Participating in the co-op program is something we take great pride in here at Welaptega because it allows us to play an important role in the education of our future engineers. Co-op programs build a strong relationship between the university and the employer and is mutually beneficial: eager co-op students can have a very positive effect on productivity and office moral and the universities are kept up-to-date on industries standards.
With this Q&A, you’ll get a sneak peek into the world of Welaptega as seen through the eyes of the young, bright, and upbeat co-op student, Nathan Robinson.
My name is Nathan Robinson and I am a 22-year old mechanical engineering student at Dalhousie University. I started my first work term with Welaptega in September 2014 and I intend to graduate from the mechanical engineering program in 2017
Aside from work and school, I am a huge music fan. I played bass guitar in a jazz combo and competed in Atlantic music festivals. Over the years I stopped playing bass and picked up guitar. Today, I play lead guitar in a hardcore punk band. You can usually find me in a music store, listening to music or playing music.
Aside from music, I love going for long drives and exploring new places with friends. I love to clean and work on my vehicle when I’m not exploring, making sure it is in A1 condition for the next adventure.
When I am not rocking out or working on my car, I am relaxing, enjoying a Coke, spending quality time with my family.
This is your second co-op term here at Welaptega; why did you chose Welaptega for your first placement and then why did you chose to come back for your second placement?
When I was seeking employment during my first co-op work term, I didn’t have anywhere in particular that I wanted to work. I had a very open mind to all of the possibilities and would be very grateful to be employed at any engineering business. When I saw Welaptega’s ad to hire a co-op student, I didn’t know anything about Welaptega. I did some research and was very interested in the challenge of working with subsea assets.
I chose to return to Welaptega for a second work term because I learned a lot about engineering. The people I work alongside are all great people! Everyone is smart and I learn so much from everyone even if I’m just listening in on conversations. The culture at Welaptega is a fun-loving one and that has made my learning experience comfortable and more engaging. I noticed a huge different in my overall abilities at the end of my first work term and wanted to continue positive personal growth with Welaptega.
What has been your favorite moment to date during your co-op experience?
My favorite moment to date during my co-op experience was when I was offered a job for my next co-op work term. It was an amazing feeling knowing that the work I performed throughout the term met the expectation of my mangers and colleagues. Welaptega was my first engineering job and I only had a vague understanding of what the expectations for me would be. It was also great knowing that I had the option to return to work with all the great supportive people who have helped me grow as a person and an engineer.
What has been the biggest challenge you faced in your co-op term?
The biggest challenge I faced at Welaptega was my fear of public speaking. I have and can publicly speak; however, I use to find it very uncomfortable. After participating in numerous meetings at Welaptega, I was able to deal with my fears and now public speaking is not a problem.
What has been the single biggest learning experience for you here at Welaptega?
Have confidence in yourself or no one will have confidence in you.
How do you see the experience you have gained here at Welaptega factoring into your future?
The experiences I’ve had and lessons I learned at Welaptega will stick with me for the rest of my life. I have learned and practiced sound engineering practices that can be applied to any project whether it is personal or for business.
What advice would you give to a co-op student starting their first day with Welaptega?
Be yourself and keep a positive attitude towards work every day. Learn how to take a joke if you have not already. If you are ever unsure about something, don’t hesitate to ask because someone will usually be there and happy to help you out.