Nanjing Forestry University, Jiangsu, China
For my first co-op work term I worked as a research assistant at Nanjing Forestry University. I worked on a research project named “Agroforestry and its impact on soil carbon storage”. I was supervised by Dr. Guibin Wang, professor of NFU college of International Education and guided by his graduate students. Most of the time, I was involved in labs and doing experiments. But what I learned most from this research experience was data analysis skills, which is a key step of doing scientific research. I learned how to use SPSS, a more professional software than Microsoft Excel, to deal with experimental data. During the first half of my co-op term, I worked together with a summer research group from Alabama Agricultural & Machanical University (AAMU), and I served as a translator for them. I am so glad that I helped them solve many problems that they could not deal with themselves. My trans-cultural communication skill was improved during this process. At the end of the work term, I completed a research paper and gave an oral presentation in front of NFU leaders. My Co-op experience allowed me to learn some real and practical hand-on skills, which is what most employers are looking for. I am confident that co-op experience makes me more competitive in job markets after my graduation.