Information Box Group
Alicia Minden – Earth and Environmental Science Talk with Alicia
Hey everyone! I’m Alicia and I’m in my fourth year of the Earth and Environmental Science Co-op program here at McMaster University. For January 2022, I secured an eight-month co-op working with Vale, a mining company, in Sudbury Ontario. My main responsibilities included core logging, which is the process of analyzing rocks to help determine where and how to continue the expansion of the mines. This required working in an industrial setting so throughout the term I have done a lot of safety training, including how to properly operate smaller forklifts. I have also had a few opportunities to go down into various active mine sites. Over four thousand feet underground, I would either assist with geological work, or tour the drills and ore that was about to be extracted. I really liked the schedule I had with this position, which allowed me to go hiking and camping on my free time. If you have any questions or if you want any more information, feel free to reach out!!
Alicia Wong – Life Sciences Talk with Alicia
Hi everyone! My name is Alicia, a 5th-year Life Science co-op student. For my first co-op term in 2021, I worked at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) – a nuclear research facility as a Radiobiology Student specializing in cancer biology. I started working remotely writing a literature review and in the summer months, I relocated to work onsite in the lab assisting with cell and animal experiments. This year, 2022, I am working as a research assistant in the Protein Metabolism Research Lab with Dr. Stuart Phillips at McMaster. I had the opportunity to help run human clinical trials and continue to fine-tune my lab skills to understand human skeletal muscle metabolism. Some fun facts about myself ~ I enjoy playing tennis (although not the best), sailing, trying new recipes, and spending time with friends and family. If you have any questions about the co-op program or future career opportunities in Life Science, feel free to reach out to me.
Arianna Gokul – Molecular Biology & Genetics Talk with Arianna
Hi, I’m Arianna and I’m in my fourth year of the Molecular Biology and Genetics Co-op Program! For both of my co-op terms, I have been working in The Wright Lab in the Institute for Infectious Disease Research at McMaster. The main focus of our lab is antibiotic resistance, in which our research surrounds studying the molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and identifying new antibiotics and strategies to combat the problem of resistance. In this position, I’ve been able to learn and practice so many laboratory skills, such as molecular cloning, DNA and plasmid isolation, analyzing antibiotic activity, and so much more! Working in the lab has allowed me to meet so many great people that also have so much knowledge and experience to share. It is really great to be able to have this experience and to discover all the possibilities for my future career, which is why I would highly recommend this program, especially to those who are uncertain about what they want to do after graduation. Outside of Co-op, I am really interested in doing makeup, reading, cooking, playing video games and spending time with my friends and family. I would be happy to share my experiences with you all, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me!
Autumn Arnold– Biochemistry Talk with Autumn
Hi everyone! My name is Autumn Arnold and I am a fourth year co-op student in the Biochemistry program at McMaster. My first co-op placement was as a lab tech at a company called MG Chemicals in Burlington. There, I was fortunate enough to be actively involved in the quality control, research and development, and content creation departments. This gave me the opportunity to explore a variety of roles in my field of interest and find which kinds of tasks I enjoyed the most. Prior to joining the co-op program, I did not understand the value of gaining real working experience during school. However, I am now so appreciative of not only the transferable skills that I’ve developed, but the insight that I have gained about how I want to shape my final years at McMaster, and what I wish to pursue in the future. I became a co-op ambassador so that I could share these experiences with others and hopefully bring more awareness to the benefits of co-op, especially at a school where the co-op program is less prominent. In my free time, I enjoy playing piano and guitar and singing, bouldering, and cuddling with my cat. Please feel free to reach out to me, I am looking forward to connecting with you all this year!
Chloe Wu – Chemical Biology Talk with Chloe
Hello! My name is Chloe and I’m a Level V Chemical Biology Co-op student with a minor in Sustainability. I spent my first 8 month co-op term working under an industry/academia collaboration between Suncor Energy and the Hoare Lab here at McMaster’s Chemical Engineering department, formulating antibacterial coatings and doing some biological testing. For my final terms, I’m working at Apotex as a supply chain coordinator (lots of project management!). My interests mainly lie in the CPG industry and how sustainable change can be carried out to benefit not only our environment but society and economy. I’m super passionate about planning, personal development and experiential learning. Be curious, grasp every opportunity that comes your way and have a plan! I really struggled to narrow down my interests (still struggling), so I’m always open to sharing my experiences and answering questions. Don’t hesitate to reach out ?
