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Ambassadors

The Ambassador Program allows prospective students to get in touch with current co-op students. It is a great way to ask questions, learn about real experiences, and determine whether co-op is the right option for you! Be sure to check this page and follow the @mcmasterscce Instagram for details on upcoming events the ambassadors will be taking part in!

Information Box Group

Alex Mansfield - Biochemistry Talk with Alex

Hey guys! My name is Alexandria Mansfield (you can call me Alex!) and I’m entering in my fourth year of the Biochemistry, biomedical sciences research specialization and co-op program. For my first co-op work term, I worked as a genetic counselling student at SickKids in Toronto. My placement was unique in that my boss began my work-term with the hope to expose me to as many different opportunities as possible throughout my 8 months. I started out developing slide decks that help explain genetic conditions in a patient friendly manner, and worked on developing a new, streamlined method of completing genetic testing requisitions. I had to learn some coding through JavaScript, and it certainly threw me for a loop! I transitioned into tracking and submitting testing requests for genome sequencing, assisted on writing patient friendly articles to explain certain medical topics, and joined a team working to build websites designed to provide physicians with information about genetic conditions, testing options and requisitions. I additionally helped work on two retrospective research projects, looking at the patient care practices for patients with von Hippel-Lindau syndrome and families in the neonatal intensive care unit. My co-op provided a unique opportunity to experience the different types of the careers in the healthcare industry and gives a great insight into the different lifestyle associated with working a full time position. Outside of school and work, you can typically find me working out, squeezing a hot yoga class into my day, tracking down an iced coffee or listening to a new podcast! I’ve loved my co-op experience so far and I’m excited to pass along what I’ve learned! Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions, whether that be about biochemistry, co-op, working in Toronto/communicating or about life in general, I’m happy to help!:)

Arpita Choudhury - Chemistry Talk with Arpita

Hello everyone! I am Arpita and I’m going into my fourth year of the Chemistry co-op program. I have completed my first co-op work term at Dr. Yurij Mozharivskyj’s Lab in the department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. In this lab, I had the opportunity to explore how different materials play a role in thermoelectrics. My role mostly included hands-on lab work where I was responsible for making weekly samples for testing and understanding how different laboratory instruments such as Powder X-ray Diffraction Spectrometer (PXRD), Electron-Dispersive Microscope (EDS), Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) work to test the samples and produce reliable data. The co-op program has not only helped me academically and professionally, but also personally. The networking opportunity that I have had because of co-op has helped me explore how I want to design my career for the future, and I would encourage any prospective students in science to give co-op a shot as this would mean having an extensive work experience even while being a student. If you have any questions regarding co-op in the Chemistry department or just want to chat, please feel free to reach out! I will try my best to provide as many resources as I can!

Clarissa Medrano - Sustainable Chemistry Talk with Clarissa

Hi everyone! My name is Clarissa and I’m in my fourth year of the Sustainable Chemistry program. I recently completed an 8-month co-op term with Environment and Climate Change Canada as a Junior Great Lakes Project Officer. My main responsibilities included analyzing data concerning the water quality of the Great Lakes, the impacts of climate change, and ecosystem stressors. I also organized multijurisdictional meetings to develop a Coastal Resilience Framework for the Great Lakes and conducted comprehensive literature reviews to inform lakewide management products. I was given exciting opportunities including a visit to Randle Reef, the largest site of contaminated sediment on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes, where I observed the ongoing sediment remediation project, a significant effort toward delisting Hamilton Harbour as a Great Lakes Area of Concern! I really value the interdisciplinary nature of the Sustainable Chemistry program and through co-op, I’ve had the chance to explore various career paths and delve into my interests in both chemistry and environmental sciences. Beyond academics, I enjoy going to concerts, thrift shopping, Star Wars, and journaling. Feel free to reach out, I’m more than happy to discuss my journey or answer any questions you may have!

