Exceptional Business Student Recognized for Co-op Achievements
Erica Costin, a respected team player, has been named the 2020 Co-op Student of the Year, after a term as a research assistant in the business department.
4 min. read
March 22, 2021

Erica Costin, Redeemer University’s outstanding co-op student of 2020, is recognized for her excellence both professionally and academically. Costin is a vibrant promoter of the co-op program, as it enabled her to discover the kind of work she loves, develop new skills and gain the confidence to step forward into her future. As winner of the award, Redeemer has nominated Costin for Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada) Canada’s national co-op student of the year award. The winning students, their institutions and employers will receive national recognition. CEWIL winners will be announced in March 2021 during National Co-op and Work Integrated Learning month.

A Self-Starter

Set to graduate in spring of 2022 with a bachelor of arts, honours and co-operative education degree, Costin recently completed a co-op work term at Redeemer and was nominated for the award by Professor Laurie Busuttil, associate professor and chair of the business program. Busuttil describes Costin as “a natural self-starter. Erica moved projects forward with minimal guidance. She is a consummate and respected team player.” 

Costin worked as a business department research assistant for four months. During that time, Costin conducted research into industry and not-for-profit sectors to assist with the development of business case studies for submission to Ivey Publishing and/or for use in Redeemer University’s business program. Case studies were targeted at industries or topics that lacked sufficient case studies through Ivey. This included the not-for-profit sector, floriculture industry, small- and medium-sized businesses, human resource management and organizational behaviour. 

Charting a Path Towards God’s Call

Helping students like Costin chart a path towards God’s call is a key priority of the Centre for Experiential Learning and Careers (CELC). Through co-operative education, internships, workshops and individualized career guidance, CELC encourages students to explore where God is leading them post-graduation. In Costin’s case, co-op director Bruce Wilson states, “From an initial desire to explore career opportunities in human resources, the segue into academic research completely redirected Erica’s trajectory, leading her into interests in general business. These different work venues have enabled her to involve and reflect on her own strengths and interests, which have aligned completely with the intentions of experiential learning.” 

“I gained lifelong skills from the experience and learned how to ask good questions. I also developed even stronger interpersonal skills and, most importantly, I gained confidence.” 

Applying classroom skills to work settings while exploring God’s call on each student’s life is at the heart of work-integrated learning at Redeemer. Of her co-op experience, Costin states that “it has given me an even greater passion for learning, and I look forward to finding what God is calling me to do. In the meantime, I hope to glorify him in everything that I do through excellent work.”

Costin chose the co-op program to help solidify her career path through applying classroom knowledge in a job setting. The depth of her co-op experience has helped her make decisions about what’s next and gain skills to carry into a future career. 

“I gained lifelong skills from the experience and learned how to ask good questions. I also developed even stronger interpersonal skills and, most importantly, I gained confidence.” 

Costin’s Contributions

According to Busuttil, Costin’s contributions aren’t limited to co-op, 

“Erica volunteers each year in Redeemer’s business peer mentoring program, where she takes an incoming first-year student under her wing and helps them settle into university life. She is highly regarded by her protégés each year and is always available to lend a listening ear and  give wise advice.”

Costin also sits on a number of committees at Redeemer including the experiential learning committee and the joint health and safety committee, where she provides keen insight and voices student interests.

Redeemer’s Co-operative Education Offerings

Redeemer University currently offers co-operative education in three programs: business, kinesiology and urban and intercultural ministry. Participating students graduate with a four-year bachelor of arts after completing 16 months of work-integrated learning in their third and fourth years. Accreditation for the business program is provided by CEWIL Canada, the national body representing nearly 80 post-secondary institutions across the country. Additionally, the accounting stream, offered through the business program, is accredited by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario). Graduates of the Redeemer co-operative education program enjoy a nearly 100 per cent employment rate upon graduation.

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