Chelsea Ohiolei Ehimiaghe
Meet Chelsea Ohiolei Ehimiaghe:
Chelsea Ohiolei Ehimiaghe is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from the University of Guelph. After just graduating from U of G’s co-op program this year, she was offered not one, but two jobs. She accepted a job and is currently working with Candu Energy – SNC Lavalin Nuclear as a Systems Engineering Designer. Throughout her undergrad, Chelsea worked various different roles in her co-op work terms, and was able to gain the skills and confidence needed to work in the engineering field, where she discovered she belonged. Chelsea shares with us her co-op journey from beginning to end, including the different work terms she completed, the skills she gained, what she’s doing now, and what her advice is for current co-op students.
Tell us about your first co-op work term. What was the journey like to getting there?
“My first co-op work term was at Toyota Motor Manufacturing. I interviewed with them in Winter 2018 for a 4-month work term for Summer 2018 but was not offered the position, so I took the semester off. I was later contacted in Fall 2018 by them for an 8-month role for Winter 2019 which I accepted.”
What was your role in your various co-op work terms?
“Most of my roles were Project Management related. I worked as a Production Engineer at Toyota and as a Project Engineer at IPEX Management Inc. I also worked as an Instructional and Technical Support Assistant with the Mclaughlin Library after my work term at Bruce Power was cancelled due to COVID-19.”
What skills did you gain from these work terms? Did those skills help you get to where you are today?
“I gained tons of technical and project management skills throughout my work terms. These skills helped me improve in both work and school settings.”
How did you keep your spirits up while job searching for co-op work terms?
“I knew my strengths and abilities. After being nominated for the co-op student of the year at Toyota, I considered myself to be an asset to any team I found myself in. This enabled me to keep my head up high and trust that I will be recognized and sought after by various organizations.”
What is your full-time job in now? What is your role?
“I was opportune to obtain two full-time job offers. First offer was from Toyota Motor Manufacturing where I worked previously as a co-op student. Second offer was from Candu Energy - SNC Lavalin Nuclear, where I work currently as a Systems Engineering Designer.”
What are you most excited about for your career journey?
“I am excited to be in an industry that is vast growing and chasing after sustainability. I am interested in witnessing and contributing to the various explorations of new technologies to provide safe and effective nuclear solutions.”
What is your best advice to current co-op students?
“Do not give up! It is okay to have big dreams and chase after them. Though life happens and some dreams do not come to pass, there are experiences and lessons that make it all worth it at the end.”
What was your biggest takeaway from co-op?
“Co-op made me realize that I belong in Engineering. I always questioned whether I was in the right field and whether I would get a job that I loved, and co-op was useful in showing me what engineering looks like in the real world. It is a useful program and I do not think there can be any regrets from being a part of it.”
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
“Basically, do not give up. I cannot emphasize this enough.”