“When I was informed about the CO-OP opportunity for the Choctaw Nation in January of 2020, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I’m an accounting major that didn’t know what I wanted to do so this opportunity came at the perfect time. When I found out this position was for the IT department, I immediately thought, “I can’t fix computers. Why would they want me?” I didn’t know at the time how much business is involved in the IT world.
I decided to apply for the CO-OP position because it seemed like a good opportunity, and I couldn’t find a reason not to apply and see what happened. Even after the interviews and getting the job, I still had no clue how much my life would change because of this job.
The entire process was amazing to go through. There was a luncheon where other students and I got to go and meet the job manager and have lunch at CNO. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been to Choctaw Nation Headquarters, but it is stunning and helped show the environment you could potentially work in. The manager treated the interviews just like they would for any other employee. It was intimidating at first but helped to show how serious they took finding the right candidate and how much they cared about giving students real life experiences.
Southeastern Career Management Center did an excellent job helping me feel more comfortable through the process and help me put together my resume and cover letter. When I first started being the CO-OP for IT operations, I was nervous because this was a “big girl job,” and I was working in an environment that I was unfamiliar with and didn’t want to screw up.
Overall, looking back at the past year of being a CO-OP, I am so incredibly blessed for the opportunities I’ve had. I learned so much about being a business professional and working in that environment, learning to communicate better, creating procedures and processes, doing all sorts of meetings and presentations, and even learning how to jump-start a car. On top of all that knowledge, I found a work team that pushed me to be my best and became like a family to me. I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done for me and taught me.
A year from starting my CO-OP experience, I landed a full-time job at the Choctaw Nation. I’m still in IT, but under IT services, where I’m a project administrator. I have a new team that is amazing and is helping me learn even more things. A year ago I wouldn’t have imagined I could make it this far and completely change was I thought I wanted to do with my life, but I’m so glad I did it. The CO-OP program gave me experiences I would have never had and helped showed me how much I love working for the Choctaw Nation. I’m excited about the new challenges I will face in the future because the CO-OP program helped prepare me to get where I am today.”