I have always been passionate about technology. I’m also passionate about helping women pursue careers in technology – a goal I envision for myself as well. Thanks to Realtor.com’s Cooperative Education Program (Co-op) – a university-run program where students eager to pursue technical careers gain real work experience while completing their degree – I’m well on the way.
A little about me…
I graduated from UBC Sauder School of Business in 2017 with a Bachelor of Commerce in Business Technology Management. Eager to learn more in the technical field, I decided to pursue a second degree and am currently working towards a BS in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia.
But school doesn’t have my only focus yet. After my bachelor’s degree, I went to work at JA British Columbia (JABC), a subsidiary of JA Worldwide, the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to educating young people in business. There, I had the opportunity to coordinate a program that enables high school students to run their own businesses, and developed a STEMinist (Girls in STEM) program to encourage female-identified high school students to start digital/tech companies. While at JABC, students in the program launched more than 50 applications and e-commerce businesses.
While Girls in STEM inspires many women to enter tech, unfortunately, women interested in careers in tech often face an uphill battle. According to the American Enterprise Institute, only 24 percent of computer jobs are held by women, and 40 percent of women with engineering degrees either do not enter the field after graduation or leave soon after graduation. Given these statistics, educational programs that encourage and support emerging female tech professionals are critical.
Since launching Co-op in 2017, Realtor.com has provided opportunities to hundreds of college students. When I first learned about the Realtor.com Co-op job posting through the UBC website, I was so excited! I immediately started researching Realtor.com and was impressed with the company’s culture and values. So, I decided to apply!
So many projects, endless opportunities
I have 11 co-op participants in my team, all of them now working as software engineers, mobile engineers , web developer or data scientist working with a support team and all-star managers, with the opportunity for a permanent placement. Many of us work on legitimate projects that will eventually hit the market.
In my experience, I am a member of two teams in the enabling personalization community:
- The Identity Team
working on decision and context engines. For the orchestration team, I set up k6 tests to make performance testing for teams simple and efficient. I also created documentation on how to test our Dynamic Content Areas feature end-to-end and gave a technical implementation demo of the work I did with the team.
While working on these exciting projects, my manager Aidan Sherr introduced me to women in tech , and helped me network and meet various members of the Realtor.com community. This allows me to explore and learn more about different career paths. Also, she provided me with valuable and important feedback which helped me grow tremendously.
But it’s not all work and play – as a co-op participant, I also enjoy employee events to release stress and connect with colleagues. It is a pleasure to work in the Vancouver office. This is a beautiful facility offering a variety of different workspaces, state-of-the-art meeting rooms, snack and lounge/lunch space where all the co-ops used to meet and hang out. Most importantly, Co-op fosters a rich and supportive learning environment that allows me to spread my wings as a budding tech professional.