Co-op Success: Douglas College grad scores job with Whitecaps through Co-op placement

Douglas College’s Co-operative Education placements provide connections to incredible work experience opportunities – including working with your favourite sports teams.

Just ask longtime soccer fan and Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching grad Iain McHugh, who took on a co-op with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

“I had been a fan of Whitecaps FC for many years – and soccer, itself, even longer – so the possibility to work with them wasn’t something I had to second guess,” McHugh said. “It was exclusively the connection made by Douglas staff in the Sports Science department and Co-op that allowed me to connect and, ultimately, complete my co-op with the team.”

During his time with the team, McHugh joined the Soccer Development department, leading the Whitecaps’ summer camps for kids, including a four-night sleepover camp with close to 100 participants.

“Working on the logistics and execution of the camps was my main task and I helped out on game days at BC Place when needed,” McHugh said.

Following his Co-op placement, McHugh scored again, landing a permanent gig with the team. The experience showed him there were more opportunities for him than he thought.

“Originally, I wanted to go into teaching, like the majority of my cohort, but my interests shifted to sport management and the possibilities of working with a team to help run things internally,” he said. “Co-op provided me with real-world experience that was different to what I had previously done for work.

“It allowed me to see whether or not this was something I would want to pursue as a career.”

National Co-op week runs Mar. 14-18. To learn more about Co-operative Education opportunities at Douglas College, see here.

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