing creative interests like theatre and graphic design as inspiration for her desire to enroll in this placement, Emma described her everyday role in the workplace.

“Recently I’ve been tasked with creating informative signs for multiple events including the school’s Christmas classes, the craft fair and the Halloween costume contest. I also tend to supervise the kids and help reorganize the library,” she explained.

When asked about her future ambitions in the workplace, Emma expressed a desire to remain in the creative field or pursue a career in communications.

We interviewed Tommy on his 17th birthday. Following in his father’s footsteps, he enrolled in a co-op placement as an electrician.

“My dad’s an electrician and he encouraged me to get into it as well. It took a long time to find a placement because there’s a shortage of electrical businesses willing to take on co-op students, but I ended up finding one in the market, and I’ve really enjoyed my experience.”

Tommy assists senior electricians on job sites by providing them with support when required, and he pays closeattention to details in order to learn more about the trade. After graduating high school, he plans to do an apprenticeship in electrical work at Algonquin College.

Exciting job placements make for
valuable life experiences.

Maria, a 12th grade student and Immaculata’s Team Mikinak co-leader, is another of the group of young coop workers. Currently assisting on projects with graduate students in the Department of Neuroscience at Carleton University, under Professor Matthew Holahan, Maria provided great insights into her experience.

“The first project is related to Parkinson’s disease. I help with pipette cell media for the differentiation of dopaminergic neurons. My other project is research connected to Autism

Spectrum Disorder, and we`re partnering with the University of Guelph. We’re analyzing neurons from the brains of rats that are part of a study at Guelph. I get to trace neurons from a live image under a microscope and label spines on the branches of the neurons collecting data.”

In her future endeavors, Maria expressed interest in obtaining a university undergraduate degree in the field of biology.

The final student we met was Michael, an 11th grader working as a mechanic at an auto shop. A wellspoken and muscular young man, Michael advised that his interest in trades work along with the future acquisition of his own vehicle werethe main influences for his placement.

“My duties mainly include changing oil and tires. I wanted to get into trades, and a mechanic shop seemed like a good option for me because I’d like to get my first car and learn how to modify it by myself,” he explained.

When asked about the future, Michael expressed his desire to carry on working as a mechanic, excelling in each area of the trade as a means to further his skillset and achieve his gools.

Filed in: Front Page

You might like:

A Growing Season for the Main Farmers’ Market – New Location, New Management Hold Promise of Exciting Future for Local Market A Growing Season for the Main Farmers’ Market – New Location, New Management Hold Promise of Exciting Future for Local Market
NCC’s Rideau Canal Plans Finally Come to Light NCC’s Rideau Canal Plans Finally Come to Light
OPINION – Part 2: Unlock The Vault – Here Comes Lansdowne 2.0 OPINION – Part 2: Unlock The Vault – Here Comes Lansdowne 2.0
Notice of The Mainstreeter Annual General Meeting Notice of The Mainstreeter Annual General Meeting
© 2024 The Mainstreeter. All rights reserved. XHTML / CSS Valid.
Proudly designed by Theme Junkie.