Six students at the peak of their co-op game

Each year, UWaterloo celebrates one student from each faculty for outstanding achievement in co-operative education. To be considered for one of the prestigious awards, a co-op student must go above and beyond their employers’ expectations, be involved with their community, maintain a high academic standing and contribute positively to the co-op program. Congratulations to this year's winners!

Co-op group shotThe Faculty of Arts chose Emily West as their Co-op Student of the Year. Now in her fourth year of Psychology, West worked as an assistant project manager at the Games Institute at UWaterloo. West worked closely with the institute’s Director, Dr. Neil Randall, doing financial accounting and planning events for the research body.

I tried to be as involved in the work environment as possible. Making connections both within the Games Institute and across our partners was important to me. Being strongly involved in the community, as well as an integral part of the GI gave me an edge in this award.

The Faculty of Engineering winner, Jordan Grant exceeded expectations, both as a developer and employee. During his time at Deloitte, the second-year management engineering major developed Tech Exchange, an event allowing 100 students to work with high-cost technology that would otherwise be out of reach. In future, Jordan hopes to continue to apply his skills in other technical environments:

I’m passionate about creating things, and given the thousands of jobs Waterloo connects us to, there are a huge number of opportunities for me to do that.

Computer science student, Joey Pereira, won Co-op Student of the Year in the Faculty of Mathematics. Working at PiinPoint, a startup that helps retailers find an ideal location to open their business, Pereira developed and expanded the company’s platform and managed a small team. Vinita Dhir, from the Faculty of Science, won recognition for her work at St. Micheal’s Hospital. She assisted in conducting oncology investigations, bone metastases research and ensuring positive patient outcomes.

The Faculty of Environment winner was Andrew MacDonald, who worked at Pinery Provincial Park. The fourth-year student developed the Explore Pinery app that helps campers enjoy the park, avoid risks, track wildlife and access emergency contacts.

Rachel McDonald, from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, received a total of three major awards for her work on co-op. While at Sunnybrook 
Health Sciences Centre
, she coordinated a radiotherapy program for patients in the advanced stages of cancer. Rachel not only received co-op honours from her faculty, but also won both the national and provincial Co-op Student of the Year awards. 

What should employers know about UWaterloo co-op? According to the Faculty of Arts winner, Emily West, it's simple:

Never underestimate the power of a co-op student.

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