ConocoPhillips provides opportunity for co-op

Andrew Brown, Jenna Van Bodegom and Hannah Erb all have one thing in common – social responsibility is a cornerstone of their University of Lethbridge education.

To that end, they've been able to take advantage of a new scholarship program established by ConocoPhillips to pursue their passion.

"I am thrilled that we now have scholarships available to students completing co-op work terms with not-for-profit organizations or in international development positions," says Lynette LaCroix, program advancement officer with the Management Co-op program. "The experiences students gain through these positions are incredible and in some cases career altering."

The ConocoPhillips Co-operative Education Award, with a value of up to $5,000, is now available to encourage students to take advantage of exceptional co-op opportunities – opportunities that might otherwise have been missed.

Whether students have an interest in working in a foreign culture, have a desire to make a difference in people's lives or simply want to gain career-related experience, a co-op work term in the not-for-profit sector or in international development can really open doors to their future.

Brown began a work term assisting with the planning and organization of the Lethbridge HIV Connection's 20th Anniversary event. Designing his own advertising campaigns and working on the marketing plan from idea generation to implementation and evaluation, Brown gained valuable experience in a real-world setting.

Through her work term with Volunteer Lethbridge, Van Bodegom discovered a possible career path. She had always had a desire to give back to the community and make a difference in people's lives and through the networking opportunities available to her as the Fund Development and Volunteer Coordinator, she made a number of contacts that will allow her to pursue this career path.

Similarly, Erb dreamt of working for an international non-governmental organization in Africa, such as the Samaritans Purse, after finishing university. Through support from the ConocoPhillips Co-operative Education Award, she was able to go to Africa in January and experience just what such a career would entail.

Studies do not end in the classroom and all three of these students, with the valued support of ConocoPhillips, have been able to apply their studies in real-world settings. It has also allowed them to grow as socially responsible community members and make a lasting impact on the world around them.