Emily Stevens - Molecular Biology and Genetics Talk with Emily
Hi everyone! My name is Emily, I am in my fourth 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. I learned and improved on various laboratory protocols including aseptic technique, qPCR, immunocytochemistry, and functional testing. Working at the largest biotech company in Canada, I not only gained valuable lab experience, but furthermore gained confidence and expanded my professional network. I really enjoyed my first co-op term at STEMCELL, along with the opportunity to move out of province and discover a new city and lifestyle that Vancouver provided. 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!
Emma Adamson-De Luca - Biology & Pharmacology Talk with Emma
Hi everyone! I’m Emma and I’m a fourth year student in the Biology & Pharmacology Co-op program. I am completing my first work term in research & development at a Femtech startup company. I have previously worked part-time tutoring and on research projects in the McMaster Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, where I gained transferrable skills that translated to my co-op position. So far my co-op experience has been an incredible learning opportunity that has allowed me to explore my passion for women’s health and hone my research skills. This position has exposed me to the industry sector and I have come to appreciate how business and science can work synergistically to drive innovation! Outside of work you’ll find me reading, baking, and drinking enough coffee to rival Rory from Gilmore Girls. Studying in the BioPharm program has pushed me to grow academically and professionally; I’m always happy to chat about my co-op journey and experiences, so don’t hesitate to reach out!
Erin Szeto - Environmental Science Talk with Erin
Hi! My name is Erin, and I’m in my fourth year of the Environmental Science co-op program. I’m currently on my work term with Environment and Climate Change Canada under the climate research branch. This branch looks at methane emissions throughout the Greater Toronto Area, tests new technologies, and monitors stations which measure greenhouse gas concentrations across the country. I’m in charge of looking at data received through local experiments involving methane. I mainly work with Polyphemus which simulates atmospheric transport of methane and enables me to look at data more closely. Prior to the co-op program, I had no real experience in my field besides academia. So I’m very thankful to this program for allowing me to explore multiple work environments to see what I might like to pursue as a long term career. From this particular work term I’ve gained a lot of insight regarding my future career options, valuable skills and connections. Outside of science, some of my interests include online shopping, bubble tea, travel, and Netflix. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions, including but not limited to, Environmental Science, the co-op program, and academia.
Hasan Khaleel- Chemistry Talk with Hasan
Hello! My name is Hasan and I am going into my fourth year of the Chemistry Co-op program. I spent my first work term at McMaster working in the Ayers Lab, where I helped develop a software package that uses computational chemistry and machine learning to explore chemical space and select diverse drug-like molecules. For my second work term I had the opportunity to work at Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, where I helped conduct studies on different pesticides and herbicides. I was responsible for carrying out the trails and collecting samples for testing to determine if the pesticides could be approved in Canada. A fun fact about me is that I know how drive a tractor because of my second Co-op! If you are interested in research or industry jobs don’t be afraid to reach out, I would love to answer any questions you might have.
Lauren McKay - Actuarial and Financial Mathematics Talk with Lauren
Hello! My name is Lauren McKay, I am in my fourth year of the Actuarial and Financial Math Co-op program. I completed my first co-op placement at Canada Life, working as an Actuarial Student for 8 months. I was on the Individual Customer Process Innovation & Regulatory Change Team which is a part of the Chief Actuary business unit. A majority of my work was focused around supporting the transition from IFRS4 to IFRS17. I gained a strong working knowledge of MS Access, Excel, GGY Axis and SQL. In my free time I enjoy working out, going for walks and spending time with friends and family! Please feel free to reach out with any questions, I look forward to chatting!
Jaimini Patel – Biology and Pharmacology Talk with Jaimini
Hi everyone! My name is Jaimini and I am a fifth year Biology and Pharmacology co-op student. The co-op program has been a really meaningful experience to me as it has given me a chance to explore a diverse range of careers in science. I encourage all students to be open to things outside of your comfort zone (whether it be projects, clubs, or even entire jobs) as you may stumble across something that interests you that you previously did not think of pursuing. My co-op experiences so far have been in the industry and government sector. As a science student, I expected my work to be very lab-based, but there was so much more to learn that I simply had not been exposed to in an academic setting. I loved learning more about these non-traditional aspects of science since these skills – which we are not necessarily exposed to in academia – are actually relevant to lots of science jobs! Outside of science, I enjoy journaling, going on nature walks, and reading!
