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Jennifer Hung

SFU Student Undergraduate
Science › Data Science
Co-operative Education

Organization
Position Title
Experience Faculty
"My experience as a data analyst has also provided me with valuable perspective, both in terms of my personal growth and my future career trajectory. Through this experience, I have discovered my strengths and weaknesses, and I understand the areas in which I need to improve to achieve my goals."
Experience Details
Semester
Spring
Year
2023
Introduction + Preparation
Preparation Tips for Future Students

Preparation is key to success when starting a co-op job. As a current co-op student, I have found several tips that future students can use to prepare themselves for their co-op term. I wished I had done some things differently to be better prepared. 

First, it is essential to carefully read the job description and familiarize yourself with the general tasks and responsibilities of the job. This will help you understand what is expected of you and the skills you will need to succeed in the role. It will also help you to prepare for any challenges you may face and give you a sense of what to expect daily. 

Another tip that I highly recommend is to review old projects related to the job or watch videos from YouTube to self-study. This will help you to refresh your knowledge and re-learn some basic concepts. It will also give you an opportunity to get a better understanding of the industry or field that you will be working in. By doing this, you will be better equipped to handle any challenges that may arise during your co-op term. 

In addition to this, it is essential to be proactive in your preparation. Contact your co-op advisor and ask them about any resources or materials you can use to prepare for the job. You can also network with former co-op students or industry professionals to get a better sense of the work you will be doing and the skills you will need to succeed. 

In conclusion, preparing for your co-op job is essential for a seamless start. By following these tips and taking initiative-taking steps, you can ensure that you are ready for the challenges and opportunities that come with your co-op term. 

During my Experience
Orientation and First Weeks

Starting a new co-op job can be intimidating, but the orientation and first few weeks can set the tone for the rest of the semester. In my case, I was fortunate to have had a positive experience from the start. During my orientation, I went on a tour of the office, which allowed me to become acquainted with my surroundings and meet my coworkers. I also took a safety course, which was necessary to ensure that I could work in the office safely. 

One of the most exciting parts of my orientation was being set up with the different platforms and tools that I would be using for my work. I was particularly excited to start learning Power BI, which is a similar tool to Tableau used for data analytics. I also got set up with all the Microsoft 365 tools such as Teams, OneDrive, and Planner, which are all tools Dorigo uses daily. With the help of my boss, I was able to jump right in and begin working on small projects. My boss was helpful in answering my questions and providing guidance, which was crucial for my success during my first few weeks. He would schedule a quick meeting with me every day for the first weeks to discuss and resolve any questions or issues I had. 

Another highlight of my orientation was the opportunity to meet the other co-op students. We had the chance to get to know each other, share our experiences, and learn from one another. I found this to be an excellent way to ease into the job and feel more comfortable in the workplace. 

Overall, my experience during my orientation and first few weeks at my new co-op job was positive. The support and guidance that I received from my boss and colleagues made a significant difference in my ability to learn and contribute to the team.  

Learning and Adaptation

One of the first things I learned was how to use Power BI. I was enrolled in a 15-day Udemy course on Power BI. This course provided me with a solid foundation in the tool and helped me understand how to use it for data analysis. It was an essential foundation for my work as an intern data analyst. 

One of the most important things I learned during my internship was how to work with different data sources and extract data from them. This was essential for me as a data analyst, as I needed to analyze data from various sources and use it to develop insights for my team. Some data sources and tools that I learned to work with were Expandable ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), Factory Logix, Payworks, and other SQL databases. I also learned how to handle enormous amounts of data, which was different from what I was used to in the courses I had taken before. The data was often messy and required a lot of manipulation to make it useful. 

Another essential skill I picked up during my internship was how to use pivot tables effectively. A pivot table is a powerful tool for analyzing data inside a spreadsheet. Pivot tables help format large datasets to be more effective. I also learned how to use different visualization techniques to present data in a way that was easy to understand. This helped me to communicate insights more effectively and made it easier for my team to understand the data. I learned some basics in Excel, including filtering and cleansing data. These skills were essential in preparing the data for analysis and helped me to be more efficient in my work. 

Overall, the adaptation process as an intern data analyst involved a lot of experimentation, trial, and error, and seeking out opportunities to learn new skills. However, by actively pursuing these opportunities, I developed my skills and made meaningful contributions to the team. 

Accomplishments and Challenges

During my work term, I had the opportunity to work on several data analytics projects and contribute to the organization's data-driven decision-making processes. Through my work, I was able to develop and apply my technical skills in data cleansing, data analysis, and data visualization. I also gained practical experience working with several types of data and data analytics tools, including Power BI and Excel. 

An accomplishment I am proud of is creating interactive dashboards using Power BI that allowed my team to visualize and analyze key business metrics. Some projects I completed were the Book-To-Bill Ratio, Inventory Projection by Customer, Map of Dorigo Customer Locations, Payroll Analysis and Quality Dashboard. These dashboards were well-received and helped Dorigo team members visualize the data. The visualization helps with making informed decisions based on the data presented. I enjoyed the creative aspect of designing these dashboards and finding ways to effectively present the data in a visually appealing and informative way. 

Some challenges I found were working with large datasets. There was a lot of manipulation with the data to be able to use it and it was especially hard when trying to take data to extract certain values to visualize them in graphs. As data is rarely fully clean to begin, the anomalies make it hard to interpret the results or solutions.  

Overall, I am proud of the work I accomplished during my work term as an intern data analyst. I was able to contribute to the organization's data-driven decision-making processes and gain valuable practical experience. The opportunity to work on real-life data analytics projects and see the impact of my work has been incredibly rewarding and has solidified my interest in pursuing a career in data science. 

