“The co-op program, in my opinion, is the most valuable part about the University of Waterloo. You’re able to try different positions if you want to explore different career paths.”

We’re excited to release the winter edition of out Spotlight series. This time, we had the pleasure to chat with 3B Management Engineering students Danial Betres and Elsie Eskandar. Danial joins us from Secret Mission Software’s engineering team while Elsie brings a breadth of Product Management experience from her time at Uken Games. This time we really wanted to focus on the narratives current Management Engineers had to share about coop.

Has co-op helped to carve out a career path you intend to follow?

Elsie: Yes! Co-op has helped me develop in an interest an analytics and product management – I can see myself starting my career in those areas. Co-op has also helped me realize what industries, what company structures/types, and what company cultures may best suit me.

 After completing a few work terms, what value do you see in the co-op program?  

 Danial: There’s not many opportunities out there that let you try completely new positions for only 4 months! The co-op program, in my opinion, is the most valuable part about the University of Waterloo. You’re able to try different positions if you want to explore different career paths. If you’ve already decided on a career path, you can also try different companies to see how their culture and practices differ. The co-op program truly gives us the competitive edge as we come out with 2 years of experience in up to 6 different companies.

 Elsie: It is super valuable! I love being able to work as a full-time employee at various types of organizations, gain money but also more importantly, gain working experiences! Also, co-op jobs can teach you a lot about yourself, and you develop important life skills along the way.

 What advantages do you see Management Engineering having in the job hunt process?

 Elsie: We can work in all sorts of industries and sectors! Whether it be software development, analytics, industrial engineering, product/project management, and more, the opportunities are endless. We develop a diverse array of skills to apply to co-op.

 What upper year courses have you found to be most helpful and applicable on the job?

 Danial: MSCI 541, Search Engines, is a great course if you’re into the software side of things. It’s programming intensive, as you work on building a search engine from scratch throughout the duration of your term. You also learn a lot about how search engines work and all the different components that exist as part of the search engine. Overall, if you want to nail down your programming skills in Java, it’s a great course as you’ll end up writing endless amounts of code.

MSCI 444 is also a great course! Data modeling is extremely important and relevant in the real world. If you’re able to break down a complex problem into how the data should be stored, that’ll reduce a lot of potential headaches as you start to work on the application. It’s typically an extremely tough task to be able to model your data correctly, so try to pay attention and learn from this course!

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