UNB Alumni
Telling our #ProudlyUNB stories

Learning technical and soft skills in a multi-cultural environment through co-op

Author: UNB Alumni

Posted on Mar 10, 2021

Category: Computer Science , Inspiring Stories , UNB Fredericton

We chatted with 2nd-year computer science graduate student Priyal Chandrakant Jawale, who has been working at an 8-month co-op term with Teledyne-CARIS in Fredericton since September 2020, to find out more about her experience. 

Q1. Why did you choose to study CS?

As a child, I loved solving puzzles and playing board games. During high school, I developed an application on a large scale using basic programming languages such as Java and MySQL, which was a spark of dedicating my long-term career to such a fast-advancing field. Since my life has largely coincided with the emergence of the modern computing industry, I am certain that there will be many more significant advancements in this area in the future.

Q2. Why did you want to do co-op?

I was completely amazed by the concept of co-op education to gain practical work experience while studying. It provides an opportunity to work with large organizations, companies, or startups that can help to jumpstart the career. Actively learning and obtaining industry experience that would reflect my personal strength, interests, and educational needs.

The program taught me how to put together a good resume and what kind of information is relevant that can help me stand out. Moreover, I was also subjected to several interviews, and the process helped me to evaluate what the employers are looking for, as well as the kind of questions that will be asked and the answers that are expected from me.

The co-op program is the ideal way for me to get my foot in the IT industry. Besides, co-op is a good platform to get some hands-on on a variety of technical as well as soft skills in a multi-cultural environment.

Q3. What is your role at Teledyne-CARIS and what does your work entail?  

My co-op placement as a co-op developer at Teledyne CARIS so far entails improving and automating the deployment pipeline and build high-quality prototypes using programming languages in the development of responsive user-friendly web pages. This co-op has been a fantastic exposure to the vast world of information technology and understanding the interconnections that exists within it.

I was overwhelmed at the beginning when I received my first task, but the team helped me out with the learning curve. My task was to automate the conversion of HTML files to XML (DITA) format which I successfully accomplished by coding Python language using the Beautiful Soup library. This resulted in significant productivity improvement for the technical writing staff. My second task was developing a web-based application for Admin Tools using React framework and Antd (React UI) and designed mock APIs by using Bottle web framework. I am thrilled to share that my team has been selected for a scientific presentation at CIDCO Virtual Colloquium 2021 where I am presenting the highlights about Geo AI and how Teledyne-CARIS is progressing in this field.

Overall, the opportunity to work here has been an invaluable and hands-on experience that has given me insight into the day-to-day challenges in the workplace environment.

Q4. Are you working from home or at the office?

Interestingly I got an opportunity to work from the office with fewer colleagues initially. As the year was drawn into winter and the pandemic continued to present widespread disruption and concern across the world, I switched to working from home.

Q5. What’s the most fun part of your job?

I enjoy the relaxed and welcoming environment at Teledyne CARIS. Working here is the most enjoyable part of my job because I get to learn new things every day. Even though I was unfamiliar with fewer innovations, I could practice and work at my own pace.

Moreover, the social committee keeps organizing activities for staff throughout the year. I got a chance to participate in Golf Tournament and that was my first time, everyone was so supportive and encouraging, I got a hold of it as we reached the last golf court. Also, I participated in the virtual Halloween Costume Contest and Baking Show.

Q6. How do you think what you’ve learned on the job will complement what you learn in class?

I believe the coding conventions, problem-solving approaches, gaining an understanding and acknowledging solutions from all possible test cases, automating scripts, and many more such skills that I learned during my co-op will be helpful to implement in the remaining courses of my graduate studies, since the majority of the graduate studies courses includes project execution which demands a significant amount of coding in programming languages.

Additionally, bringing the professional experience back to the school would be extremely beneficial in terms of putting the graduate studies into perspective. I think I will have a better understanding of why the program requires specific courses and how they’re related to my field.

Q7. What are your goals for your career?

I aim to have broad exposure to different computer science fields and become a proficient programmer. I am looking forward to gaining experience conducting research and undertaking major projects, many of these projects will require a collaborative effort, which will aid me in establishing a future in this field. Evaluating solutions that contribute to something meaningful, that makes a difference in people’s lives.