Hi, my name is Sunny and since September 2018, I’ve been working as a co-op student at The Village Hive. You may be wondering what ‘co-op’ is. Co-op is short for cooperative education and it is a high school program that allows for students in grade 11 and 12 to shadow and learn while working at a placement. This allows for the students to learn things they would not have learned in a classroom, gather professional references, and obtain work experience. This program also benefits the business/organization that is taking in the student. Co-op gives businesses a chance to receive an apprentice that is ready and eager to learn and help and I definitely recommend business and students to enter this program.
Since I started working at The Village Hive, I have learned and done a lot of things. A benefit of working at a small business is that I get an opportunity to do a task from almost all areas of business. From accounting to administration to marketing to website design, I have done a little bit of everything. The Village Hive has allowed me to learn things I would not learn sitting in a classroom. Things like editing and designing an actual website, balancing actual expenses, and sending actual invoices. Something that I have learned from the entrepreneurs and small businesses here is that running a business takes a lot of dedication. To be an entrepreneur means to be a strong-willed, passionate, independent opportunist that gets back up if something fails. Business owners are dedicated and devoted to the success of their business and ensure that every little detail is taken care of.
I have learned from workshops and clubs at school and The Hive about small businesses. Firstly, from the monthly business show & tells at the Hive, I have picked up on the importance of networking and good customer service for all businesses. In addition, during a Leadership and Customer Service workshop at school, the presenter spoke on being on the customer’s team. Often, customers feel that they must negotiate against the employees for the best value. However, by establishing and maintaining that both the employee and the customer are on the same side, everyone benefits. Lastly, in participating in the DECA business club, I have learned what small businesses are and how they are different from other businesses. This year, I learned about channel management and public relations and the importance to all businesses that these things are optimized.
The Village Hive has taught many things, the most important of these is in shaping my future. This placement has helped in my understanding of the classes that I have taken and am currently taking. Co-op has given me an opportunity to put my learning into practical use. For example, the I have been using skills that I learned in Grade 9 Business. I can see everything in actual motion as opposed to the academics of business that I learned in Grade 10 Business. It is also easier for me to grasp concepts that I am currently learning in Grade 11 Marketing and will certainly be helpful in my Accounting class next semester. Furthermore, I have received a better understanding of the working world and future careers I am interested in and might pursue.