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Back to School from a Co-op Term

My name is Josh Simpson and I’m about to start my fifth and final year of the Geological Engineering program at the University of Waterloo. The program is five years and incorporates a maximum of six different four-month co-op terms that are scattered between academic terms.

Personally, these co-op placements have been integral to my education as I work towards becoming a professional engineer. My goal for these co-op placements has been to gain experience in a wide variety of companies and industries so I can identify what kind of career I’d like to have in the future. These companies have ranged from a geotechnical consulting firm to a government agency and everything in-between including two separate terms with EBS Geostructural. The co-op terms have helped me develop my skills by allowing me to work with a number of professional engineers, as well as the opportunity to gain experience working in the “real world.”

In my co-op placements with EBS, my main responsibilities include assisting in the reporting of projects, the management of projects, and the quality assurance of projects. What sets my time at EBS apart from my other co-ops, and the reason I chose to return for a second term, is mainly the opportunity I was given and the team mentality within the company. At EBS, I felt a vital part of one single team working together to complete projects thoroughly and efficiently. I’ve learned an incredible amount about management styles, in regards to both an entire company and single projects. I also learned about contracting, deep foundations, and even what it is to be a professional engineer in the construction industry. This learning experience largely came from going out in the field, getting my hands dirty, encountering problems, and having to solve them on the fly. Co-op has taught me more than I could have learned in an entire class.

My time at EBS has raised my interests in contracting, project management, and deep foundations. In my final academic year at Waterloo, I’ve enrolled in technical electives pertaining to these subjects to gain more relevant knowledge. After I graduate, I plan to get into project management within the deep foundations field or construction in general. I’m excited for the upcoming school year and beyond and I’m very thankful to EBS for being such a great place to work and learn.

Written by: Josh Simpson 


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