2010 Co-op Student of the Year grateful for experience

Aerospace engineering student Andrew Savage wins the 2010 Co-op Student of the Year Award. (Photo by Strangemore Imagery)

A fourth-year aerospace engineering student nudged out 22 other nominees to become the 2010 Carleton Co-op Student of the Year.

Andrew Savage, 23, says he was “excited and honoured” when he found out about his win, but was even more grateful for the experience.

“I was directly in the type of work I want to do after graduating university,” he says, “so I got good experience out of it. I was able to get a job with the same company afterwards.”

After his third year at school, Savage completed a paid co-op placement with Kelowna Flightcraft Group of Companies in Kelowna, B.C., a company that maintains, modifies and engineers aircraft and their components.

The placement was a great jumping off point for Savage’s future career plans.

“I really wanted to get into the design aspect with aircraft. This co-op placement fit perfectly into that. I got a wide variety of projects on many different types of aircraft. It was really interesting and it’s exactly the kind of work I wanted to do after [graduating].”

Over the16 months Savage spent with the company, he was able impress his employers. He was offered a job and starts next month, after he completes his degree at Carleton.

Kerry Eamer, director of Career Development and Co-operative Education, says winning this type of award holds many benefits to students.

“It’s recognition, first of all that, they’ve chosen the right vocation,” explains Eamer, “but also it’s recognition of the contributions that they make and how capable they are.

“It just builds their confidence so they feel that they can do anything that they choose to do.”

The criterion for selecting the winners are based on the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education guidelines established for the national co-op student of the year. These include job and academic achievement and assessing the qualities of the nominee.

“In most cases their employer nominates them … and it’s not a small thing,” says Eamer.

“They recognize them for their contributions and, in most cases, it’s not just that they were a really great student. They were a really great student, worker and employee because they contributed to this issue or this problem or they brought new information.”

Savage received his award during the annual Co-op Awards Gala in March. The gala was part of National Co-operative Education Week. He was also nominated for the provincial Co-op Student of the Year award.

Savage said winning this type of award can be beneficial for his future career.

“Definitely an employer would look favourably at something like that. It’s demonstrating good work ethic and successful co-op placement, so I imagine it would look quite good to other employers.”

http://www2.carleton.ca/co-op/news/co-op-career-counselling/

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