Success Stories

Oliver Jourmel

Oliver graduated with a degree in Computer Science in 2016 after completing three co-op work-terms. He reports that co-ops made a significant and positive impact on his overall degree experience, as well as his opportunities in the job market post-graduation.

In his second year, Oliver secured co-op as part of the development team at Seeker Solutions, a tech startup in Victoria BC. "The company was a fantastic experience and gave me something that is difficult to replicate in the lecture hall; a long running group project that you work on for eight hours a day, five days a week, for three months ". While he felt prepared from a skills and theoretical point of view, his work gave him a chance to solidify and develop those skills in a professional way. Additionally, he developed management and communication skills. Returning to the classroom that September, Oliver says he was more motivated and confident to continue learning and working.

The following summer, Oliver worked to create a second co-op at a company based out of Duncan BC, Knowledge Computers. As a network hardware reseller, Knowledge Computers were looking for someone to develop several automation tools that would be used in house. He says, "I became more self-reliant through this co-op and developed my problem solving skills. Working more independently, I was forced to be very thorough and consider all possible scenarios when approaching a problem".

In the final year of his degree, Oliver secured a co-op development position at the management consulting company AnalysisWorks, based in Vancouver BC. "They are a mature, lean company that are results focused, and truly believe in, and expect, personal and professional growth from their employees". Due to the small team size, and the large number of projects on the go, independence and time management were vital skills in this position. Oliver was given significant responsibility and with most of his degree finished, and two previous work term under his belt, he had the confidence to make an impact at AnalysisWorks. At the end of the summer term, Oliver was offered a full time position when he graduated.

Oliver says co-ops gave him the motivation to complete his course work, as well as the means to support himself throughout his degree. "My co-ops over the course of my degree have completely changed the value of my education at VIU. The classes and academic work were, of course, beneficial, and gave me a solid theoretical and analytical understanding of Computer Science. The work-terms however gave me practical applications of that course work. I was able to apply the vast majority of what I had learned in class to my work, and my understanding of those theoretical concepts solidified as I put them to use on a day to day basis. I feel very fortunate to be able to graduate from a degree program with three diverse work experiences and contacts within the industry".