No one expected 2020 to be like this, especially not high school seniors. Our final year of high school was cut short and replaced with an incredibly unique experience. We continued our education through online learning and I was one of the fortunate ones who was able to continue my co-op position. My name is Madison Albert, I am a student at Canterbury High School in Ottawa, Canada. I am part of the Business Specialized High Skills Major (SHSM) Program and the Dance Program. As part of my SHSM requirements, I had to complete a cooperative education course, and I was lucky enough to have my placement here at FileCatalyst within the marketing team. This fall I will be attending Carleton University to obtain my Bachelor of Commerce with a concentration in Management. After this, I would like to attend law school and one day become a corporate lawyer. 

I had extremely high expectations for this position going into my interview and on my first day. I was concerned about this co-op placement because I did not think I had the qualifications. My teacher encouraged me to apply and I was thrilled to receive the news that I had been selected for the position. My supervisors supported me throughout this process and I could not be more proud of myself for succeeding when faced with many different challenges. This placement exceeded my expectations. 

I learned many things during my placement, from file transfer technology to digital marketing, and finally workplace experience. Going into this position I did not fully understand file transfer technology. By the end of my first week, I felt highly educated on file transfer technology and it made this co-op experience much easier. Over my entire placement, I have also been exposed to many facets of digital marketing. I created graphics, social media posts, and enhanced my research skills. Throughout this process, I also received real-world work experience, which as a high school student was something I was lacking.

I was dealt a unique situation for my final year of high school. Due to COVID-19, I had to finish my school year through online learning. Little did I expect that I would be able to continue my co-op placement during this pandemic. Since I began my co-op placement in February 2020, I was able to gain both in-office experience and remote working experience. Mid-March schools were officially closed and the future of my graduating year was up in the air. At the beginning of April, I was able to resume my position, as opposed to most of my peers who were not as fortunate. Even while I was working from home, I was able to maintain daily meetings with my supervisor, Content Marketer, Samantha Sjodin. It was great that I could still learn and gain experience throughout this pandemic. I had the opportunity to work hands-on with launches and research. This was not what I was expecting from my co-op course but I am incredibly thankful for this rare experience. 

I want to thank my Cooperative Education teacher Rupa Jolly who pushed me to apply for this position and supported me throughout it. I want to thank both Marketing Manager, Gerald Nelson and Content Marketer, Samantha Sjodin for giving me this opportunity and teaching me so much about this industry. I have gained many new skills that I will take with me into my post-secondary education and later in the workforce. FileCatalyst has been an amazing place to work and I would recommend it to anyone considering it for a co-op placement. This was a once in a lifetime experience and I am so grateful for this opportunity.