Brock Co-op kicks off the new year with a successful Orientation Day

Starting off the new academic year on a high note, Brock University’s Co-op Department hosted their annual Orientation Day for incoming students on Tuesday September 5. The majority of the day’s events occurred in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre and Thistle Hallway. Drawing a crowd of more than 300 incoming Brock students, from the 39 different Co-op programs offered on campus.

Orientation Day, or ‘O-Day’, was organized by the Brock Co-op Department, with some great help from former alumni who came out to spend their afternoon volunteering for the event. Throughout the day, new students were treated to many of activities, including networking with Brock graduates, meeting the Co-op team on campus, taking place in fun career-related activities, and getting to sit in on lectures and a panel of former students.

The day’s big guest speaker was Fabio Marrama, a graduate of Niagara College’s Business program and recipient of Hamilton/Niagara’s Top 40 Under 40 Business Achievement Award 2017. Fabio works as a Partnership Specialist for FirstOntario Credit Union, and had no trouble firing up the excited crowd of new students during his engaging presentation. Fabio was not the only up-and-coming star featured during the day; a panel of successful former Brock Co-op grads also came out to speak to the crowd about their achievements and the merits of the program.

Carolyn Halinda, Career Consultant with the Co-op Department, was one of the organizers behind the event.

“Co-op Orientation Day was a fantastic opportunity for incoming students to meet their peers and build their social networks”, Ms. Halinda noted. “Our senior student and alumni panel provided insight into their past experiences and tips for future success. Our sessions also incorporated fun activities to jumpstart the student’s career development plan and link Campus to Career.”

Andrew Bassingthwaighte, who works in Co-op Education as a Career Consultant, spoke in more depth about the program as a whole.

“One of the major benefits of Co-op Education at Brock is how students can apply what they have learned in the classroom directly to industry providing an immediate contribution to their employer,” Bassingthwaighte explained. “They are then able to take these experiences back into the classroom to help frame what they are learning in within an industry context.”

Andrew further detailed how the program is a major benefit to young students entering the job market:

“Another key benefit to Co-op Education is that it doesn’t just prepare students for jobs while at university. The training and support they receive from the Co-op Education Office, coupled with the experiences gained within the work force, provides students with the tools needed to be successful throughout their careers”, Mr. Bassingthwaighte stated.

the Brock Co-op program offers students a minimum of 12 months’ work experience relevant to their field of study. 15 per cent of full-time Brock students are in the Co-op program, and according to a Leger Marketing study conducted in 2014, 80 per cent of employers say that Co-op students are potential future employees.

To learn more about the program, visit the Co-op office on Brock campus in Mackenzie Chown A-Block or online at

-Quinton Ascah, Assistant News Editor 

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