Skip to main content

Anu Chouhan

OLC Student Writer

empty
Jeanni standing in front of the business objects sign
Other students should know about how Co-op can give them a preview of what their future career path is like as well as how many opportunities [there are] for them to start paving their path for landing an ideal job after graduation

When Jeannie Chan graduated this June, she received a Bachelor of Science degree for her double major in Computing Science and Statistics, including a Co-op designation for to her five work terms. Looking back, she feels glad to have participated in the Co-op program, as it has enabled her to become more marketable and experienced as she moves forward in her career path.

In her Co-op experience, Jeannie spent her first two work terms at Business Objects, and her final three at IBMs Burnaby location. As a Computing Science and Statistics student, she was able to apply her classroom knowledge to her Co-op experiences at both companies. At Business Objects, Jeannie worked as a software engineer for the Localization (Translation) Team. I created internal tools to parse and convert source code to an XML format for translators to translate and vice versa, she explains. She also fixed translation bugs and updated existing technology to fit current needs, to name a few of her tasks. Aside from the skills she acquired throughout her work term, Jeannie really enjoyed the multicultural working environment at Business Objects, and the delicious snacks associated with it!

At IBM, Jeannie was a software developer/quality analyst. My tasks ranged from creating automation script for data entry to analyzing user cases for test cases and testing application, Jeannie explains. In addition to this, Jeannie gained a substantial amount of knowledge related to the health care industry, as she also worked on a health surveillance project. Because she predominantly worked with a laptop, her work hours and location were quite flexible. She was also able to acquire a range of soft skills, such as effective communication with her clients and successful project management. Also, she adds, on each co-op students birthday, the [Co-op supervisors] spent hours to decorate the birthday boy/girls cubicle and give them a surprise!

When asked what the most valuable benefit of participating in the Co-op program was, Jeannie states the importance of the connections she made with the companies in her field of study, along with the experience gained from working in a real-life, professional environment.

Jeannie had many great memories not only from her work terms, but also from her life as an SFU student! On her first day on campus, she joined the executive team of SFUs Chinese Link student club, and became a director for the Graphics Department. I had so much fun working with executives, preparing many different events for our members, not to mention that I got to try activities that I have never thought of trying (such as Famine 30, Rafting trip, archery, etc.). The opportunity allowed for Jeannie to gain leadership and teamwork skills, along with many new friends.

After her last semester of school, Jeannie took a well-deserved vacation to the Caribbean to unwind under the hot sun. She has just started  in a full-time position  at MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. Most of the employers asked about my Co-op experience as well as my role in student clubs, she says. I decided that MDA is a company that I can grow and develop my career with. While she is focusing on her new job for now, Jeannie plans to take part-time certificate courses to broaden her technical skills, and is thinking about pursuing a masters degree in the near future.

When asked if she would recommend the Co-op program, Jeannies answer was a definite yes. Other students should know about how Co-op can give them a preview of what their future career path is like as well as how many opportunities [there are] for them to start paving their path for landing an ideal job after graduation.

About the Author

Anu Chouhan

OLC Student Writer
Jien Hilario photo
What’s in a Name? Coming to Terms With Labelling Myself as a Person With a Disability

If you were to see Jien on campus, you wouldn’t know that she had a disability. She does not use a wheelchair nor does she have a seeing eye dog. She has an invisible disability. In this article, Jien shares her journey on how she came to terms with labeling herself as a person with a disability. 

Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere
Why Doesn’t Canada Have a Disabilities Act?

It is 2018 and Canada has not yet implemented adequate protection and legislation for people with disabilities. When it comes to equality for all, Canada is falling far behind. In this article, Jien discusses the research and reality of why Canada needs a Disabilities Act.

We Can Do It!
How to Satisfy Your Inner Activist

When people think about social justice, they think of things like protests or hunger strikes, but the options don’t end there. These volunteer organizations can help you satisfy your inner activist.

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

Picture of res team
Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting my Marketing Communication Co-op

In this article, James details a few things he wishes he knew when he was starting out in his Marketing Communication Co-op placement. Read more to find out what James' top tips for rocking a co-op as a first-timer are. 

A picture of Nile with people around
By the Nile: A Student's Experience in Rural Africa

The OLC happily presents the following as Craig Vandermeer’s first interview with the OLC after his return from Uganda Fall Semester 2010. Having finished his undergrad at Carleton University with a degree in Political Science, he is continuing his education here at SFU in the International Studies Master’s program.

Kamil on the phone, looking at the camera
Survival Guide 101: Keys to Office Survival

Welcome to Office Life 101. A wealth of friendly advice for the first time or inexperienced co-op student, and some advice as to what is required of you to not only survive, but to flourish in an office environment.