Feb. 1, 2023Print | PDF
Tapas Vashi, an international student from India, chose Laurier’s Master of Applied Computing program, a two-year program with an eight-month paid co-op term, to help him gain work experience in Canada.
While he was accepted into programs at other post-secondary institutions, Vashi judged that the hands-on work experience at Laurier, along with the practical and theoretical computing knowledge he’d gain through his courses, would give him a leg up. He was right. Before his work term as a software developer intern at Ceridian finished in December, he was able to extend his internship through his last term at Laurier.
“Because of my work experiences, I think it will be a bit easier for me to find a permanent job,” Vashi says. “Choosing Laurier was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s a newer program and not as well known, but it’s a hidden gem.”
Laurier’s Master of Applied Computing program provides students with both theoretical and practical knowledge of mobile computing, enterprise computing and data mining.
“The Master of Applied Computing program teaches students state-of-the-art computing technologies,” says Chinh Hoang, professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Computer Science at Laurier. “Our graduates stand out in the job market for their up-to-date technical knowledge and ability to put that knowledge to use creating technological solutions.”
For his co-op term, Vashi joined a team of eight software developers at Ceridian, a global leader in human capital management technology, in May 2022, only a couple of weeks after the team began working on a new project. As a result, he was involved in the entire software development process, from planning to creation, quality assurance, testing and rollout to thousands of clients worldwide.
“Choosing Laurier was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s a newer program and not as well known, but it’s a hidden gem.”
The team at Ceridian provided on-the-job training to Vashi early in his role and support throughout his placement. Soon after arriving, he found his niche within the team and began taking on the same type of work and workload as other team members.
“Tapas stood out for his enthusiasm for the work and his humility. He really appreciated the opportunity,” says Robert Porter, development manager for Dayforce Benefits at Ceridian. “We like to hold interns’ hands when they first arrive because it’s difficult to get started and a lot to take on, but Tapas got up quickly and stood on his own two feet. He started doing his own research, but when he needed support he would ask for it.”
Vashi was also given opportunities to network with company leaders, some of whom have been in the business for more than 25 years, and received career support and advice.
Co-operative Education at Laurier also supported Vashi and his employer. A co-op preparation course is available to all students in advance of their work terms and students are assigned a dedicated coordinator to assess their progress, performance and learning during their employment. The coordinator also meets with the student’s supervisor to assess how the work term is progressing. After the work term, the student completes a work term report based on their experiences, which is shared with future co-op students, and the employer completes a written evaluation of the student’s performance.
Laurier offers co-op programming in more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs, including the largest business degree co-op program in Canada. Co-op is available year-round, with students beginning work in January, May or September, and can last from four to 16 months. Visit wlu.ca/co-op for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org.