Design student secures job after graduation through co-op
Adrienne Cheng chose George Brown College as the place to further her studies and gain hands-on experience after finishing her university degree. With the goal of pursuing a career in design, she started the Interaction Design (G113) program in January 2020. As she looks towards her graduation date in mid-2022, Adrienne reflects on her most recent co-op position and how that’s translated into securing a job.
How did you land your co-op placement and what drew you to apply for the position?
One of my professors at George Brown College said there was a job opportunity for design and/or research and I decided to apply because I was interested in gaining real life experience in design. I went through an interview and portfolio review as part of the application process. And once I was told I was in the final rounds of the application, I found out it was a real estate tech company called Perch.
What were some of the projects you got to work on?
I got the opportunity to work on a bunch of different projects. The main one that comes to mind would be the huge company rebrand to its current name, Perch. It was a really extensive project in terms of UI. There was a new company name and new brand colours. I'm currently working on developing one of the tools that will be a focal point of Perch, and that's been very cool to work on in terms of UI and UX. It is definitely challenging, but also very rewarding to work on. The best moments are when your work gets developed and published live on the site.
What is your advice for other George Brown students or new grads who are joining a remote team? What can they do to be successful?
Make the time to get to know your co-workers! Work is important but building professional relationships can help you work better with others and get chances to socialize virtually, which is a huge part that can sometimes be overlooked with remote work compared to in-person work.
When looking for a co-op placement or job, I would recommend staying open minded about the content that you will be working with. For example, Perch is focused on helping home buyers and homeowners. Mortgages can seem really daunting at first, but the great thing about Perch specifically is that we're trying to break down that barrier of financial jargon. We want to make mortgages accessible and easier to understand for everyone.
George Brown College took the time to understand our project and helped us navigate the various programs available. They made our hiring process more efficient by shortlisting the right candidates that met both the program and Perch's requirements.
Alex Leduc, CEO of Perch
How does hiring co-op students through George Brown College help with Perch’s hiring and talent strategy?
Alex: Our first co-op student from George Brown, Adrienne, was so successful as a Junior UI/UX Designer, we extended her contract after her co-op term ended. She’s now working for us on a part-time basis as she finishes her diploma! We’ve also recently added another George Brown student, a Junior Fullstack Developer, to our team roster.
As a talent strategy, a co-op placement acts as a ‘tryout’ with the students we bring on. For those who are closer to graduating, we look to invite top performers back in a full-time, permanent position or explore ways to keep them on contract until they’re finished with exams.
We’re thrilled with the quality of the students we’ve seen from George Brown, and will continue to hire from here.