When opportunity knocked, Jubilee Connor answered.
She was in her third year at Redeemer University, pursuing a biology major and art minor. After filling out a poll that had been sent to science students, Jubilee cited her interest in work opportunities outside the classroom. She began the process of acquiring a co-op placement, meeting frequently with Bruce Wilson, director of Redeemer’s Career Centre, to create an appealing application and navigate logistics.
“I knew I loved biology. I developed a passion for mycology,” she said of the study of fungi and mushrooms, often used for medicine.
But things change. As time passed, Connor’s interests shifted. She encountered a scientific illustrator—a job she did not know existed. This altered her path, making her goal to become one herself while continuing to increase her knowledge in mycology. The result? Switching to an art major and biology minor.
However, instead of undoing the co-op process, Connor decided to go ahead with the unique opportunity. After some time on the job, she knows that she has learned, broadened her horizons and benefited from this positive experience.
Working for the federal government, Connor interned with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) as a project assistant for its operations office and integration systems management teams. Her responsibilities included: spreadsheeting, organizing, providing feedback on user guides and government documents, performing bug testing on credit and tracking IT systems, and becoming familiar with single window information management IT systems.
“Acquiring this co-op was a very opportunity-driven process. Some miracles were performed while Bruce worked to have Redeemer recognize the program.”
Connor admits that she “felt some imposter syndrome” when she started at ECCC because she had dropped biology to a minor, but as she has learned and become comfortable, it boosted her confidence.
I am shown time and time again that I am taken care of outside of myself, that my backup plans are useless compared to God’s plan for me.
Considering herself someone who “has had a difficult time separating self-worth from academics,” Connor’s position has reassured her of her own intelligence. “I am extremely grateful for that. I am shown time and time again that I am taken care of outside of myself, that my backup plans are useless compared to God’s plan for me.”
This understanding has allowed Connor to focus on the positive benefits and see her time at ECCC as an opportunity for learning and growth.
“I don’t know if I see myself in this sort of position or organization more permanently. There are parts I enjoy, aspects I tolerate and some tasks I find draining—like most jobs.” Connor says her role isn’t as glamorous as field biology or something of that nature, but it is equally as important to environmental stewardship.
“Policy work, office tasks, they might not be everyone’s dream jobs, but they can be rewarding.”
Connor’s time at ECCC has also reinforced her passion for people, as she ultimately wants a job where she can foster growth in a team, in a position that isn’t performed in isolation.
She credits her time at Redeemer with helping her develop her ability to collaborate, something she believes is a crucial quality in the workforce.
“I attribute a large portion of my growth to Rooted Worship.” Co-chairing the creative and expressive worship team allowed her to hone her leadership skills and learn about herself in a team environment, giving her a jump on being an effective team member.
With time left in her co-op, Connor said she had learned a lot. “It has confirmed that I am good at this sort of work.”
She is grateful “for the future opportunity for stability this provides,” if she chooses to stay in the field.
As someone who began university with the idea to be ambitious and pivot as she learned more about her interests and abilities, Connor’s co-op is an example of this mindset. By doing so—even after her interests had somewhat shifted—she took a risk, one that has expanded her knowledge and appreciation for collaboration and fostering team growth.
“It’s obviously been a journey. One I’m still taking, giving up my control while trusting in him.”