Co-op Success Stories
Kelly Brennan, Class of 2016
Degree: Bachelor of Commerce
Major: Marketing Management
Kelly is a great example of a co-op success! After living in three different provinces and having attended six different schools, she decided plant her roots at the University of Guelph for her undergrad. Why U of G? “Guelph was a very welcoming atmosphere and I loved the small town charm”. She also said that the co-op program was a major perk, as she’d be able to gain meaningful work experience during her degree before she chooses a career.
Q: Where did you complete your work terms and what kind of work did you do?
K: “I have completed all of my co-op terms at the Canadian Tire Corporation. My first term was in an IT division where I had the opportunity to spearhead the launch of a new program. I was responsible for training my entire team on this new program as well as doing quality assurance. After that term I was hired for another Canadian Tire co-op position in the Corporate Events department where I supported the planning of the Canada Sports Hall of Fame Inductee Gala, along with many employee engagement events. For my last work term in the summer of 2015, I was given the opportunity to plan events on my own! To date, I have managed a total of $100,000 worth of budget for 3 separate events. I absolutely love being with the company and can definitely see myself having a career here!
Q: Any advice for co-op students on their first work term?
K: “My advice for first year co-op students is to stay motivated and focused. The job search is tough, but you have made the right decision entering the co-op program, and it will pay off in the long run. Another piece of advice I would give is that once you get into a job, work hard, and seek out networking and volunteer opportunities whenever possible. I got to where I am today by volunteering at events! Remember, there is a lot of competition out there so you MUST be willing to go the extra mile in order to stand out to your employer. The extra effort you put in now will pay off in the long run.”
Degree: Bachelor of Commerce, Class of 2014
Major: Management Economics & Finance
Three words that best describe Yosra: passionate, driven, and involved. To say that Yosra was active on campus during her time as an undergrad is a bit of an understatement. Yosra’s long list of impressive accomplishments certainly caught the eye of those in the university community as well as the city of Guelph, as she was named one of the Guelph Mercury’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2014.
Yosra has been an Orientation Volunteer, a member of the Economics and Finance Association, and a Bachelor of Commerce Student Senator. In case that wasn’t keeping her busy enough, the majority of her student involvement focused on the College of Business and Economics Students' Association (CBESA) where she was President in her fifth year. Naturally, it’s no surprise that Yosra was the 2013 recipient of the Collin Cureatz Memorial Award for Co-op Student Involvement.
She chose to enter the co-op program because she recognized the value of gaining real-life work experiences, saying “Co-op turned out to be one of the best experiences of my university career. The amount of personal development, networks and connections made and the opportunity to explore different career paths has been truly invaluable. When I started my university experience, I was eager to apply my learning to a professional work setting and develop my skill set and after 5 work terms, I reflect on the amount of growth, my ability to confidently contribute to the workplace and some of the projects I had the privilege of working on and I could not be more grateful for what co-op had to offer me”.
Yosra took advantage of the diverse co-op opportunities in the finance sectors and successfully completed work terms with FMRP (a reinsurance company), Agricorp, and the Toronto Transit Commission. She held positions as a tax claims analyst, an associate claims adjudicator, and a reporting and budgets analyst, respectively. She says, “My biggest piece of advice is to use this opportunity to explore all the different career possibilities and companies you might be interested in. Take this time to try out various positions, develop your skills, establish a network and prove yourself. Whether you get a career out of your co-op experiences, or you learn about a different career path you'd like to explore, the people you meet along your journey will be the people who can help you get to where you want to be. Do your best and you will find the co-op experience so rewarding!”
What’s next for Yosra? “My aspiration is to build on my undergrad degree in economics and finance and pursue masters' studies in public administration to be able to influence policy and decision making in food and resources, the environment or international development. . . I hope that post-graduation I can take time to travel the world, volunteer with humanitarian and not for profit organizations and make a difference in the world”. We have a good feeling that if anyone can make a difference, and we’re confident that this is only the beginning of Yosra’s success story.
Andrew Crawford, Class of 2016
Degree: Bachelor of Commerce
Major: Marketing Management
Andrew’s story and experiences offer great insight into the importance of keeping an open mind during work terms and exploring different job opportunities.
Andrew is going to be starting his 5th and final year at the University of Guelph in September. Upon reflection, he reveals that one of his favourite things about the University of Guelph is the beautiful campus and all that it has to offer. Being an avid athlete, Andrew participates in a number of intramural sports during his academic semesters on campus. He is pleased with the changes that have been taking place in regards to the university’s athletic facilities and is excited to see the final result of the renovations and additions.