Dania Rana - Life Science Talk with Dania

Hi everyone! My name is Dania, and I’m going into my fourth year of the Honours Life Sciences Co-op Program. I had the opportunity of working with McMaster University’s Department of Medicine as a Clinical Research Assistant for my first co-op work term, where I was able to directly interact with participants of 2 research studies. During my work term, I assisted with data collection, recruitment, and some clinical tasks. One of the research studies looked at the immune response and antibodies with the COVID-19 vaccine and the second one focused on monitoring blood pressure and hypertension in South Asian youth. For my second co-op work term I worked with a company called Healthcare Systems R&A where I worked remotely as a Health Research Assistant while working on a Systematic Review. Some of my interests include hiking, photography, travelling, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Dominique Elise Pal - Molecular Biology & Genetics Talk with Dominique

I’m a 5th year student in Molecular Biology and Genetics Co-op. I’ve spent both of my co-op terms at UHN, my first one being more research based where I leas a study on the molecular and phenotypic relationship in adults with TSC. The-position I’m currently at is more clinical; I work as a genetic counselling assistant at the Bhalwani Familial Cancer Clinic at PMH. I hope to pursue genetic counselling after graduation! I love to play guitar, cook and read in my spare time and a fun fact about me is that I have a collection of pressed coins with all the countries I’ve been to since I was about 5 years old!

Emily Stevens - Molecular Biology & Genetics Talk with Emily

Hi everyone! My name is Emily, I am in my fifth year at McMaster and am in the Molecular Biology and Genetics Co-op program; working towards a minor in anthropology as well. I started out at McMaster in Life Sciences, specialized in Molecular Biology and Genetics in second year, and was accepted into the co-op program in my third year of study. For my first co-op term, I had the opportunity to move to Vancouver, BC to work at STEMCELL Technologies as an Organoid Research Co-op student. Working on the Kidney Team in the Research and Development department, I focused on culturing both 2D and 3D kidney organoids where I learned and improved on various laboratory protocols including aseptic technique, qPCR, immunocytochemistry, and functional testing. My second co-op term was a Research Assistant at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton working under the supervision of obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Shea. At this placement, I worked in the Menopause Clinic analysing the effects of depression on sexual functioning in menopausal patients. My third and final co-op term starts this fall 2023 at the McMaster Children’s Hospital as a Genetics Assistant in the Genetics & Metabolics Program where I will be performing clinical and administrative duties to assist staff in servicing patients. Some of my interests outside of school include running, yoga, travelling, rock climbing and hiking. Please feel free to reach out as I would love to connect with you and share my experiences!

Bella Pastore - Chemical Biology Talk with Bella

My name is Bella, and I am a fourth year Chemical Biology Co-op student. I started my undergraduate journey in the Chemical and Physical Science Gateway program, which is where I found my love for Chemical Biology. In addition to the chemical sciences, I am also pursuing a minor in psychology, with a personal interest in forensic psychology. I spent my first 8-month co-op position at a steel manufacturing company ArcelorMittal Dofasco. In this position, I got to work in the Environment Department where we would implement, assess, and monitor company activities to improve company environmental performance. Although most of my position consisted of was reporting, I was able to go on tours around the steel plant and learn about the chemistry and engineering that goes into making steel. I have a lot of academic interest in organic chemistry and spend most of my free time watching true crime content. I am the first person to say that co-op isn’t easy, however, it is one of the most educational, self-discovering journeys you can have. It not only teaches you professional skills, but it helps you discover and learn your interests, strengths, and weaknesses, allowing you to grow yourself. If you have any questions or in need of guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Jennifer Choi - Chemical Biology Talk with Jennifer

Hey! My name is Jennifer and I’m a fourth year student in the Chemical Biology Co-op program. In my first co-op term I worked as a pharmacy assistant at a retail pharmacy where I filled, counted and dispensed different medications. I was also able to learn about various drug interactions and gained a lot of transferable skills that would be essential to any kind of job. My second co-op term was at Health and Rehab Research Inc. where I conducted systematic literature review to create study proposals and protocols for future clinical trials. The projects I was a part of focused on the rehabilitation of patients with chronic health conditions and the effectiveness of different interventions. Co-op has been an amazing opportunity for me to gain work experience while figuring out what I want to pursue post graduation. In my free time I enjoy reading, playing a couple different instruments and skiing in the winter. I’m always open to answer any questions or even just to have a simple chat so please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Jestyn Strik - Physics Talk with Jestyn

Hello everybody! My name is Jestyn, and I am in my 5th year in the Honours Physics co-op program here at Mac. I am currently in my second 8-month work term with a small research and development company, Mesomat, located at McMaster Innovation Park here in Hamilton. At Mesomat, I work extensively with the R&D team as well as the engineering team to design, test, and manufacture different forms of sensing technology. A majority of my work requires the use of 3D modelling software and many different 3D printers to allow us to quickly iterate on our sensor designs and systems. My position also has me involved in data analysis of the signals generated by our sensors, and I have written many efficient python scripts to analyze hundreds of hours worth of sensor data. Although I have worked in a mechanics and engineering driven position throughout my co-op, I am truly interested in observational and theoretical astronomy and astrophysics! I hope to continue my academics by perusing a masters in physics and astronomy, then return to the research and development industry (hopefully relating to astronomy). Outside of my studies and co-op, I enjoy helping and teaching others in many different avenues such as vehicle mechanics, 3D modelling, and bodybuilding. If you have any questions about co-op, 3D printing, or need help getting your car running, please feel free to reach out! I love helping others and I am always willing to share any knowledge I have.

