A first time for Human Resources, the department had a summer Co-op student join the team. Alysha Rasmussen immersed herself into each subdivision of the HR department, shadowing various members to understand the in’s and out’s of a multifaceted HR department in healthcare. I sat down with Alysha to learn about her experience and how she hopes it influences future co-op students.

Alysha, tell us about your role as the Human Resources Co-op student with PHC?
I am PHC’s first every human resources student. I am very fortunate to have this experience and my main task has been unique. I was tasked with creating a HR Student CO-OP program for future students to come.

How has your experience here differed from other summer placements or co-ops?
This is my first CO-OP placement but I can say that from having such a positive and educational 3 months learning experience here at Providence, I am definitely looking forward to applying for more CO-OP experiences in the future.

This has been more than just a learning experience, there was no set program to come in to, I am creating it as I go along. I find that I am not just thinking about my own learning experience but that of future students, what they might want and how this program will benefit them. I am also thinking from the Employers perspective and how they can gain the most from having a co-op student.

What has been your approach to creating this CO-OP placement?
The HR department has various specialties with in it and I have been able to work with each area such as Recruitment, Labour Relations, Occupational Health and Compensation and Classification. I have shadowed and completed projects for each area. My main goal was to determine what would be the most beneficial for future students wanting to pursue a career in Human Resources, what is going to be most practical for their growth in the field.

What degree are you working towards in school and where do you see yourself headed after graduation?
I am pursuing my Business Administration Degree at the University College of the Fraser Valley. I am specializing in HR and I am also doing a Criminal Justice Minor. Down the road, I see myself working in Labour Relations. I find that my interests in criminal justice and HR align well with the principles of Labour Relations.

How do you feel this experience will help prepare you for the future?
To start, it has definitely helped align my educational path. I am very excited for my last two years of university because I do feel as though my own questions about my career future have been answered and I will be even more focused on reaching my career goals. I think this experience will not only help me with completing and excelling in my education but will help me when I begin my search for a role in HR.

What’s been your favorite aspect of working at PHC?
The people, everyone has been open, welcoming and understanding. Since I am creating the program not following one, everyone has been very helpful and friendly with supporting my development. I have built relationships with people in my short time here, that says a lot about the culture and people of PHC.

What’s the best advice you would give to fellow students looking to do summer placements or CO-OPs?
If the opportunity presents itself, don’t hesitate to grab it. Its one thing to learn in the classroom but the hands on experience is truly an asset. Whether it is a positive or negative experience, it will help you answer the question we all have “is this the right career path for me?”

Thanks Alysha for paving the way and good luck to you in your future.
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