When it comes to preparing for life after graduation, what you've learned is only as good as the knowledge you've built putting it into action.
Annaliese Schropp, a fourth-year computer science student at the University of Guelph, said that is the value she's discovering in her co-op experiences. Annaliese is working a co-op term at BitBakery, and we sat down for a virtual chat to hear more about how her first few weeks on the team have been so far.
What are you excited about working on at BitBakery?
I'm excited to dive into the new experience of client-facing work alongside a small team to take a project from start to finish. The nature of the project I get to tackle this term is different from anything I've worked on before, so I'm looking forward to applying what I've learned in the classroom and my cumulative work experience to this role—my last placement before graduating!
Why did you choose to apply for a co-op at BitBakery
My goal with co-op is to try as many different things as possible. When else will I have the opportunity to jump jobs like that?
From user experience and full-stack web development at smaller-sized companies like TrafficSoda to technical support roles at large companies like Shopify, I've been checking off the boxes of experiences I felt I needed for my program.
At this point, I was missing some testing experience and client project work, so BitBakery was the perfect fit to get some direct experience coordinating with clients and doing contract development.
Another perk is that I grew up near Kitchener-Waterloo, so it's nice to commute to classes and stay connected with the community here, which is so rich with opportunities in my field of study.
What are you studying and where?
I'm majoring in Computer Science at the University of Guelph, with a minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), programming for maps!
Why did you choose that as a major?
When it came time to choose a major, I knew it had to involve my love for problem-solving, design, computers, and math– so I started a program in graphic design.
As you might guess, I ended up changing my mind. Graphic design was great and challenging because it was a lot of work and involved a lot of problem-solving, but not in the way I was excited about. I needed something different.
After taking a gap year to figure things out, I landed at Computer Science, which I absolutely love. The variety of problems and work is what I needed to feel fulfilled in my program.
What excites you about software development and start-ups?
I love building things, solving analytical problems, algorithms—everything that works the left side of the brain. What excites me about software development and start-ups is the variety of experiences you are exposed to. At a start-up, you get a lot of genuine help and learning opportunities from the small team, as well as the chance to expand your knowledge outside of your original job description.
What do you want to do after you graduate?
It depends on what I end up liking best after my cumulative work experience, or who knows—maybe I'll jump into something totally different!
That's the beauty of where I'm right now. I can keep trying new things, checking off the boxes of experience, and deciding where I want to go from there. There will always be a need for computer science-related jobs wherever I go, which is exciting!
What do you do outside of studying?
I'm usually playing video games, reading, drawing—stuff like that in my spare time. Right now, I'm playing Hollow Knight, a hand-drawn 2D-style action game. I also love to experiment and create other forms of visual art for fun. I did start out in graphic design after all!
On the business side, I'll occasionally take commissions from friends to help them with their development needs – maybe this could lead to freelancing gigs someday.
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We love welcoming new talent to the BitBakery team and are excited to have Annaliese on board for her last co-op term before graduation.
Want to learn more about working at BitBakery? Check out our BitBakery Blog or follow us on Instagram @bitbakery for more!