By: Namish Modi (he/him) and Krista Henry (she/her)

What were some of the top co-op and next generation talent stories of the year?

These top stories provide insights about emerging talent and showcase how Waterloo students add value to the organizations and industries where they work.

Here are the most-viewed stories of 2023:

1. OMERS and Oxford Properties invest in future talent that aligns with their organizational values

Pension and investment funds OMERS and Oxford Properties (OMERS) appreciate the innovation and fresh ideas that come from hiring co-op students. The company offers students the opportunity to work on meaningful projects while gaining valuable experience.

2. What can supervisors do to ensure a successful co-op term for students? The 4Cs of supervision success for next generation talent

The 4C model was the central theme of Co-operative and Experiential Education's (CEE) Future-Ready Workforce Series webinar in September. The research-based model for successful supervision identifies actions related to creating, communicating, connecting and caring that supervisors can do to support co-op students and other emerging talent.

3. Five ways AI will change the future of work

Panelists at CEE’s Talent Evolution Series discussed the role of artificial intelligence (AI) at work. Insights from the event included the fact that AI is a tool and humans remain key to the workplace. Panelists discussed how AI increases efficiency by managing repetitive tasks and the best practices for experimenting with using AI.

4. Betting on Waterloo co-op students has big wins for Score Media and Gaming Inc.

Score Media and Gaming (theScore) hires Waterloo co-op students to innovate, bring new ideas and provide insights into the needs of the next generation of sporting fans. Staff and hiring managers work with students across various departments, where they train students and connect with them to get their feedback and ideas about products.

5. Student talent help Arctic Wolf achieve “tech unicorn” status

As one of the fastest-growing companies in North America, Arctic Wolf hires Waterloo co-op students to help tackle their rapid growth. Around 70 per cent of the co-op students hired by the cybersecurity company are from Waterloo.

6. Co-op students help K-8 children lift their passion for STEAM to new heights at LAUNCH Waterloo

At LAUNCH Waterloo, co-op students work as team leaders to help kindergarten to grade eight students learn about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) through team-based activities. The students tackle challenges using coding, computational thinking and experimenting with scientific methods to engage their curiosity and creativity.

7. Unlocking tomorrow’s tech talent today

At Ciena, a networking and software automation company, co-op students work on meaningful projects that have real-world impact. Ciena provides students with a level of responsibility and opportunity to become subject matter experts and help promote the company among other next-generation talent.

8. Geotab empowers students for innovation, wellbeing and career success

Geotab, the 2022 recipient of the CEE Employer Impact Award for Impact on Student Experience, helps co-op students gain professional experience and technical skills for the future. The organization provides a meaningful experience focused on challenging work that inspires innovation and the well-being of its students.

9. Co-op students are crucial to the global growth of e-commerce startup

At Perpetua, co-op students deliver on projects to help tackle the e-commerce startup’s exponential growth. Students bring their programming knowledge to Perpetua including typescript/react for frontend development and Python/Django for backend development.

10. Empowering future innovators: Waterloo students lead massive web migration project

The University of Waterloo relied on an interdisciplinary team of talented co-op students to help build and migrate more than 1,000 websites to a new content-management system. Students assist with site pre-migration preparation and testing, updating training documents, revising websites and more.

Staying ahead of evolving talent - 5 key takeaways from Waterloo’s Employer Impact Conference

In February, speakers at CEE’s Employer Impact Conference highlighted the variety of ways in which employers can engage with emerging talent. Insights from the conference included how to create a strong job description, the benefits of having a detailed onboarding plan and the importance of focusing on inclusion and belonging.

Co-op talent from Waterloo helps OpenText to navigate equity, diversity and inclusion

OpenText, an information management software company, creates career paths for Black and female talent in technology starting with co-op talent from Waterloo. OpenText’s navigator internship program provides co-op and mentorship opportunities to underrepresented communities.

Engineering solutions to environmental challenges with GHD

Committed to making water, energy and communities sustainable, GHD uses top engineering talent from Waterloo to help address environmental challenges. At the firm’s Waterloo office, co-op students tackle current infrastructure challenges including water and wastewater issues.