I completed a total of 3 work terms during my time in the co-op program.
- In Winter 2009, I worked as a Lab Technician at the Bayer CropScience in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I assisted in the day-to-day analysis of canola seeds.
- In Summer 2011 and Summer/Winter 2012, I worked as a Lab Technician at the Forensics Equine Drug Testing Lab at Maxxam Analytics (now known as BV Labs) in Burnaby British Columbia. During those times, I assisted in preparations of equine blood and urine samples for drug testing. In my second work term, I was given the opportunity to complete the development and optimization of testing procedures on LC-MS/MS instruments.
- I now work as a Field Service Representative at the Thermo Fisher Scientific. I perform maintenance, installation, training and repairs of GC, GC-MS, GC-MS/MS, FTIR instruments.
The co-op program allowed me to confirm and reinforce my interest in Analytical Instrumentation. Whether it involves the operational, maintenance or repairing of instruments. Additionally, I was able to find a full-time job right out of graduation at Maxxam Analytics. That job experience allowed me to gain a lot of hands-on experience as end-user, which I was able to transfer to my current job. I developed a good understanding of my customers' needs and the challenges they face as I have been in their shoes before.
The field of Science is very large and it contains numerous specializations or career paths you can pursue. The co-op program allows you to try different fields you may be interested in and helps you to narrow down your choices. Additionally, it allows you to see this field from the "inside out", it helps to build professional network and your CV. You may discover new interests you didn't think of. This program opens doors that you did not know existed.