Meet Amanda Brotman
Amanda Brotman is a third year Psychology Co-op student at the University of Guelph. In the Winter 2020 semester, her co-op work term was spent at the CCS IT Department on campus, where she assisted the U of G community with various technical issues. As a Psychology student, she never thought she would land a tech job, but ended up loving her experience and the people she was able to work with. During her workterm, she shifted to working remotely, learning quickly on the spot about how to support others with their technical issues related to online learning. Amanda shares her experiences at CCS and some tips for both co-op students looking for jobs, and the general U of G student population who are working from home this semester.
What did a typical day during your co-op work term look like?
“Working as an IT Student Consultant for the Computing and Communications (CCS) Department at U of G varied almost every day. Each day I would help clients with varying technical issues and provided my support through in-person communication, over the phone, via email, and through our live online chat tool. I had the opportunity to help applicants, students, professors, staff and community members resolve their technical problems in an efficient and effective manner.”
What projects or events did you assist with at CCS?
“My position allowed me to communicate and resolve technical issues that customers in the U of G community experienced and then guide them through the steps to find the correct solutions. Some of the most common issues I assisted our clients with was the resetting of their passwords and resolving wifi connectivity issues, along with so much more!”
What was your most memorable moment?
“Some of my most memorable moments were the connections I made with clients whom I helped and with the CCS team themselves. When working through difficult technical issues and troubleshooting on the spot alongside clients, the process of working together to find solutions is memorable. I enjoy helping people resolve their technical issues and ultimately it was my responsibility to provide clients with solutions and making sure they leave calmly and with a smile on their face. Those moments would be my most memorable.”
What was the most challenging moment and how did you work through it?
“Some of the more challenging moments through my co-op work term at CCS would be when external issues that were out of our control took place and caused a heavier work load where we are unable to create the solution on our own. Sometimes I was faced with unique technical issues that I have never dealt with before and therefore do not have the solutions right away. In these situations, I am working under added pressures while trying to come up with potential solutions on the spot. I would work through these situations by consulting with my colleagues and supervisors to find the best solution by combining each of our ideas and perspectives together.”
What would be your advice to anyone interviewing for co-op?
“My advice would be to apply for jobs out of your comfort and field of study because it will allow you to learn more and grow your abilities and potentially find new career interests. I am a psychology student whose first co-op work term was working in the IT field, which is something I thought I would never do. Overall, I would recommend for co-op students to stay open minded when interviewing and job searching, because you get to learn skills that may prove to be useful later on in your careers.”
Do you have any tips for people either working from home or studying from home this semester?
“For both working from home and studying from home, there are definite pros and cons, but my biggest piece of advice would be to remain as organized as you can. During my experience, both working from home and then studying from home in following semesters, it is very important to stay organized and on top of all your responsibilities by using calendars, study planners, notebooks, etc. At times, it may feel like there is no schedule and work-life balance when you’re on your computer all day, but it is equally important to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and socially (safely).”