In terms of Andrew’s co-op success, his hard work and determination have helped him receive employment from major banks such as RBC and Scotiabank. He worked as a Learning Communication Coordinator at RBC Learning. His focus at this position was to build a tool to communicate all the professional and skill development courses available to internal employees. While at RBC, Andrew was a member of the winning team for the co-op innovation day which tested over 140 co-op students critical-thinking skills to allow strategic and creative solutions. RBC was so impressed with the tool Andrew and his team created that it is now being implemented for future co-op students. During his time at Scotiabank, where Andrew spent 12 months working, he was a part of the Direct Marketing team for International Banking. Andrew was responsible for communicating with country representatives, writers and compliance agencies to successfully get telemarketing, direct mail, SMS and email campaigns out on time. A major accomplishment for Andrew was the successful launch of his own direct mail campaign, where he created his own creative piece for Scotiabank, all while staying within budget.
After having completed these amazing work experiences, Andrew has realized that his career aspirations have evolved and progressed over time. Being in marketing management, he did not imagine himself working at a major bank, let alone two. These work terms have broadened his horizons and opened his eyes to the truly vast number of opportunities that are available to him, even if they aren’t marketing specific. Andrew has learned that keeping an open mind is crucial when applying for jobs; noting that managers will always find ways to utilize the unique skills that each individual brings to the table.
When asked what piece of advice he’d give to first year co-op students, only one word came to mind: NETWORK! Andrew stressed on the importance of networking as much as possible and keeping in touch with colleagues after completing a work term. By leaving a good impression on your coworkers, and staying connected with them, you can always reach out at a later date to inquire about possible new opportunities.
We look admirably at the success that Andrew has achieved thus far in his academic and professional careers and wish him the absolute best in the future.
Allyssa Wickens, Class of 2016
Degree: Bachelor of Commerce
Major: Marketing Management
From a semester abroad in exotic India to completing co-op terms in the booming business hub of Waterloo, Allyssa’s experiences as a co-op student at the University of Guelph have literally and figuratively broadened her horizons.
In her third year, Allyssa took advantage of an exciting opportunity to spend a semester abroad in India with 24 other students, traveling from the south to the north of the beautiful country. She reflects, “The semester abroad taught me so much about team work, myself, life and how business operates around the world; the social norms, cultural differences and also similarities. Being immersed in a different country teaches you how to adapt to new situations, communicate in new ways where language may be a barrier and to focus on the positive in every situation”.
Aside from her worldly travels, Allyssa has completed co-op work terms with the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing at the University of Waterloo and Manulife Financial. These positions allowed her to contribute to high-caliber marketing initiatives, exercise her accounting skills, develop key relationships with clients, and build many other valuable skills.
Allyssa also recognizes how the dynamic mentorship of her co-op supervisors added to the experience of the work term, noting “The managers I have had trusted me and encouraged me to pursue my goals. At the CEMC I reported to the Director. Ian had the busiest schedule but always made time to answer questions I had and guide me in the right direction. At Manulife Wilma did everything she could to further my professional and personal development. I worked with an exceptional team at Manulife who brought so much positivity into my work term. I am forever grateful the amount of respect I received, I never once felt temporary or like a student. I felt like a member of a team”.
When asked why she decided to pursue co-op at Guelph, she says “opting for co-op at Guelph has been one of my best decisions thus far! I picked co-op for many reasons from networking to the financial perks, building my resume and transferring my knowledge from the classroom to the work place. I am so happy that serving ice cream cones is no longer highlighted on my resume!”
With two more years in her undergrad to complete, we can’t wait to hear about Allyssa’s next adventure!
Mia Kilborn, Class of 2016
Degree: Bachelor of Computing
Major: Software Engineering
Mia sure is one busy Gryphon! In addition to being an active member of the Guelph Coding Community & the Society of Computing and Information Sciences, she volunteered as the financial coordinator for Guelph Queer Equality, participated on the hiring committee for the “Go for Gold Search Committee”, and helped organize the Ontario Conference for Women in Computing when the University of Guelph in Fall 2014! Mia has truly has a diverse co-op experience, having had the opportunity to work in province, out of province & out of country.
Q: Why did you choose to study co-op at the University of Guelph?
