The 3-Minute Co-op Competition: Day Two

The 3-Minute Co-op Competition: Day Two

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On October 7th and 8th WIL hosted SFU's first Three Minute Co-op Competition. Students from all faculties were nominated to participate by their Co-op coordinators, competing for a grand prize of $750 as well as two Peoples Choice Awards of $250. The rules were simple, students have three minutes to present on their Co-op experience, using whatever visual aids they choose. Time warnings were given, and the audience would gently applaud them off when their time was up. Much like the Oscars, but without the orchestra or designer dresses. The Day Two presentations are highlighted here. Continue reading for more presentations from Day One.

People`s Choice Award: Day Two

Mark Levesque, Arts & Social Sciences

Mark worked for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada as a Junior Policy Analyst. He enjoyed the experience so much he even re evaluated his degree, opting to add in some math classes on his retutn. Despite the reputation government agencies have for being a little dull, Mark managed to give his presentation life, promising that while his 5000 cell spreadsheet complete with nine worksheets was the kind of thing only a bureaucrat could appreciate, we’d have to trust him that it was amazing.

David Yan, Computing Science

David shared his experience at EA Sports in Burnaby, where he was the sole developer of EAsports.com/ignite. A new website intended to help launch new games for the PS4 and Xbox One. He curated the website and apps, both with a heavy focus on user interaction. His work was soon shared around the world, with a launch aligned to to announcement of the Xbox One. He showed off a few screenshots from the site, and I for one, was very impressed.

Jeff Bale, Science

Jeff shared his experience at the one and only Co-op position he applied for: Science World science facilitator, where he still spends his weekends. The experience stoked a love of teaching, and he spent his next summer at the Science Alive camp, right on Burnaby Mountain. Here, he was able to continue working with kids, with the added bonus of being allowed to create explosions. Few things endear kids to you like blowing things up. For his third Co-op, he opted for a more formal setting, conducting research at TRIUMF. Overall however, he found the greatest reward in teaching, telling the room that he found the “opportunity to inspire tomorrow’s scientists as well as to inspire myself.”

Parminderjit Singh Benipal

We`ve previously featured Parminder on the OLC. He completed Co-op terms with two employers: At the BC Cancer Genome Sciences Centre as a client support technician, and at IBM Canada as a software developer. With this experience in hand, he’s since graduated and co-founded Nimakh Technologies, and information technology start-up helping to launch websites for non-profits.

Ian Brown, Engineering

For Ian, choosing Engineering all started with the desire to build things. Although Co-op is a requirement for all Engineering students, Ian make sure to make the most of his work terms, using the opportunity to discuss his career options with working engineers. This took him from his first Co-op working on a mechanical snake, Titanboa to moving towards automotives, first at the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation, and then down to California to work with Tesla Motors.

Justin Carmichael, Arts & Social Sciences

Justin’s Co-op term seemed like an odd position at first glance. He was a Canadian, working at the US Consulate Generals Office in Vancouver, working to promote American commercial interests. While it can be a tough job to explain, it allowed him to see what it’s like at the forefront of diplomatic relations. His local connection also allowed him to provide insight on the Canadian political process to the American team. In the end, Justin shared a very fulfilling Co-op experience, where his work was recognized and praised by policy advisors, a former diplomat, and even the Governor of Wyoming.

Chelsey Currie, Engineering

Chelsey travelled to Germany for her Co-op term spent building biosensors for a PhD project. She explained the possible potential of the technology to the room, using blood glucose meters as an example. It sounded interesting, even to us non-science folk. Despite the excitement in the lab however, Chelsey’s real highlight of her time abroad was the ability to travel. With so many countries only a train ride away, weekends off meant she had an entire continent to explore.

Wei Chih Dora Hsiao

Dora spent her Co-op work term conducting research on cold weather survival suits. Her lab is one of only four in Canada certified to approve new survival suits. Her research made for an interesting presentation, and a lot of questions, as she told us how the only way to test the suits is by suiting up test subjects and immersing them in water bordering on freezing levels for six hours.

Nikit Lamba, Computing Science

Nikit worked in software development for SAP, but his official job isn’t what provided the most valuable experience. He volunteered to chair the Vancouver intern committee, planning social the networking events for his fellow group of interns. This experience gave him the confidence to take the company’s CEO up on his offer to sit down with any of the new interns, and he learned a valuable lesson about networking, namely that networking on its own isn’t enough, you need to maintain and strengthen those relationships.

Romina Mahboub, Engineering

Romina is an Engineering Co-op student. In her presentation she shared how her Co-op experience taught her how to network, and helped her realize where she didn’t want to go in her career. She spent her first Co-op doing research, where she learned that she really didn’t enjoy doing research. Luckily for her, Co-op was designed for discoveries like hers, and she had a much more successful eight-month work term at Ballard.

Malinda Pathacharige

Malinda went outside of her field when she applied to RIM (now Blackberry), but as she explained, the management skills she developed can be applied anywhere. Malinda was on the beta testing team for the final BB7 device launch, and due to her hard work and some internal restructuring, she became the first Co-op student to become a beta project prime for an unreleased project. Meaning she was responsible for managing a whole group of people. Malinda`s also wrote several OLC articles on her Co-op experience. Overall, a pretty impressive resume and presentation from a science student.

Tysun Tallman, Health Sciences

Tysun worked with two Indigenous groups for his Co-op terms. For his first term he helped host wellness events around BC for the First Nations Health Authority. His second Co-op saw him move to larger events, as we worked with the Aboriginal Health department of the Provincial Health Services Authority, where he organized Indigenous Online Youth Wellness programs.

Ginny Van Pelt, Environment

Ginny started her Co-op career as a science facilitator at Science World, before spending her summer with the Science Alive camp at SFU. Ginny enjoyed teaching, and thought she had found what she wanted to do, so despite loving the Science Alive program, she was hesitant to accept when offered the Assistant Director position in 2013. As you may have guessed, she eventually took the position, and she was glad she did as was able to add business skills to her teaching resume. As she explained, the  experience taught her that you don’t need to work in a classroom to be a teacher, or in a lab to be a scientist.

Sasha Vukovic, Business

Sasha put together a very visual presentation to highlight his Co-op with BC Hydro as an economic analyst with the economic and business development team. While there he worked on some impressive projects, including leading the Nazko Bus case and creating a clean energy briefing for the President of the World Energy Council. Sasha shared that the experience had a major impact on his career outlook, and even inspired him to add an economics component to his SFU degree.

Stephen Yu, Science

Stephen worked at the Molecular Genetics lab of DFO, where he faced a whole lot of new experiences, some of which even took him off dry land. Despite never having been on a boat, when Stephen had the opportunity to spend a week at sea dissecting fish he jumped right on board. While living at sea for a week, Stephen explained how he learned about the value of being social on the job – and of discovering a workable remedy for seasickness. Despite some queasy moments the former land lover impressed the boat crew so much that they advised his supervisor he would be a welcome addition to any future trip.

Beyond the Article

Posted on November 08, 2013