Alex & Greenspace Mental Health Canada
This week’s SFU Surrey Co-op featured student is Alex Hoang, a Software Systems student who has been doing some interesting work at Greenspace Mental Health. Greenspace Mental Health “is a web-based platform that helps mental health therapists (psychiatrists, MD psychotherapists, psychologists, social workers and registered psychotherapists) easily measure and monitor patient progress”. Their company mission is “to transform mental health systems by improving the way that care is accessed, measured, and delivered.” During her co-op, Alex has been mostly maintaining or adding new features to Greenspace’s web platform. The two most memorable projects she has worked on are the 2nd version of Greenspace’s API (Application Programming Interface) and their resource module which is powered by Contentful. She says “The API provides flexibility to our customers (clinics, organizations, etc.) who may, for example, want to use their patient management platform of choice but don’t want to handle the data management side of things. They can query the data from us instead. Version 2 has more endpoints, meaning our customers have access to more types of information. We also improved on the speed at which we returned the data." She then goes on to explain how “the resource module allows our customers to post their mental health resources such as videos, blogs, articles, etc. and have them available to their patients. We use Contentful to manage the resource content, and we then hook it up to our main platform to render the resource."
Alex’s Favourite Part of the Job
Alex says she has always enjoyed participating in opportunities that will positively impact people’s lives and that by working at Greenspace she has been helping make quality mental healthcare more accessible. She says “I think Greenspace's platform is a great platform that people can really benefit from. I'm excited about work every week because I know that my contribution to the company, no matter how small, will have some sort of positive impact on our users.” She also enjoys how close-knit and collaborative everyone is in the company since it has fewer than 50 employees across Canada. She says “Everyone across different departments knows each other and sometimes hangs out in non-work settings.” Alex discussed how she has been able to socialize with her coworkers during their remote donut meetings and how “just being able to connect with people and learn from them has made my pandemic experience a lot more bearable.
Alex’s excellent work has paid off as her supervisor, Ryan Luker, says: “Alex has been a great contributor to the team here at Greenspace! She is always willing to learn and take on new tasks that might be outside her comfort zone. Her mentality around this has really paid off in terms of the complexity of work she can take on. I am looking forward to seeing where her career takes her in the future!”
How the SFU SOSY Co-op Program Has Supported Alex
Alex explained how her coordinator, Stephanie DeRapp, met with her one-on-one and significantly helped her improve her resume and cover letters. She says “My resume writing skills have become a lot better compared to how they were before.” She also goes on to say how her co-op coordinator, Stephanie has given her great career and personal advice. Alex explained how Stephanie's encouragement helped guide her through a rough patch last year.
Alex’s Advice to Oher Co-op Students
When asked for her advice to other co-op students Alex said: “In my opinion, I wasn’t that great in my coding interview. I think personality matters just as much if not more than your technical skills during an interview. Making some jokes when it’s appropriate might help you and your interviewers be more relaxed. Plus, you get to show your communication skills, which are crucial to have as a co-op student.” She goes on to explain how “It’s also important to make your resume stand out visually. I talked to a co-worker who went through the co-op student applications and he told me that he got bored looking at the same Microsoft-Word-esque resume format. I told him about my one-page resume with a custom-designed header and showed him my brightly coloured personal website that I linked on my resume/Github/LinkedIn page. If I remember correctly, he said he remembered my application and it was one of the reasons why I got an interview!”
Beyond the Blog
To learn more about Greenspace visit http://www.greenspacehealth.com/en-ca