A: I chose to come to Guelph because I liked the atmosphere compared to other schools. I recognized that it's extremely important to choose a school which has an environment that sets me up to enjoy life both inside and outside of my academic studies. If I can’t be happy, I’m not going to succeed. Guelph is just a lovely town.
Specifically, I chose to do coop for a couple reasons. First and foremost, the job experience. Coming from high school, I had no experience in computing and really wanted to graduate with real work experience under my belt. Secondly, university is hard and stressful. There’s no way around that. Co-op provides you with the opportunity to take time off school, destress and get excited to return back to your studies when it’s time. Additionally, doing a co-op program really helps you out financially.
Q: Can you describe the work terms you have completed?
A: So I started out by completing my first two co-op placements in Guelph. The first was with the government of Ontario, cleaning up some data quality and organization issues they were having as well as helping design a “Knowledgement Management System”. After that I worked for a company called Trans Plus Corp. There, I worked on migrating their flagship product from VB6 to VB.NET.
For my third co-op position, I moved out to Montreal to work for Morgan Stanley Financial. I worked in cloud security, developing a prototype for a new method of integrating multiple third party cloud systems (both software as a service and platforms as a service) with in-house security enforcement systems. My proof of concept, CELT, was later presented at the Morgan Stanley Tech Expo in Montreal.
Q: What advice would you give to first year co-op students?
A: I remember being in first year, looking at the listing of coop jobs. Specifically looking at the list of technologies they wanted you to know. I was overwhelmed and convinced that there was no way anyone was going to hire me - I didn’t know everything that they wanted me to. I would strongly encourage students to apply for any job that sounds interesting to them, regardless of what experience they have compared to what the listing is asking for. Don’t lie on your resume, be honest about what you don’t know, but don’t let it hold you back when applying.
My second piece of advice is learn how to take a technical interview. This is extremely important. The COOP*1100 course that you take in second year will not prepare you for our interviews. There are some great resources out there, like the book - Cracking the Coding Interview, for example. Whenever you work through practice questions. don’t cheat. Sit down with nothing but paper and a pen, or stand at a whiteboard. Code like that, it’s exactly what you can expect when you go in interviews. Sometimes, SOCIS - the society of computing and information sciences occasionally puts on mock interview sessions. If possible, go to them!
Deanne Durward, Class of 2016
Degree: Bachelor of Engineering
Major: Environmental Engineering
Deanne is certainly one busy Gryphon! As a Co-operative Education & Career Services Peer Helper, Orientation Volunteer, U of G Ambassador and the Sustainability Week Advertising Co-Lead she definitely keeps herself busy while on campus! In addition to working for the Government in Ottawa and the University of Guelph, Deanne had the unique opportunity of working at the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon in Lyons, France!
Q: Tell us about your job in Lyons, France!
A: “For my third, and arguably most exciting work term, I was a Research Assistant at the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon in Lyon, France. I lived in France for three months, working at a highly regarded university specializing in engineering. I was able to do this through the Ontario-Rhône-Alpes (ORA) Summer Research Program (SRP). Science, Engineering, and Health Science students receive scholarships through Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities. The duration of the research term is 3 months and takes place at one of the eight partner-universities in Rhône-Alpes. It was my responsibility to contact universities in France and find a professor to do research with. In order to participate, I needed to fill out an application. This includes a general information form, reference letter from a U of G professor, letter of agreement from the professor in France, a description of the research project, a letter explaining why I wanted to participate in ORA, and my academic transcript. When I found out that I was accepted into the program, I was ecstatic! Not only was I living in France and taking in this new interesting culture, I was also gaining work experience.
I worked under a professor who was involved with many different, exciting projects in the mechanical-biomedical engineering field. I was given the task of doing laboratory experiments based on a previous student’s master’s project. The purpose of this project was to develop a haptic teleoperation surgical robot to be used for needle insertion in a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine. I am not in a biomedical field. Or robotics. The first time I read this description I had no idea what it meant. After doing some research, I learned that this would be a cutting edge project in a relatively new and very exciting field!
For the first month of my work term, I read textbooks that my supervisors recommended in order for me to learn about modern control systems, robotic devices, and the electrical work behind them. Finally, my supervisors felt that I was ready to get into the lab. My work area consisted of a table with two computer monitors and a lot of wires going in different places and some other intense looking devices. For some reason I imagined the robot that I would be working with to look like Wall-e, that cute Disney recycling robot, but it was actually impressively small.
