What companies did you work at and what tasks/projects did you work on at each of these co-op jobs?
Kia: “ I am currently working at ACCIONA, a global sustainable infrastructure firm, and the world's greenest utility provider and the 1st carbon-neutral infrastructure company. My role in the Bids and Tenders department involves supporting various pre-construction business development activities such as drafting RFQs and RFPs. I have also completed a previous co-op in the electronic production space at Algo Communication Products.”
Danielle: “I worked at an automated accounting software company called Beanworks where I was a Backend Software Engineer. A major project that I got to work on was to redesign an existing software that was used to transfer data from existing accounting software to the Beanworks cloud. I learned a couple of programming languages while developing the software such as C#, WPF, and XAML, while understanding the high-level structure of the entire program from the backend to the API and UI. For my last co-op terms, I will be working with Metro Vancouver to work in their Liquid Waste Services department to give guidance and direction for future site upgrades and maintenance."
What was your favourite part about co-op?
Kia: “My favourite part about my job is all the amazing, passionate, and supportive people I get to work with who share my vision of a better future.”
Danielle: “My favourite part about co-op is the ability to try specialties before going into the industry. The SEE program explores many different applications within sustainable engineering such as energy storage, wastewater systems, and sustainable buildings. With three co-op terms to complete, there is potential to try three different fields of engineering. Then by the end of your co-op career, you will have most likely found a field that you really enjoy. For example, I started in a programming co-op and my final work terms will be in water management, which is where I hope to continue my career post-graduation.”
How did the co-op experience help you in your career journeys?
Kia: “Completing multi-disciplinary work on billion-dollar jobs has promoted my professional maturity, view on the engineering discipline and global community as a whole, as well as provided me with invaluable skills.”
Danielle: “The co-op program has helped me in my career journey by giving me the necessary experience before entering the industry. I originally thought that I would not use my coding skills for future positions that required mechanical engineering. To my surprise, my programming skills gave me an edge when applying for my upcoming co-op term. Since I had a preferred skill for this job from my previous co-op, I was able to stand out in the interviewing process. I believe having experience such as understanding the general workflow of an office environment or collaborating in cross-department projects are also just as important in future career prospects.”
How did the co-op program help you throughout your co-op journey?
Kia: “The co-op programme offers employers a low-commitment way to get fresh ideas from a new generation of thinkers and also allows students to try out different industries to get a feel for what life will be like after graduation. Working has really helped me stay motivated to finish my degree and inspired me when it comes to market demands/industry practices when tinkering with my own projects.”
Danielle: “Initially, I did not know what type of jobs were available specifically in the realm of SEE. After telling the SEE Coordinator Tyler the general area I wanted to pursue, he was very active in recommending me to companies that aligned with my career path. When I wanted to work internationally, I was fully supported and his ability to help me readjust when the Covid-19 pandemic happened was very helpful for seeking my final co-op semester. The entire SEE co-op team is incredibly supportive and hard-working. Wendy, Harriet, and Tyler are a fantastic team who work diligently to secure co-op positions from different companies that are specifically tailored to SEE.”