Headshot of Madelaine Jones

Applying classroom learning in the workplace

August 16, 2022
Author: Rachel Stern

Madelaine Jones shares her co-operative education experience

Madelaine Jones says students should enrol in VIU’s Co-operative Education program because they can gain work experience that could help them land a good job after graduation.

She is currently completing an eight-month work term for the Federal Government of Canada doing software development and loves it. For the first half of her work term, Madelaine worked remotely. For the second half she moved to Ottawa, Ontario. One of the great things about co-ops is you can discover which jobs are the right fit for you, says Madelaine.

“My team said they would likely hire me for a full-time role once I graduate,” she says. “I think the co-op programs are one of the biggest ways companies hire talent because they can spend less money training you as a student and then hire you full time.” 

Employers are also more lenient on you as a student learner, she adds.

“It’s good to have this playground to learn all these soft skills,” she says. “The work I do is the exact same as any other employee. I have a little bit less freedom and a little bit more scrutiny but I’m basically doing the same job. I feel very prepared to enter the workforce full time.”

Madelaine says she’s proud of the work she has done during her current work term. The company hired a new employee and Madelaine oversaw their code reviews, answered their questions and helped train the employee.

“Along with being given that opportunity and I also feel as though I have a lot of project ownership,” she says.

Madelaine is completing a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Computer Science. Madelaine chose the degree because she wanted to complete her studies in four years and enter the job market.

“I started computer science and I think I got really lucky that I picked something I really enjoyed right away,” says Madelaine.

Madelaine learned C++ programming, a general computer programming language, during her first year. She says it gives people a good learning foundation.

“I definitely appreciate that VIU teaches C++. I think once you know that programming language learning any other language becomes much easier,” says Madelaine. 

Madelaine chose VIU because she lives in Nanaimo and likes the small class sizes. She says many of the professors have an open-door policy and she can even message them on Discord and get answers to her questions quickly. 

Next term Madelaine has an internship with Amazon in Toronto.

“I am very excited for this placement because working with a big tech company can open a lot of doors and provide invaluable experience.”

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