Out of my element, I jumped in. After trial and error, I became comfortable with the equipment. I performed experiments with the robot and tweaked the computer interface that I was using to control the amount of pressure being let into the device. I made changes, re-ran the trials, consulted with my supervisors whenever I needed help, and slowly but surely made progress. It was the first time the project was actually being tested, so no one knew what was going to happen. By the end of my term I had done quite a few trials and was able to point out some major issues with the setup of the experiments and the device that my supervisors were able to use and move forward with. “
To learn more about Deanne’s experience, click here to read the Centre for International Program’s article!
Q: What has been the most challenging obstacle in your university career, and how did you overcome it?
A: “The most challenging obstacle that I have overcome was probably the search for my first work term. It was difficult to balance applying to jobs and schoolwork at the same time. This happens for some work terms, when the hunt for a job occurs during a school term. The first one was especially difficult because I had no previous related work experience and there were so many other students looking for jobs, some in higher years who had completed previous work terms. How did I get through it? I tried to stay on top of everything as much as possible. I checked for new job postings on Recruit Guelph every day and applied to as many as possible, including ones that were outside of my field. I kept a table with skills and resume points so that I could make updates according to the position. I found this was an effective way to quickly create application packages that were tailored to the needs of each job. Eventually, I was able to find my first work term position as a Field Technician and truly enjoyed it."
Lauren Patrick, Class of 2014
Degree: Bachelor of Engineering
Major: Mechanical Engineering
As a two-time “Co-op Student of the Year” award recipient, it’s no wonder Lauren was snapped up by a previous co-op employer right after graduation!
Lauren’s in-depth involvement (which is a bit of an understatement) in campus organizations and as a volunteer made her combination of talented skills and proactive attitude a hot commodity as a new graduate.
A leader both on campus and in the broader community of Guelph, Lauren was a campus tour guide, a Senior Peer Helper here at CECS, and a member of the Guelph chapter of Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE). Not only that, Lauren contributed her enthusiastic spirit as a leader of a Sparks unit with the Girl Guides of Canada.
All of these extra-curricular commitments brought with them significant challenges and learning opportunities for Lauren. She notes that the most challenging obstacle of her university career was trying not to take on too much while being in school, and that learning to say no and let go of too many responsibilities was a valuable lesson to learn.
Lauren also learned a lot about herself during her co-op experiences. Initially, Lauren set out on her first work term with the vision of going into the field of medical research after graduation. By the end of her final work term, she found that her interests shifted more to the industry side of things and realized she especially enjoyed project management. This turned out to be the perfect mix of technical work and “people work”, giving her the chance use her engineering skills while working and interacting with others.
As for the skills gained throughout co-op, Lauren says that “the biggest thing I took away from co-op was how to work in a professional environment. This is everything from how to write a good business email to how to behave in a meeting. A lot of the technical work could have been learned in school, but seeing how to be a professional is something that I can use anywhere”.
Lauren completed work terms with SickKids Hospital, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, and Vancouver Airport Authority. The diversity of these positions allowed her to contribute to such projects as statistical control processes, writing business cases, liaising between vendors and contractors, and developing a non-invasive method of testing for cystic fibrosis.
What advice does Lauren have for first year students? “I think the biggest thing is not to be afraid to try something new, whether that is a job, a volunteer opportunity, a work environment or even a city. This is especially important if you are not quite sure what you want to do because you can explore different things and find out what you really like. I also threw in volunteer opportunity because you could even find your dream job through connections there! Last year, one of the parents of my Sparks and I were chatting and he was a mechanical engineer too. He told me that if I ever needed a job, I should get in touch. You never know!”
Lauren certainly impressed her supervisors at Vancouver Airport Authority (we’re not surprised!), as she has secured a position with them as a Junior Project Engineer. We predict a bright future for Lauren and wish her all the best in her career!
Anna McFarlan, Class of 2016
Degree: Bachelor of Engineering
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Anna is one busy Gryphon! From balancing academics, co-op, volunteering, intramurals and her involvement with the Engineering Society, she is an excellent example of how perseverance, an open mind, and a little elbow grease (okay, maybe more than a little) are a sure-fire recipe for success!
Anna is currently on her third work term working as a Biomedical Engineering Assistant at Benlan Inc., a company that makes Class 1 and 2 medical devices. Here, she performs various types of product testing, documents her findings and generates reports. Anna enjoys being in a position directly related to her field of study and that allows her to make connections between her courses and their real life application.