Jasmine Silvera - Environmental Science Talk with Jasmine
Hey guys! My name is Jasmine and am a 5th year student in Environmental Science. Since early May, I have been completing my Co-op term with The Bay, working under the sustainability team! One of my favourite parts about being a student intern is that I am able to gain firsthand experience and insight regarding how large companies operate in terms of corporate sustainability. I am also able to contribute to the development of internal projects and innovations which direct the company onto a green path to help ensure a sustainable future. So far, my placement with The bay has been a great learning experience thanks to my supervisor and manager who have been extremely supportive along the way. In September I will be starting my Next placement with Environment and Climate Canada working as a Junior Nutrients Officer regulating the great lakes. I’m very excited for this placement as I will be working with the government in efforts to address water quality and pollution. In terms of my hobbies and interests, other than the environment, I also enjoy working out and have recently taking up powerlifting which is extremely fun and exhilarating! Can’t wait to meet you all!
Isabelle Sauvé - Actuarial and Financial Mathematics Talk with Isabelle
Hi everyone! My name is Isabelle and I am in my fourth year of the Actuarial and Financial Mathematics Co-op program and am pursuing a minor in economics. For my first co-op placement, I worked with The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) as an Actuarial Intern. In this role, my main project was to complete lapse and claims studies, and work alongside the analytics teams to solve various account issues. Through data obtained in these studies, we were able to compile the information to formulate Scotiabank’s yearly models. In this opportunity, I was able to see if I preferred to work in the insurance industry and the inner workings of a large scale bank. It exposed me to various sectors of the bank such as wealth management, personal banking, etc. and provided valuable employee insights on available career opportunities. The co-op program has allowed me to explore my interests during my degree and helped me narrow down what I would like to do post graduation. It has helped me hone soft and hard skills necessary in the workplace and exposure to networking which is a vital method of communication in this field. I hope through being an ambassador, I can provide helpful information on my experiences as a co-op student and aid prospective or current students on anything they may need. In my free time, I love to read, travel, watch movies, and participate on McMaster’s competitive dance team. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions and I look forward to connecting with you all!
Maryjo Antonio - Life Sciences Talk with Maryjo
Hello! My name is Maryjo Antonio. I am a fourth year Life Science Co-op Student. Throughout my first co-op work term, I worked at the Hamilton General Hospital as a research student. Our research team worked on clinical trials that focused on improving catheter-based treatments for cardiovascular diseases. Some of the main goals of our work group was to help patients understand the purpose and benefits of the research studies, to check on the wellbeing of the patients throughout the studies, and to collect data. I thoroughly enjoyed working in clinical research at the hospital as I gained many professional skills, patient experience, and knowledge of various health services in the field of interventional cardiology. Apart from my academic life, I enjoy going to the gym, reading, and spending time with my french bulldog, Kiro! If you have any questions about the co-op program, I would be more than happy to answer them anytime. ?
Michelle Barabasz- Mathematics and Statistics Talk with Michelle
Hi! My name is Michelle and I’m in my fifth year of the Mathematics and Statistics (Statistics Subplan) Co-op program. For my first two work terms, I worked for Peel Reginal Police as a Business Analyst. In this position, I worked with my team to create innovative dashboards and improve existing methods used for data collection. I got a lot of coding experience during this placement as well. I knew after this placement I wanted to try something different and so, for my third work term, I am currently working at Statistics Canada where I am working on the creation of a survey. A large part of my role is collaborating with others and taking initiative to meet timelines which are great skills to have for future employment. As the survey progresses within the next few months, my responsibilities will change to include testing and analyzing the results. Co-op is an amazing opportunity to learn skills that cannot be learned in a classroom, and I highly recommend it. Please reach out if you have any questions or just want to chat. I look forward to connecting with you all!
