Mentorship and making a difference at RBC

Andrea Chakma, a third-year mechatronics engineering student shares a little bit about her experience at the Royal Bank of Canada and TJX Canada. 

Headshot of Andrea Chakma, third year mechatronics engineering studentAndrea spent her first work term at TJX Canada as a business analyst in their IT finance team. After that, she spent three terms at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in various roles such as Technical Systems Analyst, Cloud Security Developer and Data Engineer

During her first term at RBC, Andrea says, “they paired me up with a senior developer in another team and she was phenomenal. I still have conversations with her today and she was an amazing role model who genuinely understood where I was coming from when I expressed my worries about doing well in a technical role. I wasn’t really sure where I was going career wise and how I wanted to grow but she really guided me through that.” 

That mentor had introduced her to a manager, and they wanted Andrea to be a part of their team. Andrea took on this opportunity thinking it would be a great learning experience for her and didn’t know she was going to be lucky enough to secure a job during the pandemic! Since then, she has gone back to work at RBC again as a Data Engineer.

"The importance of finding role models is incredibly important."

aNDREA CHAKMA, third year mechatronics engineering student 

Andrea says her most rewarding thing about co-op has been, “the ability to have in person experience and industry experience. You take the different learnings you get in university and you get to apply them in a real-world situation which will actually help a company or help a person.”  

Andrea and her co-workers at RBCAndrea Chakma and her fellow co-op students and coworkers during her work term at RBC.

Andrea Chakma and her fellow co-op students and coworkers during her work term at RBC.

What sort of technologies have you used in your work term that were new to you?  

Some of the tools, frameworks and coding Languages Andrea learnt during her co-op terms includes C++, Python, C#, Java, HTML, XML, PowerShell, Git, AWS, Arduino, Jenkins, Confluence, Microsoft Office, Anaconda, Jupyter Notebook and Splunk.  

What are some highlights of your co-op job? 

I think the biggest highlight for me was during that my second co-op where they gave me 2 weeks to figure out this problem. There wasn't really any pressure that they put on me to get it done, but I felt a pressure on myself and then I was like OK, I want to go out of this co-op knowing that I really did this project super successfully.

Now that I've come back for like the third time at RBC, that tool is actually still in use by a lot of teams across RBC which is super super exciting because whenever I see it, I'm like oh yeah, I created that. I helped create that! I think that is my biggest achievement and something I’m most proud of. 

Andrea sitting out side in the sun smiling

That first project gave me the confidence to come back to RBC and work on some cool projects such as creating security controls for an app launch and working on Machine Learning capabilities within the Cloud Environment that had a great impact in their own ways. I was able to help support the launch of an app that RBC recently launched last November. Once the app was launched, I knew the work I did had made a difference.