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Co-op at CIRA: Summer in a Canadian workplace

As the summer comes to a close, we asked our co-op students what were some of their main takeaways from working at CIRA.
By Erica Howes
Communications Specialist

As the summer comes to a close, we asked our co-op students what were some of their main takeaways from working at CIRA.

Do you remember your first job? Remember the nerves at figuring out not only the work you have to do, but also what it’s like to work in an office for the first time? We know it can be intimidating.

At CIRA, we believe it’s important that students have opportunities to learn and work in a Canadian workplace. We host a co-op program every year and we’re proud to have been recognized as one of Canada’s 2019 Best Employers for Recent Grads and a top employer in the Ottawa region.   

We’ve found co-op students bring new, innovative ideas, and make our team better.

This year, we had six students from Carleton University, Willis College and University of Ottawa join us for the summer, working on projects with our policy, development, CIRA Labs, business intelligence, sales and cybersecurity teams.

As their term comes to a close with us, we asked: What did you take away from working at CIRA? Here were their answers.

Both technical and soft skills 

“There are so many people involved in ensuring the internet is efficient and secure and I’ve had the opportunity to learn from expert people in the industry. My co-op experience with CIRA has given me not only skills in useful technologies but also soft skills like planning a large project.”
-Daniel Innes, Application developer with CIRA Labs and software engineering at Carleton University.

Internet policy 

“I’ve learned the internet is more political than I thought! I’ve been able to learn about so many important policy issues that I had never heard of before. The work I do is meaningful, and I really feel that I’m able to contribute. It seems that part of CIRA’s culture is to have a high level of trust in staff, including co-op students.”
– Emily Fraser, Policy and advocacy analyst, studying public affairs and policy management at Carleton.   

Working in a Canadian professional workplace 

“I’ve learned a lot about a Canadian professional workplace. Working at CIRA on the business development team has helped me see a good potential career path for myself.” 
-Hamid Pashaei, Business development analyst, studying e-business technologies at University of Ottawa.

How to be a better programmer 

“I’ve been able to experiment with cutting edge technologies, explore new languages, and push myself to become a better programmer. I’ve learned how different stakeholders work together to make important decisions, which has been very illuminating.”
-John Forsythe, Application developer, studying computer science at Carleton University.

Innovation and drive 

“I admire the innovation and drive that’s here at CIRA. People are open to new ideas, which is so important when it comes to improving security for internet users.”
-Sarah Boyer, Cybersecurity product analyst from Willis College.

How the internet actually works 

“I’ve been able to apply my computer science background to learn about how the internet actually works. I’ve got the opportunity to work with many software for the first time.”
– Rishabh Kukreja, Data scientist and studying computer science at the University of Ottawa.

Thanks to all of our co-op students for a wonderful summer and being part of our CIRA team! We wish you all of the best in your future careers.

Interested in working at CIRA? See our current job openings.

About the author
Erica Howes

Erica works in corporate communications at CIRA. Her background is in writing and community relations in the non-profit sector. She is a graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program.