Common denominator for math grad in finding next challenge: co-op experience

June 15, 2023

Newly minted SFU graduate Freddy Chen is starting a new chapter with a career as a business analyst—and as he moves on the mathematics major has some sound advice for students: take advantage of SFU’s Co-op program.

“I was fortunate to participate in three co-op terms that helped me to clarify my path forward,” says Chen, who graduated with distinction on June 8, and who landed an indeterminate appointment with Environment and Climate Change Canada’s newly formed Business Solutions and Services division.

In his role, Chen is responsible for managing ongoing data and reporting requests while actively seeking innovative and efficient approaches to streamline reporting and optimize data management.

While his academic background is in mathematics, he didn’t initially envision himself working in this particular field.

“However, I recognized the opportunity to apply my problem-solving and critical thinking skills, which I obtained throughout my studies, to real-life scenarios,” says Chen. “Following my valuable co-op experiences, I discovered that this role aligns perfectly with my aspirations, enabling me to leverage my educational background and in the process help to make a difference for Canadians as well as the environment.”

Chen, who formerly attended the University of Toronto and Kwantlen Polytechnic University, says the co-op program is also reflective of “the strong sense of community” found at SFU, which ultimately directed him to apply for co-op terms and think beyond the box. “For these experiences,” he says, “SFU is an institution I hold close to my heart.”