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Helen Pham

SFU Student Undergraduate
Science › Data Science
Co-operative Education › Out-of-Town Co-op

Position Title
Experience Faculty
This experience has solidified my passion for Data & AI Engineering, and I am excited to continue developing my skills and knowledge in this field.
Experience Details
Introduction + Preparation

Now looking back on when I decided to apply for an AI Engineer position at Bell, I first conducted some research about the company’s culture, mission and products to ensure that it would be a workplace I wanted to work at. I found this opportunity on LinkedIn and applied, which led to an invitation to an interview. There were three rounds of interviews including a technical assessment, interview with HR and a group interview with senior managers.

If you do well on the technical assessment, you will get contacted by an HR representative to schedule an interview with them within 1 week. My interview with the HR person was mostly behavioural questions and I was asked to rate my technical abilities. In the third interview round, I met with three managers. During this round, I was asked more technical questions about my knowledge and past experiences using SQL, Python, and visualization tools for data analysis, as well as questions about professionalism in the workplace.

Previous Experience

Before applying to be a Data & AI Engineer at Bell, I already had over one year of experience working in industry. As a former Data Analyst at Royal Bank of Canada, I have developed problem-solving skills that are vital in addressing real-time problems of the business. Additionally, I was also VP Finance for the Science Undergraduate Society where I developed interpersonal skills that are essential in conducting virtual and in-person meetings with managers, directors, and colleagues at Bell Canada.

During my Experience
Orientation and First Weeks

For the first couple weeks, most of my time was spent being acclimated to the new job and company culture, and learning all I could about the company’s products and the software needed for my position.

This involved completing training modules, reading technical and non-technical documentation on the products and services of Bell Canada, and familiarizing myself with the data that I would be working with for my upcoming project.

It was essential to complete the training modules before starting my role as a Data and AI Engineer because they emphasized the importance of data security management and strategy processes, which helped me protect the company's information against cyberattacks. I have weekly team meetings with my manager and the team as well as weekly 1:1 meetings with the Manager.

Day to Day

Since I had several experiences before starting to work at Bell Canada, I did not have much difficulty adapting to the office world. However, there were still so many aspects of the jobs I needed to learn. As a co-op student and as a new employee at Bell, I was eager to learn as much as possible during my 8-month co-op term and wanted to have a deep understanding of my work so that I could apply everything I was taught. Since this was my first time working with telecommunications data, during the first few weeks on the job, I had many questions about the data and software that I needed to clarify with my manager and co-workers.

Luckily, I got the best team ever at Bell, I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with them. They were always available to answer my questions and provide instant responses without hesitation. 

At Bell Canada, I got opportunities to meet new people from different departments which helped me gain a better understanding of the company's operations. People at the office are very friendly and approachable, which is an essential factor for me to consider when choosing a company to work for.

Accomplishments and Challenges

Working at Bell Canada as a Data & AI Engineer gave me a chance to get exposed to new software that real-world businesses have been using and get more familiar with sharing my findings and thoughts with coworkers at the workplace. After finishing the training modules, my manager at Bell gave me an opportunity to lead a major project for our internal client using a brand-new software that had just been adopted into the workforce. Coming up with a solution for a company problem was challenging, especially as I had to learn the new software, understand our client's needs, and analyze a messy dataset to identify meaningful patterns for the business.

Despite these challenges, I delivered a great and meaningful presentation to the Director of our AI Department, receiving positive feedback from managers and the team. The dashboard I created helped the team understand our customers' churn rate, reasons for churning, which customer group to target, and what strategies to execute.

I had a very positive working experience with Bell. After this experience working at Bell Canada, I not only have had my problem-solving skills enhanced but I also tremendously improved my communication skills.

Reflection & Tips
Connection to Academic Studies or Career Goals

Overall, I am extremely grateful for my Co-op experience with Bell Canada. I gained valuable experiences and skills that will undoubtedly benefit me in my future career. This experience has solidified my passion for Data & AI Engineering, and I am excited to continue developing my skills and knowledge in this field. I highly recommend Bell Canada as a great company for Co-op opportunities, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such an amazing team.