Skip to main content
Applied Sciences › Computing Science
SFU Co-op Student

empty
an ibm logo
Credit
Unsplash
I discovered all of the opportunities and resources afforded me by being a part of a big company

As soon as the next academic term began I started looking at co-op job postings for my next opportunity since there was no way I could handle two consecutive terms of schooling when the lure of working as a software developer was out there. I knew I wanted a different experience from Malaspina so that I might enjoy the entire gamut of the software development world, so I concentrated my search on larger companies. Four applications and one interview later I became IBM’s newest development co-op for their Vancouver software development lab. I whiled away the remaining weeks of study, eagerly awaiting the commencement of my life as an IBMer.

At IBM I was met with a very different experience than the one I had, had at Malaspina Labs. For starters, there were a lot more people, paperwork and pop (alas no beer). I was uncertain if working as a part of a large corporation was for me. Where Malaspina was a group of engineers building a way to get to space, IBM was the International Space Station. Working as a part of a large team, not quite seeing the big picture, it took a while to adjust to the large company way of things. Slowly but surely though I found my place and found that it was indeed a good place... a very good place.

I discovered all of the opportunities and resources afforded me by being a part of a big company and took advantage where I could, absorbing as much knowledge and experience as I could and I hadn’t even begun to scratch the surface of all the things I could learn and do. Then, four months into my IBM life I was given an amazing opportunity. I was tasked with taking an internal prototype software tool and turning it into something official and presentable to IBMs customers. It's an honour to think something I developed would be used by major corporations around the globe! It's amazing to imagine that some system administrator somewhere in the world will use this tool and say “that was a pretty groovy experience”, and to know that it was me that helped give him that experience! I learned so much about the software development process from taking a simple idea and turning it into something marketable and saw a whole other side of the software development industry.

With the end of my co-op term fast approaching and my imminent return to classes I can’t wait to see where the opportunities and experiences afforded me by the co-op program will take me. I’m certain that upon graduation I will find myself ready and able to jump into my new career as a software developer! 

Beyond the Blog

 

SFU Co-op Student
Connect with Patrick on LinkedIn!

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Seeking, Work Term Extension

author, courtney, smiling
A Second Term in Government: More of the Same?

Having completed my first work term for Health Canada as a Communications Officer Intern, I was eager to try something new, and the government was not where I believed that was going to happen. That is until I was offered a position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada...

picture of glichelle pondering a though
Surviving Workplace Politics

Ever been peeved with workplace politics? Have you ever been a victim of office politics? One student shares her experiences from the workplace with tips on how to survive.

 

person with their head in a book
Responsibility and Success

One of the most memorable parts of my time in co-op was the collection of accidents, errors, mistakes, and mix-ups that happened in the course of working in the laboratory.

 

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

Danielle Jeong
Haiti Co-op Inspires Career Path

Danielle Jeong, who receives a Governor General’s Silver Medal for her high scholastic achievement, says her SFU co-op experiences, which included a month in Haiti, were “life-changing”.

a part of the Kolkata city line
Arrival in Kolkata, India

Kali Penney had three missions when she left on her volunteer co-op to India; to survive living in a developing country for 3 months, to learn about major health issues in Kolkata, India, and to complete work that will have a continuing impact long after she has left the country. In her first article, Kali recounts her arrival in India and introduction to the local culture.

Collage of 6 social media posts
Full-Time Co-op, Part-Time Artist: It Can Be Done!

I’m a student at SFU and on top of that, though, I’m a freelance creative. I do a bit of everything. As my first Co-op work term approached, I got nervous. I was terrified, frankly, that I would have to stop creating if I wanted to pursue full-time work. Keep reading to learn about how I learned to balance working full-time and being a freelance creative.