Learning new technology in a responsive and collaborative workplace
Meet Jack, co-op student
As an SFU student working on his master’s degree in professional computer science for big data, Jack studies cloud computing and data science. His experience at WorkSafeBC as a co-op student in the Analytical Data and Lifecycle Services department helped him build on what he has learned in school and has been instrumental in guiding his career and working with new tools and technology.
Being interested in data integrity and validity, Jack applied to WorkSafeBC because he knew the organization works with large amounts of data. “Teams need to make data-driven decisions related to healthy and safe workplaces as part of their everyday work. Part of what I do is provide that data to help facilitate decision making or work processes,” he says.
Opportunities to learn new tools and technology
During his two work terms, Jack’s day-to-day tasks involved providing and analyzing data. “My co-op goal was to gain experience doing things that I couldn’t learn in school,” he says. One of the first things he learned was how to use reporting software to present data. “I’ve learned things like Tableau, Power BI, and Report Builder, which is a branch of Power BI. There was also training using advanced Excel functions and how to utilize software to create reports and work with our various databases.”
He also learned how to work with the technology behind databases, like SQL for extracting data.
Collaborative and responsive work environment
He found WorkSafeBC to have a very collaborative and supportive work environment. As an example, after starting his co-op experience in an analyst role, Jack learned about WorkSafeBC’s data science team and was very interested in gaining experience in this field. After speaking with his manager about it, Jack had the opportunity to go join that team on projects.
“I had the opportunity to work with many different teams in the department and they made accommodations to suit my background and interests. I was given choices to work on projects that would advance my knowledge of data science,” he says. He was grateful for his manager’s flexibility, understanding, and willingness to help him gain experience outside of his co-op role.
As part of the data science team, he was involved with the migration of WorkSafeBC’s machine learning models to the cloud. “It’s been a big, ongoing project and we’re hoping to really push it and finish up this migration process. Moving from a local platform to a more accessible cloud platform has been a major accomplishment for the organization.”
Co-op experience helped shape career goals
Jack credits his role at WorkSafeBC with giving him a clearer picture of what it means to be a data analyst versus a data scientist. “My experience here has helped me figure out what I really want to pursue in my career and how to build my skillset to match that.”
“If you are looking for an opportunity to really try out different things, push yourself, collaborate, and learn new skills, then this is the perfect environment.”
To learn about our co-op work opportunities, visit our student recruitment page.