The UBC Science Co-op provides employers with access to qualified and motivated UBC Science students. This year, Copperleaf® was honored to be selected for the UBC Science Co-op Employer Recognition Award which recognizes outstanding work opportunities and mentorship provided to co-op students by an organization.
“The Computer Science Coordinators recognized Copperleaf’s support and dedication to the Science Co-op program,” said Lindsay Ward, Co-operative Education Coordinator for the UBC Science Co-op program. “We as a group wanted to nominate Copperleaf for the award this year, not only for the students that have been hired and the positive experiences they’ve had, but for volunteering for the technical interview workshops. We felt that Copperleaf is more than deserving of this award.”
To learn more about their experiences, we sat down with our current and previous co-ops to discuss what makes Copperleaf stand out from other companies. Meet Sam Veloso, Jerry Fan, Ian Chok, Josh MacDonald, Annie Wang, Julie Moens, Anita Tse, and Tobi Amoo as they discuss their takeaways from their co-op term.
Top row: Ian Chok, Julie Moens, Tobi Amoo, Anita Tse
Bottom row: Annie Wang, Jerry Fan, Sam Veloso, Josh MacDonald
What are you currently studying at UBC and what do you do at Copperleaf?
Sam: I’m studying computer science at UBC and am a software developer co-op on the Predictive Analytics team.
Jerry: I am doing a combined major in computer science and statistics and part of the Predictive Analytics team as a software developer co-op.
Ian: I am a fourth-year student in the Combined Major in Science program. At Copperleaf, I’ve worked as a software developer web front end co-op, contributing to the internal design system tool and developing a documentation tool.
Josh: During my studies of computer science at UBC, I completed my co-op work term at Copperleaf. After graduation, I decided to return to Copperleaf and work on the Quality Assurance team.
Annie: I’m majoring in computer science and am a software developer on the design team.
Julie: I am studying computer science in the second-degree program at UBC. At Copperleaf I work on the Cost team, doing a mix of front-end and back-end development.
Anita: I am currently a computer science student at UBC. After completing my 8-month work term at Copperleaf, I came back as a DevOps Engineer for part-time work to balance both studies and work.
Tobi: I am currently studying computer science, statistics, and mathematics at UBC. My role at Copperleaf is a Software QA Analyst.
What makes Copperleaf stand out from other co-op experiences?
Ian: What makes Copperleaf stand out is their active efforts to ensure the best experience for co-ops and other employees. They even have a ping pong table!
Annie: From what I have experienced, Copperleaf has a great company culture. You can expect a friendly and encouraging work environment, which makes my experience awesome working here.
Julie: Personally, I think I have an amazing team – everyone is incredibly helpful and willing to give advice. I am also given work that challenges me and allows me to learn constantly.
What makes Copperleaf a great place to gain valuable work experience?
Jerry: I’m able to work on a solution that is used by real clients with plenty of mentorship from not only members on my team but developers from other teams as well. I find that everyone is willing to offer guidance, which allows me to continuously improve.
Ian: The company encourages open dialogue and constant feedback, which makes it easy to explore more of our interests or talk about any of our concerns. The vast amount of support encourages us to take new risks and allows us to learn greater technical, teamwork and communication skills.
Annie: Being on the design team, I am given the opportunity to experience what real developers do day-to-day and have also learned a lot from my supervisor’s mentoring.
Julie: My team uses Typescript, Angular, and Node, which gives me a great toolset to get started in the workforce. We also have a lot of very talented developers who are all happy to share their knowledge and help me learn.
Anita: Rather than simply giving me work to stay busy with, I really felt like my team wanted me to learn as much as I could about DevOps during my 8-month term.
The company encourages open dialogue and constant feedback, which makes it easy to explore more of our interests or talk about any of our concerns. The vast amount of support encourages us to take new risks and allows us to learn greater technical, teamwork, and communication skills.
What’s your favorite part of the Copperleaf culture?
Ian: I am amazed at how open and friendly other employees are. It’s fun and easy to work and hangout with them. You really feel like you are part of a big family.
Josh: Everyone here is very friendly, open and willing to help in the learning process.
Annie: Copperleaf cares about its employees’ work-life balance. I love to play ping-pong with my colleagues at work, it’s awesome.
Julie: People here play ping pong, foosball or boardgames at lunch time – and everyone is welcome to join. This allows us to get to know people from other departments, making work related teamwork and collaboration easier in the future.
Anita: Whether it is taking teammates out to try new foods or starting an acappella group, I am always able to find Copperleafers who are open to trying anything new, even though it may not seem like their cup of tea.
Tobi: My favourite part of the Copperleaf culture is how open everyone is. Being an introvert myself it can be difficult to meet new people, but it has been a breeze getting to know people in my team and around the office.
I am amazed at how open and friendly other employees are. It’s fun and easy to work and hangout with them. You really feel like you are part of a big family.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to participate in the co-op program?
Jerry: Be open to job opportunities so that you’re able to discover what field of computer science is the most interesting to you.
Sam: In my experience, the quality of work you get is not about the size or popularity of the company. I found that I got a better feel of the quality of work I’d be doing based on going through the interviewing process rather than my assumptions about the company.
Ian: Make sure you know your strengths and weaknesses, and then make decisions based on what you know about yourself. It is also important to be open to explore new opportunities with a positive attitude.
Annie: Always take ownership. This is your work experience, so you are responsible for how much you learn and what you get out of it!
Julie: Be ready for everything to seem difficult at the start. No one expects you to be perfect right away, and from my experience I found that everyone is happy to help you get better!
Anita: Be open minded and consider all companies rather than only aiming for the big tech giants! Each workplace has different things to offer.
What new skills have you developed from this experience?
Sam: Because my team gives me a lot of free-rein when working on tasks, I’ve had the opportunity to improve my problem-solving skills.
Ian: I have gained greater technical knowledge and skills, such as Angular, Typescript, Nodejs, HTML and other web technologies. Additionally, I’ve sharpened my communication and teamwork skills, and gained great experience working with others in a professional setting.
Annie: I have become much more comfortable with working within a team and increased my work productivity.
Julie: In terms of technical skills, I have really enjoyed learning to use Angular and learning a bit of CSS. As far as other skills go, it has been amazing to learn about how teams collaborate and work together efficiently in the tech world.
Anita: I learned so many things about the world of DevOps! DevOps is a pretty new field in tech and I don’t think any course at UBC could’ve prepared me for my work experience here.
What made you want to join Copperleaf as a full-time employee after your co-op term?
Josh: There is a really good culture here, and I believe that the software we create has a huge potential for widespread use.
Anita: As I’m still in school right now, Copperleaf was nice enough to be accommodating and flexible with my schedule so I can excel both at work and my studies. I also had a great time during my work term and didn’t want to leave it so soon!
Copperleaf is proud to be a supporter of the UBC Co-operative Education Program. As one of Canada’s fastest growing tech companies, we are always looking for new talent to join our team. Check out our current job openings here.