" I have found the area of my industry that I’m passionate about! Having a clear career goal before graduation makes me feel more confident in selecting courses I am most interested in, and excited to solve future problems in my senior year at UBC."
Why did you choose to enroll in co-op?
I’m interested in exploring learning opportunities in both industry and academia. Studies at university could offer me plenty of knowledge and help me to improve myself, as well as provide me many mandatory skills for my future career development. However, only studying in school may limit my horizon—co-op is a really great chance for me to explore the industry, which could help me a lot to find my favorite study and work area.
I enjoy challenging myself. I study and work hard to keep myself moving forward. The co-op program provides me a platform to challenge myself and with the experience, I have a clearer understanding about of my academic knowledge and how to apply it to real-world problems. I believe it will be an amazing experience that provides me a clear goal in my future career and helps me select my most interesting courses in my senior year at UBC.
Which positions did you work during co-op?
I worked as a Data Analyst at RBC for my first two co-op terms. My work investigated key data sources, processed raw data for modeling, communicated the needs to the product owner, conducted baseline analysis and created visualization and reports.
For my third co-op, I was promoted to Data Scientist, working on processing big size raw data in SQL Server, and designing the data visualization for interactive dashboard based on stakeholders’ requirement and feedback.
Can you share your favourite experience while in co-op?
I enjoyed working with my team. During my three co-op terms I learned a lot, not just tech skills but also communication skills. The most enjoyable part for me during co-op was 100% having fun with my co-workers. We were very close and always communicated problems we faced, like a big family. They gave me professional suggestions about work and study and encouraged me to go out and meet more people. Working and talking to different people was my favorite experience during co-op.
What was your best achievement in co-op?
A strong sense of responsibility and teamwork! Teamwork is the most common working style during work placements. In co-op, I realized that being a good team player and quickly getting involved with a team was extremely important. My team worked together and supported me, as well.
How do you feel co-op helped your personal growth?
Co-op helped me be clearer about what I want to do in the future. Before co-op, I was curious about job placements and confused about what a data analyst’s daily life looks like. I have learned how to do data analysis in a professional way, how to improve my skills in data aspect, and how to be a good team player in a big team. These new skill sets make me more confident and stronger to face new challenges in the future.
How do you feel co-op has helped your career?
Co-op is like a bridge between university and industry, providing students good opportunities to explore and improve. It’s a good transition and starting point.
During my co-op, I learned how to efficiently and effectively communicate with colleagues and managers, as well as how to be a good team-player and make more contributions to the team.
Moreover, I have found the area of my industry that I’m passionate about! Having a clear career goal before graduation makes me feel more confident in selecting courses I am most interested in, and excited to solve future problems in my senior year at UBC.
What advice would you offer to future co-op students?
Having a positive attitude is very important! At the beginning you might feel confused and have no clue about what is going on—this is common! Don't be shy to ask. Being confident and having a positive attitude will help you overcome these situations.
What are you looking forward to after graduation?
Hard to find the final answer for now. I am still considering between applying for my master’s related to Data Science or finding a fulltime position associated with Data.
Published: June 23, 2020