As one term ends, and another begins, we’ve said farewell to the co-op students who were with us when the pandemic began and welcomed our next crew of co-op students for the spring term. This time, it was an exercise in adapting and change as we have now off-boarded, and begun onboarding, in entirely new ways at Orbis. We pride ourselves on hiring multiple co-op students. Every. Single. Term. Here’s why.
While work-integrated learning is invaluable in preparing post-secondary students for the workforce it has also greatly contributed to the overall success of our team. It goes without saying that hiring co-op students have been an incredible way for our team to build an effective talent pipeline. Our co-op program has served us well throughout the years, introducing us to several of our (now) full-time team members. Team members, who consistently go above and beyond. Our co-op students impress us with their fresh perspectives, creative ideas, and results-driven energy. Their willingness to learn new things and think outside of the box has been fundamental to reaching collective success milestones. Co-op students help us to see things with fresh eyes, build with more agility, and, well, just build better because of it. This term we are proud to welcome three new co-op students to our program – two from software development fields of study and one from a software quality assurance program.
In light of our current environment, rather than look at cutting back on our co-op program, we’ve been fortunate to work together in our pursuit of new ways to accommodate our co-op students. Welcoming co-op students this term has looked slightly different and some of the tactics we have included to help ensure unhindered success have been:
– purchasing new technology and supportive equipment and then couriering these items to our students’ homes so that they can effectively work remotely
– organizing several video calls to welcome our co-op students and get them oriented with human resources, while also ensuring their equipment was up and fully-functional
– facilitating virtual stand-up meetings, that connect our co-op students to their mentors or supervisors and adapt them with our evaluation and meeting processes
– seamlessly extending professional development and training programs, that we recently increased for our full-time staff, to our co-op students
– encouraging our co-op students to participate in our social and wellness activities – which, we feel, is vital to the health of our workplace culture
We are really proud of our co-op students and the work that they put in every day. We welcome our new cohort of co-op students and the challenge of supporting them remotely.