Meet Emily Lozano:
Emily Lozano is going in to her fourth year at the University of Guelph with a major in Management and minor in Human Resources. Emily worked at the Experiential Learning Hub (EL Hub) on a co-op work term last semester as the Marketing & Communications Specialist with the Campus & Community Integrated Learning team, where she worked with local community partners to help them with marketing initiatives & strategy recommendations, as well as general internal and external communications. Throughout her work term, Emily learned about the community’s needs while exploring areas of Sustainable Development Goals, the organizations’ individual operational needs, and creating recommendations to solve real-world challenges. Emily shares more about her experience working with the EL Hub and the four community partners, the best advice she has received as a co-op student, and her advice on getting involved in the community.
What was your role in this co-op work term with the Experiential Learning Hub?
“For my co-op work term, I worked with four local non-profit organizations who had partnered with the EL Hub: The Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition, The SEED, The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital and 10C. My tasks varied but were all related to marketing for the organization’s programs/ resources offered, or improving their communications, internal and external to the organization. After being presented with unique challenges, I provided recommendations on how to best approach the situation and assisted to implement the solution.”
What is the impact of the work you were doing?
“Since non-profits often have limited resources, my work allowed the partners to have someone focusing specifically on marketing & communications, which normally wouldn’t be the case. I was able to simplify some of their weekly operations, expand their reach across Guelph, and provide insight to improve their communication strategies moving forward. As a result, we saw increases in program/event registrations, reductions in operational expenses, and a clearer understanding of the community’s needs.”
What did you learn from this?
“I had the opportunity to explore multiple areas of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as Zero Hunger and Sustainable Cities & Communities, to learn how Guelph is contributing to this shared goal. I gained awareness of social issues that my privilege had blinded me from and have become better-equipped to understand, support and love the people around me.”
What was your favourite part about working with all the organizations you were working with?
“I enjoyed that my role allowed me to get more involved in the community. Although I worked remotely, I assisted with a few in-person volunteer opportunities, and brought some friends along to help as well. As my housemates would tell you, I was more than excited to share what I had learned with my own network of people and look for ways to get others involved as well!”
What's the best advice you received throughout this co-op work term?
“Everything in moderation, including moderation- this position opened my eyes to so many opportunities of interest, but I was reminded that too much of a good thing can also take away from the enjoyment of it. Community work is something I can see myself doing for the rest of my life, and in order for it to continue being life-giving, I need to be conscious that I am not burning myself out!”
Have you worked other work terms? If yes, what were they and what was your role?
“This was my first work term, but I have continued to stay connected with the community partners and I’m working for the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition over this summer. In the fall, I will be doing my next co-op work term with the U of G Fitness & Rec Centre as a Special Events, Outreach and Accessibility Coordinator!”
What is your advice for anyone looking to get involved in their community, specifically in the Guelph community?
“I encourage anyone and everyone to get involved if you can. There is always a need for volunteers, and organizations can place you in a position that builds off your strengths or allows you to develop new skills. If you’re not sure how to get started, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I would be more than happy to provide some direction or answer any questions you have. You could also start by researching some local organizations and select a few that support a cause you are interested in, then reach out to them directly to inquire about the opportunities available.”
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
“A huge thank you to the EL Hub for this incredible co-op opportunity! I’m so excited to watch our partnerships with local organizations grow, and the impact it will have on the well-being of our community!”