It all started with my Co-op with Nav Canada back in spring 2011. I wanted to go into the Telecom Engineering field, and a work term with NAV Canada provided an opportunity to explore what I had been aspiring to choose as my career option. However, I figured out Telecom/Communications wasn’t for me. We cannot be assured of what career we want to pursue unless we have some sort of practical experience associated with it. I continued exploring career options since the quest for my career choice was not over yet.
It wasn’t until my third year when I started developing an interest in high voltage power stream after having discussions with Power Engineers. Although I was an Electronics Engineering major, my profound interest in power systems led me to take extra courses related to Power systems design and protection at BCIT. After familiarizing myself with Electrical theories and concepts of Power transmission and distribution, I was due to set off for my last co-op work term. This was a crucial step and I remained selective in terms of job hunting; a job in the power utility sector was what I needed. After a lot of hard work, I was very fortunate to land a 12 month Co-op placement with Hydro One.
Over the past four months, I have been working on various projects along with Engineers in training and other senior engineers in the Protection and Control Services department. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, Hydro One P&C department is fully responsible for providing safe and efficient Electricity to customers across Ontario. I along with other P&C Co-op peers were given a full two weeks training by one of the most experienced Senior Electrical Engineers in the company. During the two weeks of training, we had to go over and beyond all we had learned in the power courses. At that point, I had already realized the severity of the technical and theoretical skills required for this job. Over the past three months, almost every day has been full of learning, extensive Engineering analysis of the design drawings and coordination amongst various Hydro One technical staff. What makes me very delighted is the fact that I get to work on the same projects as some of the new grad Engineers. I would say my Co-op experience is not less than the school work load since every single day ends with so much learning and new concepts developed.
Switching from Electronics to Electrical Engineering was a major transition and it was the Co-op program which provided me the opportunity to direct myself and gain some life valuable experience in the power sector. I am very glad to tell you that I absolutely appreciate what I am doing as a Co-op student here and it is something I would want to do as a full time Engineer in the near future as well. The school Co-op program provides us unlimited opportunities; it’s just the matter of innovating and re-discovering ourselves to sort our work interests.