Flora Zhou interviewed Hannah Chan, an Applications Engineering student part of the SFU Surrey Co-op program from Fall 2021 to Spring 2022. She applied some of her exceptional skills when she was working for Greenlight Innovation.
Greenlight Innovation is a company that provides its customers with testing stations for fuel cells, as well as testing equipment for various systems. One highlight of Greenlight’s products is their use of Emerald, a control and automation software that allows users to use the testing equipment.
Working with Greenlight allowed Hannah to apply her exceptional skills, such as writing Python scripts to automate parts of the configuration process to minimize human error.
"Working in the software department as an applications engineering co-op meant that I spent most of my time studying systems for projects and configurations for them, usually about a project every week or two."
Since her Co-op job, Hannah has become more inclined to regard work as a learning journey and finds pleasure when cooperating with people. Additionally, Hannah appreciated the workplace flexibility that gave her the option to work remotely, or at the office as appropriate.
"I was also allowed to choose what scripts I wanted to work on, allowing me to practice on topics I was interested in."
Andre Vulpe, the application engineer technical lead found that hiring co-op students has enabled the team to complete more projects with fewer errors, mainly due to the automation scripts that they have enthusiastically developed. He said: "I find that working on these scripts facilitates more learning, not only for the student but for myself."
Hannah found the job search process enjoyable as she was able tot look for available opportunities and apply right away through SFU's myExperience platform. She also added that advisors gave her helpful insight when it came to deciding what jobs to apply for, as well as preparing her for interviews. "Those few memorable months flew by swiftly;" Hannah said:
"If I were to do it again, I would try to talk to more people about their industry experiences from the get-go.”
She was glad to ask people about their career paths and suggestions, which started some eye opening conversations for her.
She also made use of existing resources that SFU already offers, as they are helpful than one may think. For instance, practicing interviews on SFU InterviewPrep before the real interview can effectively relieve tension and anxiety. For that reason, she encourages everyone to take full use of these tools as they can be a bigger help than you think. Because of her co-op and the help she got along her journey, Hannah has not only learnt new skills, but now feels like she gained a newfound confidence when it comes to job-searching.