When you’re applying for your next engineering or computer science co-op placement, it can be hard to know what to look for in a company. Reading the job description and digging into the company website can only go so far.
What’s it like being an engineering co-op student at Auvik? We asked current co-op student Angela He to share her story, and talk about what’s made her experience unique from other placements.
Meet Angela He
I’m studying computer engineering at the University of Waterloo, and started my co-op term here at Auvik in January 2022. This is my fourth co-op placement, and I was looking for an opportunity to work in front-end development or UI, which I’ve been able to do at Auvik.
Being trusted from the start
I’ve never had the kind of responsibility I do at Auvik. At past co-ops, I worked on code, but would hand it off to someone senior to review. And that was it. At Auvik, not only am I the one working on code and making merge requests, but I also approve other final merges.
In past roles I haven’t had that kind of ownership. It was intimidating at first! But given that responsibility and trust from the start, I really felt like my work matters—and that’s built up my confidence. Every time I finish something, I want to be doing more, because it feels like I’m making an impact.
I’ve had a couple past experiences where I didn’t feel that same motivation or like my work was really contributing. At Auvik, people are super welcoming, open, and excited to have someone new.
Experimenting with industry standard tools
It’s been a big learning curve so far and I’ve loved exploring so many new tools and different code bases things are built on. When you’re in school, you don’t get to use all these tools that are industry standard, but there’s so much to experiment with and new ways to apply your skills. At Auvik, tools we use include things like:
- Storybook, a UI component for frontend developers
- JIRA for project management
Learning from the UI team, and being able to test our components and see how it will show up on the actual application, has been very exciting. It’s helped me realize that’s the kind of work I hope to pursue after my degree.
I’ve also learned a lot about project management. I’ve worked in Sprints and Agile before, but having a scrum master at Auvik has been really refreshing and helps keep us organized. At our daily team meetings, I’m able to see exactly what everyone else is working on. This makes it way easier to connect with people, and see how everyone’s work fits together.
Feeling belonging on the Engineering team
I’ve loved working on the engineering team here at Auvik. It’s awesome how everyone takes initiative to review your code and help out. People are super willing to answer questions, and have asked me what skills I want to learn so they can help. I haven’t felt this level of support before.
In past terms, I’ve been dumped with a code base and told to do whatever I want, but I didn’t feel comfortable asking questions, or like my work contributed to the team. Auvik has been my best co-op experience so far because I really feel part of the team and like my opinion matters. The Slack channels are very active, and the frequent meetings and check-ins from colleagues has helped feel connected in a remote environment.
Tips for your co-op interview
The supportive people at Auvik are what’s made it an amazing experience so far. You won’t find this everywhere, so I recommend applying here! During my interview with Auvik, I felt that they were asking about my individuality as a person, not just about how much code you can write in an hour.
In interviews, I recommend asking questions like, “how am I going to work with the rest of the team? How will I contribute to projects?” When you’re working, don’t be afraid to take initiative, or ask for help. When you’re surrounded by super welcoming, open, and smart people like you are at Auvik, there’s so much to learn.
Interested in applying to join Auvik for your next engineering co-op term?
If you’re at the University of Waterloo, look out for our postings on WaterlooWorks, or your school’s co-op system.