Social and Extracurricular Activities

Dorigo offers extracurricular activities for employees, including access to an on-site gym and complimentary yoga classes. As someone who enjoys going to the gym after work, it is convenient to have a fully equipped gym available at the office. I also consistently go to yoga classes every Wednesday. 

The company's social committee is a highlight of my co-op experience. They organize fun activities for holidays and other small challenges. For instance, we recently had a competition for St. Patrick's Day where employees were encouraged to wear festive and green outfits. It was a fun way to get into the spirit of the holiday. 

I also had the opportunity to help organize the Easter egg hunt for employees, which was fun. It is nice to work for a company that values employee engagement and creates a positive work environment through these types of activities. 

Reflection & Tips
Reflection

Throughout the past months as an intern data analyst, I have learned so much in such a short span of time. My primary goal was to explore the possibilities of being a data science student, and to gain insight into my personal preferences and interests in the workplace. 

During my internship, I learned about the realities of the workplace and the expectations of a data analyst. This gave me a clear perspective of the skills and knowledge needed to excel in this field. I have also come to understand the importance of deadlines and working collaboratively with a team. 

One of the most enjoyable parts of my internship was investigating data. Through this, I have gained a deep appreciation for data and its ability to provide insights into complex issues. I have learned various data analysis techniques and tools, which will be useful in my future career. 

My experience as a data analyst has also provided me with valuable perspective, both in terms of my personal growth and my future career trajectory. Through this experience, I have discovered my strengths and weaknesses, and I understand the areas in which I need to improve to achieve my goals. 

Looking ahead, I can see how this experience intersects with my current education and co-op learning. I plan to further develop my data analysis skills through coursework and by taking part in extracurricular activities related to data science. I believe this will help me to excel in my future career. 

In conclusion, my co-op term has been an eye-opening experience. I have gained valuable knowledge and experience that has helped me to understand the possibilities of being a data science student. This experience has provided me with an important perspective and has helped me to find my strengths, weaknesses, and future career goals.

Most Valuable Aspects of This Experience

One of the most valuable aspects of my co-op experience as an intern data analyst was learning about Power BI. This software allowed me to gain hands-on experience in data visualization and analysis, which proved invaluable in completing various projects such as the Book-To-Bill Ratio, Inventory Projection by Customer, and Quote Win/Loss Status. Being able to apply the theoretical knowledge I learned in the classroom to real-world datasets was an incredible experience that helped me to hone my analytical skills. 

In addition to Power BI, working with real data and real problems was another valuable aspect of my co-op experience. I had the opportunity to work with large datasets from various sources and learned how to successfully clean and filter data. This helped me develop a better understanding of data manipulation and how to work with data in a real-world setting. I also gained experience in the basics of working with Excel and learned some of the basics relating to graphing and data. 

Another valuable aspect of my co-op experience was learning about the basics of working in a professional setting. I learned how to manage my time effectively, how to communicate professionally with my colleagues and superiors, and how to work efficiently as part of a team. These skills will be incredibly valuable as I continue my career in data science and beyond. 

Overall, the most valuable aspect of my co-op experience was the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge I had gained in the classroom to real-world situations. Working with real data and real problems gave me a deeper understanding of the value of data analysis and allowed me to make meaningful contributions to the organization. I feel more confident in my abilities as a data analyst and look forward to continuing to apply my skills and knowledge in my future career. 

Connection to Academic Studies or Career Goals

As a data science student, pursuing a co-op as an intern data analyst is a fantastic opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge you have acquired from the classroom to real-world situations. This position has given me hands-on experience working with data, data analysis, and data visualization techniques. I worked with real data sets, which allowed me to hone my analytical skills and make valuable contributions to the organization. The co-op experience also allowed me to expand my professional network and gain exposure to various industry tools and technologies. 

Furthermore, as an intern data analyst, I also had the opportunity to learn from experienced individuals in similar fields, gain insights into the industry, and develop soft skills, such as communication and teamwork, which are essential in any career path. This experience has allowed me to develop a better understanding of how data science is applied in the workplace, which will be invaluable as I continue to pursue a career in that field.  

Overall, pursuing a co-op as an intern data analyst aligns well with my career and educational goals as a data science student by providing practical experience in the field, exposure to real-world data problems, and opportunities to develop my skills and knowledge. 

Advice for Future Students

As someone who has experienced the benefits of co-op, I can attest to the immense value it brings to your education and future career. Co-op is not just about getting a job and making money, it is about learning, exploring, and making mistakes. 

First, co-op is an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in your field of study. You have the chance to apply what you have learned in the classroom to real-world situations and learn from professionals in your industry. This experience can give you a competitive edge when it comes to securing future employment, as employers often look for candidates with practical experience. 

Co-op is also an opportunity to explore different areas within your field. You may think you know exactly what you want to do after graduation, but co-op can open your eyes to other possibilities. There are numerous opportunities as a Data Science student because data is relevant everywhere. By working in distinct roles and industries, you can gain a better understanding of what you enjoy and what you excel at. 

My advice for future co-op students is to embrace the experience fully. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, whether it is attending networking events, taking on new projects, or asking for feedback from your supervisor. Be open-minded, curious, and willing to learn. And most importantly, do not be afraid to make mistakes – they are a natural part of the learning process. By following these tips, you will get the most out of your co-op experience and set yourself up for success in the future. 

Author

Jennifer Hung

SFU Student Undergraduate
Science › Data Science
Co-operative Education
visibility  373
Apr 18, 2023