Genesys utilizes the skills of Waterloo co-op students to develop customer experience and contact centre solutions for a range of clients.
The global software company, delivers more than 70 billion customer experiences in over 100 countries using the power of cloud and artificial intelligence. “Waterloo students are unique in how quickly they ramp up and become productive,” says Paul Gvildys, director of development at Genesys. “They take on learning experiences that challenge them and we offer those in abundance at Genesys.”
The company has a high conversion rate, hiring several students into full-time positions upon graduation. “We offer multiple career opportunities to grow and progress either as an individual contributor or in the management stream,” says Gvildys. Gvildys is a former Waterloo co-op student that progressed into management.
At Genesys, students join daily planning sessions, accept the tasks assigned to them and maintain close connections with team members. Math students make a difference with the company in roles such as web software developer, quality assurance intern, full stack software developer (speech and text analytics; gamification), DevOps developer, project coordinator and web UI developer.
Math students bring strong technical skills
Mabel Luo, pursuing a double major in Business Administration and Computer Science at Waterloo, looks forward to her first co-op term at Genesys. When she came across the company’s job description she was immediately intrigued. “With almost four years of customer service experience, I know how important the customer experience software that Genesys creates can be,” she shares.
Luo brings technical web development skills she has honed at Waterloo, along with her passion for customer service, to her new role as a web software developer for the workforce management team. All her experience has built to this point and she is ready to take on the challenge of writing industry-level code. “I accepted the offer without skipping a beat,” she says. “I’m really excited to begin.”
The formula for talent
When it comes to hiring young talent, the Genesys team have specific criteria they use to gauge student qualifications:
- Technical programming skills: “We focus on mentoring and teaching students. We look for the ability and attitude to learn new skill sets,” Gvildys explains.
- Extracurriculars: Gvildys looks at how students choose to spend their time out of class. “It’s not just about past work experience,” he says. “We like to see students take up projects in order to learn on their own time.” If a student works on a project at home, as simple as an automated system to remind them to water their plants, that demonstrates initiative.
- Academic achievement: “Academic achievement is important, however, I pay special attention to how seriously students take elective courses,” he says. “We want candidates who are willing to be dedicated to any work.”
- Level of experience: While some companies prefer more experienced co-op students, Genesys is open to students with all levels of experiences. They focus on students’ flexibility to new practices and ways of thinking.
- Diverse skill set: Waterloo math students are extraordinary at transferring the knowledge and skills learned from school and applying them at a dynamic workplace. Paul Gvildys was a Waterloo student almost 20 years ago, at that time it was enough to bring one or two major strengths to the table. “We put more emphasis on using a wider range of technologies,” he says.
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Speaking up for success
Vivian Liu, Computer Science student, worked with Genesys for two co-op terms as a software developer. This spring she will be taking on a new role as a Student Training in Engineering Program (STEP) intern at Google. Her key takeaways from her amazing journey include:
1) Ask questions! Especially during a remote work term. I was worried that asking too many questions would disturb my team members, but they are always willing to help. Don’t be afraid to ask away.
2) Express your interests: If there are certain tasks that interest you, bring them up during one-on-ones with your supervisor, this can help you get the most out of your co-op experience.
3) Company culture is important: Genesys treats students like any other employee - we have the same responsibilities and work on the same type of tasks. Through this I learned and absorbed things we aren't exposed to at school. This was one of the reasons why I chose to return for a second co-op at Genesys.
4) Try different teams: After completing my first term, I was interested in some of the other teams I had been exposed to at Genesys. I spoke to the supervisors of those teams and expressed my interest in working with them for my following term.
Vivian plans to take her insights from Genesys to not only Google this year, but throughout her professional experience.
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