Skip to main content

Timothy So

SFU Co-op Student
Arts + Social Sciences › Economics

empty
Timothy So at Blackberry in Waterloo, ON
Timothy So at Blackberry in Waterloo, ON
What has stood out to me is the importance of transparency and clear communication from the leadership which helps to stabilise and inspire confidence, especially during challenging times.

This article was originally published in the Arts Co-op Newsletter in Spring 2014.

As I’m penning this article I’m wrapping up my third semester here in Waterloo interning with the infamous BlackBerry who has become continuously visible in the media as strategic reviews and restructuring are underway. This year working for Blackberry has provided me with exciting opportunities to both observe and learn at close distance to the centre of action, and has convinced me that it is still worthwhile to obtain work experience with BlackBerry despite what you hear on the news.  

My title is Statistical Methods Analyst, working primarily with the handheld software release management team, which supports the coordination of release activities across different domains to ensure software releases meet quality targets. A part of my responsibility is to help maintain and produce reports to support teams and senior executives in the decision-making process, and to monitor development, bugfix and run test activities. Early on in my Economics career I made the decision to focus on Econometrics after consulting with departmental advisors as well as those already in the field. It has meant a heavier-than-normal workload and a few more hours burying my head in numbers and equations, and familiarizing myself with Statistical language and software (such as ‘R’) and producing scripts to run regressions and doing other manipulations. But my efforts certainly paid off when the more technical nature of my courses opened up more possibilities and opportunities in my career choices. The nature and responsibilities of my role overlap very heavily with those of a quality assurance analyst, and those in Arts with an analytical head and a technical bent would find themselves very much qualified and ready for this kind of position if they plan their courses strategically

There is no such thing as a “typical day” in my position. Each day comes with new challenges and because of the changing business needs, analysis has to be done often on an ad hoc basis. Most tasks would involve going into the organization’s internal defect tracking system and pulling relevant information using some kind of query language. The data would then be manipulated using various statistical techniques with various tools to obtain quality information that supports various decision making processes. Because of the highly collaborative nature of our work and often involving other teams, a task would typically start with a meeting to obtain relevant information and requirements; specifics would then be determined which would eventually culminate in a deliverable to meet or exceed their expectations. 

As the organization transforms itself students have the advantage of observing the impact of the various restructuring activities and how it affects team activities from a relatively safe position. As people watched the departure of some of their team members whom they’ve worked with, and in the face of such negative publicity in the media, nothing but their immense pride of working for such an iconic organization would keep them going and staying faithful to their duties. What has stood out to me is the importance of transparency and clear communication from the leadership which helps to stabilise and inspire confidence, especially during challenging times. Taking initiative, being versatile and adaptable are key to surviving a storm of such scale, and skills that you acquire on the side, even ones you do not consider relevant to your current position, could prove to be valuable to your own team as well as others in an ever-changing climate.

Beyond the Blog

  • Timothy So Jan 15, 2014
    Like to recommend this item
    visibility  21

About the Author

Timothy So

SFU Co-op Student
Arts + Social Sciences › Economics
Timothy So is an Economics student who worked as a Statistical Methods Analyst at Blackberry.  

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.

 

Timothy So at Blackberry in Waterloo, ON
library_books
Blog
An Arts Student in Tech
Co-op Reflections, Work Term Wrap Up, Professional Development, Career Exploration

Timothy So is an Economics student who worked as a Statistical Methods Analyst at Blackberry. Read on to get a taste of what his position would entail. 

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

A clip art image of three faceless people standing next to each other. A person in the middle has a grey face and orange body, while the remaining people have an orange face and grey body.
Becoming the Leader You Want to Be

Whether in the workplace or at school, we’ve all come across difficult personality types. Read on to find out how you can turn those interactions into positive experiences.

Engineering blueprints and diagrams
Working at ExxonMobil as a Mechatronics Major

Shahid, a recent Mechatronics alumnus, never thought he'd find himself working at an Oil and Gas company such as ExxonMobil. After all, how do mechatronics connect to the Oil and Gas industry? As it turns out, much more than Shahid anticipated! Although starting out nervous and unsure, Shahid quickly rose to the occasion and found joy in every aspect of his work. Read more to find out about Shahid's position, and what he learned while on an out-of-town co-op in Ontario!

Calendar above a desk
The Essential Co-op Skill: Time Management

Knowing how to deal with multiple tasks each having different priorities and deadlines is necessary for success. Time management, an essential skill in most work places, is therefore an even more important skill to develop as a co-op student. In this article, I share some time management methods for handling small side tasks in order to free up more time for the bigger things at hand.