However, her co-op journey has not been without its small bumps along the road. The challenge of securing her first work term, and especially competing against experienced third and fourth year students, was not easy. Anna showed great dedication and perseverance throughout her job search, applying to many jobs and even driving to interviews in between writing her final exams. Her proactive attitude and initiative paid off, and she secured a great position with Maple Leaf Consumer Foods.
Anna applied this proven initiative and hard-working attitude to her work with Maple Leaf, and attributes this experience to helping her land her current position with Benlan Inc. Anna’s advice to first year co-op students is to “apply to as many positions as possible for your first work term. There is a lot of competition for positions, so being open to different locations, opportunities and industries is a good thing. That experience and referral you gain from your first term may help you to land your dream job the next time”.
In the fall, she will be back on campus and taking on a new role as Vice President of Student Life with the Engineering Society. Anna looks forward to exploring the different fields of engineering in her upcoming co-op positions, and we look forward to hearing about her future endeavours!
Devon Hardy, Class of 2014
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences
Major: Environmental Economics & Policy
Choosing the co-op program at the University of Guelph because she wanted to gain relevant employment experience and explore future career paths, Devon certainly got a lot more than she bargained for! This recent grad’s story showcases how a passion for getting involved and taking advantage of new opportunities – not to mention phenomenal time management skills – can set you up for success after graduation.
A lover of yoga, languages, and the ukulele (what can’t she do?) Devon definitely stepped up to the plate when it came to exploring the diversity of co-op positions available. As a Junior Business Analyst with BioEnterprise Corp., Devon got a taste of the business side of things doing market research and helping entrepreneurs build their business cases. She then switched gears and got out in the field for her last two co-op terms acquiring and analyzing greywater samples with the City of Guelph’s water conservation department and as a stormwater inspector for the City of Kitchener. Overall, Devon’s co-op experiences certainly provided her with a solid foundation of dynamic skills.
Devon managed to juggle her co-op work terms and academics as well as being extremely active in campus organizations and as a volunteer. Devon held three different positions with the Environmental Sciences Student Executive throughout her undergrad, and volunteered as a Peer Helper with Co-op & Career Services. About her time at UofG, Devon says “I learned more than I can really express on paper. I learned time management, networking skills, writing skills and leadership. Most of all, I learned a lot about myself. Without that kind of self-exploration, I may not have realized my career goals and had the drive to really go after them”.
To say that Devon has been bitten by the travel bug is a bit of an understatement. Between co-op work terms, she made time to volunteer with turtles in Costa Rica during the summer and even spent a semester abroad in India! Devon is currently traveling around New Zealand until her next adventure brings her to Montreal in the fall, where she’ll start her next chapter in a prestigious Integrated Water Resources Management master’s program at McGill. We wish Devon all the best, and can’t wait to hear about her future adventures!
Rick Fioravanti, Class of 2012
Degree: Bachelor of Science
They say the harder you work the luckier you get. This is certainly true for Rick, who worked so hard during his co-op work terms that he was lucky enough to get hired by one of his co-op employers after graduation!
Rick was extremely active on campus during his time at UofG. Besides juggling co-op and academics, Rick was also President of the Toxicology Student Association, a Peer Helper here at CECS, and he held down a part-time job off-campus. Not to mention his involvement with intramurals – Rick played ball hockey, ice hockey, volleyball, flag football, dodgeball, badminton, squash, ultimate Frisbee, and last but not least, inner tube water polo. If there was an award for most intramural sports played, Rick would definitely be a top contender!
Drawn to the co-op program due to its competitive advantages and financial incentives, Rick’s co-op experiences allowed him to truly narrow down his career aspirations and jump start his life after graduation. Rick completed work terms with Maple Leaf Consumer Foods, Health Canada, and finally SPL Consultants Ltd. These positions allowed him to experience the diverse variety of co-op jobs, working as a food technologist, regulatory officer and environmental technician, respectively.
Originally in the Biomedical Toxicology program with the goal of working in the pharmaceutical industry, Rick realized he loved being out in the field and interacting with clients. He then transferred into the Toxicology program, which allowed him to take more geology classes, fully preparing him for a career in environmental consulting. Rick’s decision to follow his passion certainly paid off, as he is now employed with SPL Consultants Ltd.