Joanne Puthenkulam - Sustainable Chemistry Talk with Joanne

Hi everyone! My name is Joanne Puthenkulam, I’m in my fourth year of the Sustainable Chemistry co-op program. My first co-op position was working as a lab assistant to support the ecotoxicology research in Dr. Karen Kidd’s lab at McMaster university. In this position, I developed lab skills while following quality assurance protocols for biological sample processing. I also supported the microplastics study by measuring microplastics, as well as sorting and processing samples. My second co-op position was as a project assistant at the SCCE office at McMaster University. Through this role, I designed co-op resources such as infographics, posters, and reports. I had the responsibility of supporting the development of new employer relations as well as, providing research and administrative support in various projects. I also had the chance to share the perspective of a student during the development of different projects. I’ve really enjoyed my co-op journey so far. It’s been a great opportunity to gain knowledge and develop new skills that I would not necessarily be able to acquire through my academics. Co-op has helped me to learn more about my own interests which has helped me to understand what potential career path would be suitable for me in the future. Some of my hobbies include baking and I’m currently trying to learn how to crotchet. I also love going to concerts and drawing. If you want to learn more about my past co-op positions or if you have any questions about co-op. Please feel free to reach out!

Katrina Pegrum - Chemistry Talk with Katrina

Hello! My name is Katrina and I am going into my fourth year of Honours Chemistry co-op. I completed my first work term at a private medical device company called Abbott, where I worked in the Research and Development department. Here, I did a mix of mass testing the products in the lab and data analysis/document writing. Now I am currently doing an 8 month term with National Research Council Canada. Here I am working on the purification process of boron nitride nanotubes and spend lots of time in the lab and using different characterization machines (such as SEM, UV-Vis, XPS, FTIR). If you have any questions about working in industry and government, or anything at all, feel free to reach out!

Kylie Pretty - Environmental Sciences Talk with Kylie

Hi everyone! My name is Kylie and I am in my fourth year of the environment science Co-op program here at McMaster University. For my January 2023 work term I secured an eight month contract working for Fisheries and Oceans Canada on the monitoring team!  My role within this team entailed helping to conduct site visits on various works, undertaking and activities on or near water to ensure compliance with the Fisheries Act and conformance with the regulatory advice that was provided. Please feel free to reach out to me as I would love to talk more about my experience on securing a work term, working and how I decided Co-op was the right choice for me!

Maryjo Antonio - Life Science Talk with Maryjo

Hello everyone! My name is Maryjo and I am in my fifth year of the Life Science Co-op program. Throughout my first three co-op work terms, I had the honour of working for the Hamilton Health Sciences as a research student. The team I worked with focused on clinical trials aimed at improving catheter-based treatments for cardiovascular diseases. One of the main goals of the team was to help patients understand the purpose and benefits of the studies. Working in clinical research at the hospital was a great experience that helped me gain numerous professional skills and knowledge of the various health services in the field of interventional cardiology. I’m thrilled and grateful to have the opportunity to continue my journey in the field of clinical research as a research student at UHN for my final co-op work term! Apart from my academic life, I enjoy going to the gym, reading, and spending time with my French Bulldog. The Life Science Co-op program has been an amazing experience, and I would love to chat more about it with you. So, please feel free to ask me any questions! Looking forward to meeting you all!

Meghan Sanderson - Medical and Biological Physics Talk with Meghan

Hey Everyone, I’m Meghan! I am in my fourth year of the Honours Medical and Biological Physics program, with a focus on Medical Physics. I have just completed my 8-month co-op term with the McMaster Health Physics department and will be staying on part-time during the school year. My main project was the decommissioning of the cyclotron in the McMaster University Medical Centre, it is the first time something like this has been done so it was a great experience to be a part of the team making it possible. In addition, my other focus was updating the x-ray safety program and performing audits to ensure compliance with regulations. My biggest challenge throughout undergrad is the feeling of having to know what comes next, and frankly, I still am unsure of my definite path ahead of me. However, that’s the beauty of co-op, you gain experiences which show you what you like versus don’t in a career, for me I realized I want to go into healthcare because I love working with and helping others. Ultimately, it’s okay to not have it all figured out, and you’re not alone in feeling that way. All of your experiences, connections, ups and downs throughout undergrad and co-op will help you navigate your career. So, enjoy the ride and make sure you do the things you love doing – for me this involves sports, hiking, music, art and spending time with my friends and family. If you have any questions, or simply want to chat please feel free to reach out!

