STUDENT: Josh Sastrillo
FIELD OF STUDY: Computer Science
WORK TERMS: 3
"It’s okay to feel like you aren’t 100% ready for a job. Learning on the job is one of the most important parts of co-op and you won’t be perfect! You are going to make mistakes, sometimes even really dumb mistakes, and your managers/coworkers know and understand. Those mistakes will only make you better."
What positions did you work during co-op?
In all my co-op terms I worked as a software developer. I’ve worked in a start-up here in Vancouver and with the Government of Canada in Ottawa!
Can you share your favorite experience while in co-op?
One memory that really stuck out to me was on my last co-op term, when all the lockdowns began due to Covid-19, our work quickly shut down and I felt like I never gave a proper goodbye to my team before my term had ended.
On my last day, my manager came by my house to pick up my work ID before I had to fly back to Vancouver. To my surprise, she along with the rest of the team had driven almost half an hour away to say their farewells (from 6ft away to keep social distancing) one last time. None of them needed to do that but that gesture made a big impact to me, especially with all the lockdowns, restrictions and how abrupt our first goodbyes had happened
What things did you wish you knew at the beginning - before your started co-op?
It’s okay to feel like you aren’t 100% ready for a job. Learning on the job is one of the most important parts of co-op and you won’t be perfect! You are going to make mistakes, sometimes even really dumb mistakes, and your managers/coworkers know and understand. Those mistakes will only make you better.
Would you recommend co-op in another city? Why?
I would definitely recommend doing in a co-op outside of Vancouver! It doesn’t even have to be in another country, getting the chance to be away from our usual environment can give a really different perspective on life apart from being a student. Getting the chance to be in a new city could even be a glimpse of life after graduation!
What advice would you offer to future co-op students?
Learn and listen from every single one of your co-workers. It doesn’t even have to be technical advice but get to know each of them on a personal level and their stories. You’ll be getting a lot of advice from everyone around you about how to shape your career or what the right path is to take, but at the end of the day, take a little bit from each advice and shape it into your own. Their advice may have worked for them but your career path may be completely different.
You also don’t need to compare yourself against your peers. You are not behind just because you didn’t get your dream job in your first term. There are going to
be more co-op terms throughout your degree. Even after you graduate, hopefully everything you’ve learned during your time in co-op and school has shaped you to be a better person/employee so that you can apply for that dream job one more time
Published: September 2021