By Paula de Villavicencio
Another term here at Clearpath has come to an end. As our group of talented, passionate co-op and intern students return to school, we wanted to take a moment to showcase their successes over the winter months. Here are a few highlights of their experience and achievements at Clearpath this past term.
Gaining real-world experience
“When the CEO of a successful robotics company gives you a problem and asks you for your opinion, you can’t regurgitate something you read in a textbook, you have to really look at the problem, take responsibility for it, and think as outside of the box as you can,” said co-op Paula de Villavicencio, a University of Waterloo student, who took the Digital Marketing co-op role. “I think that’s the biggest thing I
learned – textbooks don’t have all the answers, you really have to think for yourself and take responsibility for your work.”
University of Waterloo co-op, Krishan Mistry, took the role of Mechanical Design Co-op, working as part of the mechanical and hardware engineering team for the OTTO 100; “I learned mechanical design principles for modeling with 3D CAD, and also how to perform motion analysis on systems of parts. In addition, I learned a lot about the complexities of robot and vehicular design.”
Kieran Broekhoven, another Engineering student from the University of Waterloo was a Test Engineering Analyst Co-op. He explained that his textbooks didn’t have the answers he was looking for either. “Mainly, I learned lots of new programming tools and technical skills. Probably the most valuable though, was that working on projects I didn’t have a lot of experience in gave me a lot of great opportunities to learn from minimal documentation and figure things out on my own.”
The proud moments that count
The term co-op doesn’t really exist inside Clearpath, once you work here you’re a full member of the company. For co-op Paula being a member of team took a new definition: “I’d never been given a project that I completely owned in previous co-op placements. Being given the tools, and freedom to launch an advertising campaign, set up a keyword strategy, nurture my system and watch it give a high return on investment, was a phenomenal experience. Knowing it was all my work, and that my team was depending on me, made it that much better.”
For co-op Anton Dolgovykh, a University of Waterloo student who took the Applications Engineering co-op role said that being able to “work with the OTTO Motors team to put together the setup and demo for the Modex tradeshow (the largest event in Clearpath’s history to date!) was my proudest moment.” That would have entailed coordinating software, hardware, and simulation equipment. Anton went on to explain that the level of responsibility was something he hadn’t experienced at any other co-op placement, and it was something he really enjoyed.
Eric Tran, a software developer co-op from University of Waterloo, explained that the work he did for his team directly impacted the development of new Clearpath solutions to come because he was able to identify changes early on in development. “My favourite experience was getting to work with the OTTO 1500 and the OTTO 100 in the warehouse for development purposes. It felt really cool to be able to control two of the latest and greatest things in the robotics industry and seeing all the different technologies work together.”
The Clearpath culture is a unique one!
But what did the co-ops think of Clearpath itself? Anton says it how it is: “Clearpath is a rapidly expanding and highly innovative company with a great workplace culture. The company is an inspiring place to work – I came to work everyday wanting to see Clearpath succeed and feel proud that I helped contribute. The culture here really makes you feel like you’re part of a team and a family.”
Kieran seemed to echo the sentiment: “Overall I’m really impressed that Clearpath is maintaining the startup culture while growing so rapidly. The company has maintained a welcoming setting that encourages new employees and co-ops to contribute and question.”
For Natesh Narain, a Mobile Robotics Software Developer Co-op, from Conestoga College, the experience isn’t over: “Clearpath is a great company to work for. I’m returning in the fall for my next co-op placement and looking forward to what I’ll be working on.”
“I don’t think you can beat the Clearpath experience,” said Paula, “you’ll have a hard time finding another place that challenges you, and makes you part of the team so effectively. It’s the kind of place you get excited to go to in the morning because you know something exciting is always going to happen.”
Interested in being a Clearpath co-op student for your next term? Check out the opportunities here.