Rick’s advice to recent grads – “Network, network, network! Get involved in community events, sports, and activities. You never know who you meet that will help you get a foot in the door”.
We wish Rick all the best and look forward to hearing about his future successes!
Beka Boutin, Class of 2015
Degree: Bachelor of Science
Major: Biological & Pharmaceutical Chemistry with a minor in Microbiology
University is a time for broadening your horizons and discovering your passions. For Beka, this includes salsa dancing, baby ducks, and antibiotics!
Choosing the University of Guelph due to its active student community combined with strong academics, Beka also recognized the value of the co-op program before even stepping foot on campus. “The ability to network with different employers and to explore career possibilities in industry, government and academic fields was something I didn’t want to pass up”, she says. Now heading into her fifth and final year with four work terms under her belt, Beka’s co-op experiences have allowed her to explore her career options in both industrial and academic research labs and provided her with a clear focus of life after graduation.
Along with conducting impressive research during her co-op terms, Beka is highly involved in campus life. She has been an executive member of College Royal for the past four years, organizing events such as the pancake flip and the duck show, which involved taking care of 15 baby ducks for three weeks. Talk about commitment! Beka also keeps busy as an Ambassador for UofG, giving tours to prospective students, and volunteering with Project Serve, Get Swabbed, and Trick or Eat. To top it all off, Beka regularly enjoys dance classes, yoga, and beach volleyball.
For her first co-op term, Beka worked in the Analytical Standards Group at Apotex, a large multinational pharmaceutical company. Here she analyzed drug impurity standards by running analytical testing using spectroscopy. Next, she worked for the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology here at UofG in the lab of Dr. Janet Wood. Beka was entrusted with her own project studying the change of proteins in E. coli. About the experience, she says “The responsibility of having my own project allowed me to develop my critical thinking skills and really develop as a scientist. Thanks to her support and guidance I have gained many invaluable skills and have more confidence going forward”.
Beka is back in the lab again this summer for her fourth and final work term with Dr. Joseph Lam, where she is investigating the effectiveness of antibiotics against bacteria causing lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients. This co-op term has been instrumental in helping Beka develop her career aspirations, noting “I’m presently looking into grad schools and my experience with co-op has enabled me to focus my interests; I know that I would like to do a Master’s in microbiology with a focus on antibiotics”.
With such a dynamic list of accomplishments, we’re confident that she will certainly be making waves in the science world for many years to come!
Zeinab Abboud, Class of 2014
Degree: Bachelor of Science
Major: Nanoscience, with a double minor in Physics and Mathematics
Future Nobel Prize winner? We’d like to think so!
Zeinab’s co-op experience is a prime example of the amazing things that can be accomplished when you take risks and initiative in discovering what you’re passionate about. Throughout her four work terms, Zeinab has been involved with some highly impressive research projects.
Zeinab has literally broadened her horizons during her work terms which have brought her to Vancouver, Montreal, and even to the United States in Indiana. She has held co-op positions at TRIUMF, the University of Notre Dame, FPInnovations, as well as a summer job as a result of her co-op work with the University of Alberta. In these roles, Zeinab has spearheaded such projects as the Fast Kicker, a high voltage ion beam deflector, produced a paper-based touch pad prototype, as well as significantly contributed to research on nanofibers for energy conversion devices. With a list of accomplishments like this, it’s no wonder she was nominated for Co-op Student of the Year!
It was during her first work term as a research assistant at TRIUMF, Canada’s National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics, that Zeinab discovered her love of research with the help of her dynamic supervisor. Zeinab states, “Due to his mentorship and guidance, my perspective of learning and observing scientific concepts significantly changed, which impacted the way I study during my academic terms”. Following her other research experiences, especially at the University of Notre Dame, she realized how much she loved research revolving around novel semiconducting materials for energy conversion devices. Zeinab is now applying to graduate studies in Material Science and Engineering as she aspires to contribute to the improvement of solar cells.
What advice does Zeinab offer to first year students? “Take advantage of the opportunities that are offered on campus during your undergraduate studies, get involved within your community, volunteer on campus in different things – it will help you tremendously in the future! When you're looking for co-op jobs, apply for all the jobs you would like to do, even if you think you might not get in, you never know what could happen. I would not be where I am now if I hadn't done that, and I most certainly am glad that I did”.
We wish Zeinab the best of luck in her future – not that we think she needs it!