Valuable Advice on Co-Op Program from a Successful TRU Alumnus

On a beautiful sunny day in Kamloops, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Larrisa Pepper who has just started her new job as a Talent Acquisition Consultant at Thompson Rivers University after a few years working in an HR position in another organization in Kamloops.

I reached out to Larrisa for career advice on Human Resources Management. Looking at her profile on LinkedIn, I had noticed and was so amazed at how much achievement she has made since she was just in her third year at Thompson Rivers University back in 2013.

The most interesting thing that surprised me about her was the fact that she was the recipient of the Co-Op Student the Year Award 2013 from the Association for Co-operative Education BC & Yukon. Also, she was the founder of the TRU Human Resources Management Club which I am now running as a President.

The most valuable things that I learned from Larrisa was her enthusiasm, determination, and a spirit of trying out new things and no fear of making mistakes. She said university is the best environment for students to try out new things. So, do not afraid of making mistakes, getting failures as we will learn a lot from those. Applying a trial and error method is crucial. You fail, you do it again.


Larrisa also shared that her first co-op job at TRU actually did not exist back then. It meant “she just created it”. She is a proactive individual, I could tell. She inspired me to a spirit of “just ask”. If you are looking for something and can not find it, so just ask. You may not know that the new opportunities come to you just by asking. People do not get things that they want just because they did not ask. If you want to do things, do not sit still and wait for the opportunities to come.

In my situation looking for a co-op job, she advised me to proactively email to the departments, organizations that I want to work for. According to her advice, I should express my interest in working in particular positions and things that I want to do and learn from the job. People may offer you the job that may not actually exist or they have never thought of, it is worth a try.