Nashita Ahmed - Sustainable Chemistry Talk with Nashita
Hi! My name is Nashita Ahmed and I am currently a fourth-year co-op student in Sustainable Chemistry. I had the opportunity to complete the first four months of my co-op term at Stantec where I collaborated with multidisciplinary engineers and consultants to attend project client meetings and apply chemistry, biology and environmental science concepts to support and identify the eligibility of R&D activities to maximize client’s benefaction from tax credits. I also independently prepared the Canada Revenue Agent’s official Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) claims and a summary of key technical information in accordance with SR&ED tax incentive program guidelines. My other co-op experience was this past summer at Zymewire where I utilized data aggregation software to retrieve pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry news content from several companies’ web sources and process it via machine learning systems to bring them into Zymewire to be made actionable for users. Through these experiences, I’ve met lots of people, developed new skills and gained more clarity in my interests which are biotechnology and environmental consulting. One tip I love to give students is to be open to learning and ask questions to help in their professional development. I’m always open to sharing my experiences and answering questions, so please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Natalie Yuen - Biochemistry Talk with Natalie
Hi everyone! My name is Natalie, and I am a fourth-year Biochemistry – Biomedical Research Specialization Co-op student! For my first co-op term, I worked as a Laboratory Assistant at the Human Immune Testing Suite, right here on campus in the McMaster Immunology Research Center. My main duties included processing clinical samples (i.e. isolating PBMCs), assisting senior technicians with their projects, helping with quality assurance tasks, and general lab maintenance. I love co-op because while you may face many challenges, the program is so rewarding in the end. Over the past year, I’ve learned so much about myself – my strengths, weaknesses, and what future careers I may be interested in. I’ve also gotten the chance to develop many skills which I hope to continue improving in upcoming job searches and work terms! In my free time, I enjoy drawing, painting, and spending time with my family and friends (and dog!). If you have any questions or just would like to talk, please feel free to reach out!
Rebecca Sun- Chemistry Talk with Rebecca
Hello, friends! My name is Rebecca Sun, and I am a level 4 chemistry co-op student. My previous co-op work placements took place at the McMaster Lab Stores located in the ABB building. The Lab Stores is the main supplier supported by the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology that provides common chemicals and lab consumables to the research scientists across campus as well as other McMaster-affiliated research centers. As an introvert with no prior customer service skills, it was beneficial to have my co-op placements at the Lab Stores. The most I improved in are communication and interpersonal skills. I am now able to pick up phone calls confidently and solve one’s concerns, whereas before I was always nervous about doing so. I was also able to meet and know many of the graduate students and professors whom I had seen before but never had a chance to interact with formally. (This is also how I secured a thesis position for next year even though the official deadline has already passed!) Outside of co-op, I love listening to K-pop music. (Especially BTS~) Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions for me!
Scott Holtshousen - Physics Talk with Scott
Hi everyone, my name is Scott. I am a fourth year Honours Physics student interested in studying theoretical and computational physics in graduate school. During my first co-op term I researched a solution for a problem in oral cancer surgery: the tumour depth problem. The question was, how can we produce a 3D model/rendering of an oral cancer tumour prior to surgically resecting it? My position involved extensive research into the physics of light transport, and how we can use the wave properties of light to collect 2D images at depths varying up to 5mm. I wrote and fine-tuned a deep learning algorithm which could be used, in conjunction with our 2D depth images and the optical properties (i.e., light transport properties) of the tissue, to learn the depth of oral cancer tumours prior to resection. I have had a fair degree of uncertainty about whether co-op was right for me (my field of interest really requires a masters or PhD: why delay my progress with something only partially related?), but I have persevered and am thankful for doing so: the experiences I have had, good and bad, have all helped me learn and figure out more about myself and my path forward.
Stefanie Markevich - Medical and Biological Physics Talk with Stefanie
Hi, I’m Stefanie! I am a 4th year Medical and Biological Physics co-op student. I just finished my first 8-month work term where I did research in downtown Toronto at the University Health Network. There, I focused on building a prototype fluorescence imaging system, as well as creating tumour models in the wet lab, also using artificial intelligence to accelerate how quickly we could get quantitative results with our imaging system. Although I may not know exactly what I want to do after graduating, I have a better idea of the things I do and don’t like. For example, I am really interested in scientific communication! I am extremely grateful for all the experience, connections, and memories I have made so far in this program. Outside of my studies and co-op, I enjoy mentoring younger students and helping guide them through their own journeys, in addition to activities like reading, discovering new music, dancing, working out and, perhaps most importantly, spending quality time with friends and family. Please feel free to reach out, I would love to help!