Week in the Life of a Co-op

Dec 5, 2022

What is it like to be a part of Autonomic’s co-op program? I had the pleasure of meeting with Nidhi Ramessur to find out. Nidhi is an enthusiastic software engineering co-op who joined Autonomic in September for this season’s term. She is a valuable member of our Provisioning Team, which is a component of our Core Services group. Nidhi is a dedicated student at the University of Waterloo studying to receive her Bachelor of Computer Science degree in 2024. In addition to her academic endeavors and ongoing co-op experience at Autonomic, Nidhi has enhanced her skills and knowledge through various internships at Shareworks by Morgan Stanley and Ribbon Communications. In her free time, Nidhi enjoys hanging out with friends, dancing, swimming, and hiking when the weather is nice.

What does a typical week on the Provisioning Team look like for you?

My week normally starts with our team’s Monday stand-up meeting. We have these syncs on a daily basis to check in and share progress on ongoing projects. We mean business, but that doesn’t stop us from having fun conversations and getting to know each other a little more. Since many of us work on a hybrid or remote schedule, our meetings are Webex-friendly. Sometimes I like to go to the office and join in person.

I normally have pairing sessions with other engineers throughout the week to collaborate, solve problems, and share knowledge. Sometimes my team gets together for a social or workshop session. We also have a bi-weekly team retro meeting to reflect on how the past two weeks went and discuss opportunities for future improvement. No two weeks are the same, we are always learning new things and working together to solve different problems.

Tell us a little more. What did you get up to this past week?

This week I attended my daily stand-ups and had pairing sessions with various colleagues. I paired with an engineer to work on a specific feature. I also got buy-in from my team to help us decide which direction to go in. I had another pairing session where my partner and I worked together to successfully debug a failure.

On Wednesday, we got together for a team social! We played a really fun game called Saboteur where I almost unintentionally sabotaged my own team. We also played a drawing game called El-Artista, which was a blast and a great way to get our creative juices flowing. It was a nice way to bond with my team and end the work day.

On Friday, I got the exciting opportunity to prepare and present a demo at Autonomic’s Core Services meeting. My team ended the week with a retro meeting to reflect on the past two weeks. We acknowledged what went well, and brainstormed solutions to address potential concerns. We created a Miro board to facilitate the discussion. I really enjoy using Miro!

What was your favorite project of the week?

My favorite project was the demo I presented at this month’s Core Services meeting! My team helped me prepare and I learned a lot in the process. Presenting the demo was fun and served as a great opportunity for other groups and leaders to gain visibility into what we’ve been working on. It’s exciting to know my demonstration has the power to help my colleagues.

Looking back on the months you’ve spent as a part of this co-op program, what were some of your favorite moments?

Some of my favorite moments were the social events! Two days after I joined, our office held a summer social at Toronto Centre Island where we participated in various team-bonding activities and played games. It was a super fun way to get to know other people at the company. We also took part in an office-wide pumpkin carving event. It was actually my first time carving a pumpkin! In addition, I really enjoyed working on tickets with my team. They taught me so much and supported me throughout my time at Autonomic.

What did you learn over the course of your co-op term?

I learned a lot more about how to engineer solutions effectively. I gained many valuable technical skills by pairing with different software experts across our Provisioning Team. I feel lucky that I was able to contribute to my team in a meaningful way. The co-op experience is very collaborative, so I got the chance to enhance my communication and interpersonal skills as well, which helped make me a better engineer overall.

What are some tips you have for future co-ops?

Make the most of your co-op term. Learn as much as you can about our platform and the technology we use as a company. Engage with your peers often, as they are a great source of knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Our teams are very friendly and everyone is happy to assist when needed.

How would you describe your team culture?

I love my team! Everyone is supportive, understanding, and helpful, which creates a great working environment. We are extremely collaborative and always there to answer one another’s questions. We also chat about non-work related things. Knowing each other on a personal level makes working together all the more pleasant.

About our Co-op Program

Autonomic’s co-op program provides post-secondary engineering students with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and develop new skills through hands-on experience. Positions are available on 10+ teams throughout our organization and co-ops get the chance to work with software experts across our company. We hire students from the University of Waterloo for spring/summer, fall, and winter terms. Co-ops are offered many of the same perks that our full-time employees receive, including cell phone and internet allowances, access to health and wellness classes, and more. Our program teaches students to work collaboratively and provides opportunities to network and socialize with the best and the brightest. Aside from regularly scheduled team meetings and pairings, co-ops are encouraged to participate in bonding activities, including monthly lunch and learns, monthly social hours, bi-weekly virtual huddles, and a send-off social.

Our program is a great opportunity for software engineering students looking to enhance their skills and accelerate their career. Just ask our many returning co-ops!