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Heather Kuppe at her co-op placement at Winnipeg Transit // Supplied photo

Celebrating Co-operative Education Week

Heather Kuppe named Co-operative Education Student Champion

March 17, 2015 — 

The University of Manitoba is celebrating National Co-operative Education Week by recognizing Heather Kuppe as this year’s Co-operative Education Student Champion.

Kuppe, who graduated from computer science in December 2014, was chosen from all of the U of M’s co-operative education programs as the student who best demonstrates personal and professional development in a co-op program.

The U of M is a strong supporter of co-operative education, with programming in the Faculties of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Arts (Masters of Public Administration), Engineering, Science, Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth and Resources, and the Asper School of Business.

Co-operative education is the best of both worlds for participants. Students can combine practical paid work experiences with their classroom-based education, enhancing their skill sets and work experience while employers connect with motivated, pre-selected students looking to make an impression.

Kuppe shared her experiences from her three co-operative work terms:

My first work term was with a company called Cogmation Robotics. They are a local Winnipeg company that produces virtual robotics software for personal and educational use. Although my focus did change throughout my degree, originally I thought I wanted to focus on Artificial Intelligence as my specialty, so I was really excited to work for a robotics company. The most exciting experience I had during this work term was travelling to Calgary and Edmonton to demonstrate the software at educational trade shows.

I was interested in experiencing a lot of different environments during my co-op work terms, so for my second term, I went to Ceridian Canada. Ceridian is an international financial solutions company, and I worked on a payroll application called PowerPay. My work term at Ceridian was great – I worked on a team of about 15 people and got to write code that was used in the production software. This term provided me with the ‘traditional’ co-op experience I was looking for, and I really enjoyed my time there.

For my last work term, I chose to go to Winnipeg Transit. I was hired along with another co-op student and placed on a team with two other software developers. We started a new website from the ground up, so I was involved in the whole development process – I worked on brainstorming, design, implementation and testing. Working at Transit was also really rewarding since I worked on projects that many Winnipeggers actually use on a day to day basis! I had an awesome time at Transit, and I ended up staying on part time while I finished my last semester of school. After graduation, I ended up getting an offer, and now I’m working as a developer at Transit full time!”

National Co-operative Education Week runs March 16-20. The computer science department and co-op office are hosting a reception to celebrate Co-op Education Week and to recognize Heather and present her with the well-deserved award on Wednesday, March 18th at 3:30pm in the Computer Science Staff Lounge (E2 495, Engineering).

For more information on Co-operative Education programs at the University of Manitoba: http://umanitoba.ca/student/coop/

 

 

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