Natalie Chiang - Biology & Pharmacology Talk with Natalie

Hi everyone! I’m Natalie and I’m in my fourth year of the Biology & Pharmacology Co-op Program. Through co-op, I am able to gain practical experience, as well as discover various fields of work in science. I am currently working as a pharmacy assistant at City Centre IDA pharmacy as my first 8-month co-op placement. It’s been a rewarding experience as I get to help our patients directly by preparing medications for them. This position also allows me to reflect on my skills/desires and whether I should pursue a career as a retail pharmacist. In my next work term, I hope to gain experience in other fields, such as in industry, government or academia, to find out what is most suitable for me. Outside of work and study, I like to journal, exercise (biking, badminton, strength training) and eat (preferably Asian food, but anything goes). Although I am still unsure what I want to do after graduation, I feel confident that the Biology & Pharmacology Co-op Program will arm me with the knowledge, skills and experience that will help me succeed in whatever path I choose—academia, industry or professional schools. That being said, co-op is not an easy process, and there are pros and cons to it. As a co-op ambassador, I am excited to share my experiences in the Biopharm Program and would love to help you decide whether co-op is for you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

Natalie Pham - Medical and Biological Physics Talk with Natalie

Hi! My name is Natalie. I am a fifth-year Medical and Biological Physics Co-op student. For my first work term, I did an 8 month co-op at the Ottawa Hospital in Radiation and Laser Safety. During that experience, I really got to learn a lot about radiation safety and how its applied in a medical setting which was really cool! That experience has allowed me to develop a passion for health physics. I continued this passion in my second co-op as a Radiation Protection Program Student at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Canada’s first nuclear research facility! During that co-op, I learned a lot about the radiation safety in the nuclear industry as well as cool projects in nuclear medicine, nuclear security, and nuclear waste management. That experience has allowed me to make a lot of connections and opened up many doors for me in my future career. I am excited to complete my final co-op at Kinectrics where I will be working in Radiation Protection and Radiochemistry. Through my co-op experiences, I got to explore places beyond Hamilton and found that it was an excellent opportunity to grow out of my comfort zone. Though health physics is a niche field, Medical and Biological Physics Co-op can allow you to explore so many fields, and I hope my experience can help you find your own path in the future!

Paul Grzegorczyk - Biology & Pharmacology Talk with Paul

Hey everyone! My name is Paul and I’m a fourth year Biology and Pharmacology co-op student. My first work term was done in academia at a research & analysis company, working in a small team on a systematic literature review. For my next co-op term, I will be moving to Ottawa, where I’ll be working in biodosimetry data analysis with the Canadian Space Agency. These experiences have sharpened my critical thinking and communication skills while helping me make connections in the fields that I’m interested in. Co-op has really helped me to grow both as a person and as a professional, and I’m excited to help other people get the most out of this great program! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or would just like to chat 🙂

Savanna Cherry - Environmental Sciences Talk with Savanna

Hey there! I’m Savanna, and I’m thrilled to be a part of McMaster’s Environmental Science Co-op program. Right now, I am working as a Fish Habitat Specialist with Teck Resources Limited in Fernie, British Columbia.

During my previous co-op term, I had a blast working with WSP as a Surface Water Technician, collecting water samples along Toronto’s waterfront for the Portlands Flood Protection Plan.

I’m passionate about all things environmental and can’t wait to share my experiences and insights with fellow students in the program. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or just want to chat about co-op adventures!

Stephanie Chen - Mathematics & Statistics Talk with Stephanie

Hi everyone! My name is Stephanie. I am a fourth-year Math & Stats Co-op student. I worked as a Data Scientist intern at Canadian Tire Financial Services for my first and second work terms, where I was a part of the Sports Analytics team. Our team provides analytical support to Own the Podium and national Sports organizations such as Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee. For my 8-month work term, I completed two personal analytical projects for ski mountaineering and badminton. My main tasks include collecting Olympic and senior-level athlete performance data using web scraping, cleaning data and maintaining SQL database, applying statistical athlete rating models, creating visualization with interactive dashboards, and building data pipelines with MS Azure. I also got the opportunity to complete a presentation to our Vice President. In this position, I strengthened my skills in Python, MySQL, Tableau, and MS Azure. From my first two weeks when I barely understood the Python code for web scraping to building three new scripts by myself, I learned and grew a lot in this role. With this co-op experience, I have a deeper understanding of the impact of data science on various industries. For me, co-op is a great opportunity to explore one’s professional interests and career path. In my free time, I love to travel, watch vlogs, and hang out with friends. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions and I look forward to connecting with you!

