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Learning new skills in a fast-paced environment

Published on: October 14, 2021

Meet Simran

Simran started as a co-op student on our Innovation Services team in May 2021 and, in a short amount of time, he's expanded his skills and experience. Simran has had the opportunity to work with many applications and tools, including OpenCensus, Azure DevOps, Azure App Insights, IOS development tools, and Python.

"I get experience using many different technologies, even some that I never used in school," says Simran. "With each new project, there could be a case for applying another technology. I can't think of many companies that would be able to give you that range of experience and exposure."

Coming from an accounting background, Simran made a career change by enrolling in the Computing Science program at SFU. This decision stemmed from realizing he wanted to make more of an impact, which he felt he could do through software engineering. "I found an opportunity at WorkSafeBC where I can make a difference — by the apps that we provide — to help keep workplaces safe."

Creating tools that positively influence health and safety

Simran is currently working on a new E-Limit search tool that's expected to be available to the public later this year. It's designed to keep workers safe from potential harmful exposures in the workplace by consolidating information from different sources into a single searchable tool. The app will help ensure that the most up-to-date information about B.C. exposure limits is accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

The idea for the application came from InnoFest, an annual event where employees from across WorkSafeBC come together to create something new or to solve a problem that provides value to our stakeholders.

"On the E-Limit project, I work with the Policy, Regulation, and Research team and it's interesting because they all come from a scientific background. I value learning and have learned so much outside of my skill set and field in this role. It's exciting to work with different teams and use my own unique skill set to innovate and improve in whatever way I can."

An agile team approach

Simran wasn't sure what to expect in a software developer position at WorkSafeBC, and was surprised at how quickly things could move on an agile team: "We had an idea that was ready for testing within a month. Seeing an idea from concept through to implementation is very exciting and rewarding. That's what attracted me to the team."

Engaging work in a supportive environment

"I'm always going to get stuck or have one issue that I just can't overcome. That's one of the things I enjoy about this field. I can have a problem that's just going to eat at me, but the feeling I get when I fix it is immensely rewarding. I value challenging work and the team here allows me to do that." So far, every one of the projects that Simran's worked on has had a challenging aspect, which he appreciates.

Simran has been supported by the organization in many ways, including career development. "I just received an email last week from HR about workshops on how to progress in my career. Even after I'm finished my co-op term here, WorkSafeBC is committed to building relationships and a network of support."

When Simran started his work term during the COVID-19 pandemic, he expected that working remotely might be challenging. Fortunately, his experience has been very positive. "It's not the same as working in person, but WorkSafeBC has done everything they can to improve the co-op experience. Within my department, we took part in team-building exercises where I got to know my colleagues and other co-op students," he shares.

Throughout Simran's co-op experience, he's felt supported by co-workers and managers through their willingness to help in whatever way he needs: "My manager has been very helpful in guiding and mentoring me. On our team, co-op students pick a main project and if they have an interest in other projects, they can just speak up and be a part of that team."

Simran values that his team is receptive to feedback and able to accommodate his personal learning goals. "Even as a co-op student, my voice matters," he says. "If I have something to say, I'll be heard and supported."

Learn more about our opportunities

To learn about our co-op work opportunities, visit our student recruitment page.

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