Thea Ysabel Chu - Earth & Environmental Sciences Talk with Thea

Hi everyone! My name is Thea Chu and I’m currently in my fourth year of the Earth and Environmental Sciences co-op program. I just finished my first 8-month co-op work term as an Assistant Sampling Technician – Hauled Sewage & I/I with the Region of Peel in the Water & Wastewater Division. My position primarily focused on the collection of septic waste from Peel’s Integrated Wastewater Treatment Plant and Clarkson Wastewater Treatment Plant as well as the collection of surface water samples from local streams and Lake Ontario. Additionally, I was involved in the coordination with contractors and industry regarding work on the sewer systems along with data analysis and documentation review on the samples collected. I/I refer to inflow and infiltration which is when groundwater or rainwater enter the sanitary sewer system instead of stormwater sewer system. Throughout the Summer Term, I was assigned a project called the Downspout Disconnection Program where I worked in residential areas across the Peel Region to collect data using GIS software regarding the number of downspouts connected to the sanitary system. My experience working at the Region has been a memorable one! I have learned a lot of new skills that I will keep in my toolbox moving forward and created connections with people of all sorts of different backgrounds. The co-op program provides such a great opportunity to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and gain experience in various jobs. This helps individuals narrow down future career options to see what they are interested in pursuing after undergrad. Outside of my academic life, I enjoy spending quality time with my family and friends as well as café hopping, grabbing boba, and bouldering. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about co-op and I’d be more than happy to chat!

Xueyuan (Jason) Xu - Mathematics & Statistics Talk with Xueyuan (Jason)

Hello everyone! I’m currently a fourth-year student enrolled in the Honours Mathematics and Statistics – Statistics Specialization Co-op program. For my initial co-op experience, I had the opportunity to work at TT Actuarial as a Pension Actuarial Assistant. In this role, I was involved in tasks such as aiding in the development of corporate valuation reports and preparing reports for valuating Individual Pension Plans. During my subsequent co-op term, I decided to join GiftCash, where I assumed the position of a Pricing Analyst. Within this role, I led a small team, collaborating on sourcing products and analyzing sales data to make informed pricing decisions that aligned with our marketing goals. Using my two co-op work terms, I aimed to delve deeper into areas that could potentially shape my future career path. This approach has allowed me to make more informed decisions regarding my career trajectory. On a personal note, I have a keen interest in activities like motorcycling, snowboarding, cycling, and billiards during my free time. If any of these resonate with you, I’d love to connect and share experiences! Looking forward to connecting with all of you.

Yizhou Ji - Actuarial and Financial Mathematics Talk with Yizhou

Hi, I’m Yizhou and I’m going into my 5th year in Actuarial & Finance Math program. For my first two co-op terms, I was working in LifeWorks as a pension analyst. My main focuses there were producing reports and documentations, communicating with clients (either corporates or individuals), etc.. Now I’m working in the model development group in Canada Life as an actuarial student, and this experience will end by the end of December 2023. This is the first time I have had an opportunity to get to work on the real-life life insurance models, which makes me very excited during the work. A fun fact about myself is that I was a table tennis athlete before high school (I’ve fully given up now as I found mathematics is more interesting than it, even though math is not the most exciting thing in the world). Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any question about Co-op, AFM program or anything you would like me to help. I am always open to any questions you may have and I’ll try my best to get you an answer!

Zein Karodia - Actuarial and Financial Mathematics Talk with Zein

Hey there! My name is Zein Karodia and I am in my 4th year in the Actuarial Financial Math Co-op program. I spent 8 months at a Property & Casualty company called Co-operators as a pricing actuary with the Home Pricing Team!

I mainly worked with the Home team’s rate indications and pricing environmentally friendly coverages. I used Excel and SQL on a day-to-day basis and got some exposure to modeling software called Earnix.

Outside the hustle, you’ll find me playing table tennis religiously, playing some cricket and spending way too much money eating out with friends!