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Science co-op admissions are open now for entry in Fall 2022. Please go to OSCARplus/Science/Co-op for more details.

Ambassadors

The Ambassador Program allows prospective students to get in touch with current co-op students. It is a great way to ask questions, learn about real experiences, and determine whether co-op is the right option for you!
If you have specific questions about a program that is currently not represented by an ambassador, or if you have any general questions about co-op, please direct them to gencoop@mcmaster.ca

We will be hosting an AMBASSADOR Night on December 7 from 7pm-8pm. Come by if you would like to chat with the ambassadors and learn more about what co-op is like. Registration is open on Oscarplus.

Be sure to check this page and follow the @mcmasterscce Instagram for details on upcoming events the ambassadors will be taking part in!

Imtiaz Ahmed – Life Sciences

Imtiaz Ahmed – Life Sciences

Hello! My name is Imtiaz and I’m a fifth year Life Sci co-op student.Through co-op I was able to discover my interest in project management. My first placement was at Trillium Health Partners where I started off as a Project Analyst and worked my way into a Training Coordinator role. There, I organized training for thousands of physicians and staff members and set up a brand-new eLearning platform. After that, I started working with the SCCE office since it also involved project management. I’ve had a few different projects during my time with the SCCE including planning a new career services program for graduate students, modifying the application process for science co-op to make it more equitable and efficient, and launching the Co-op Ambassador Program. Some of my hobbies include playing video games, playing and watching basketball (go Raps!), watching movies, and trying new food!

Richa Alvares – Life Sciences

Richa Alvares – Life Sciences

Hi everyone! My name is Richa & I'm in my 5th year of the Life Sciences Co-op program. I started out my co-op journey completing a personalized job search and found my first co-op job through Networking at the Career Fair. I completed 8 months as a Client Services Intern at AlayaCare, a health-tech company where I led a migration project for 100 clients in North America & Australia going through a software upgrade. I really enjoyed working with tech, but I've also been interested in career services & professional development. As such, for my next co-op term, I bridged the two and wound up working at Riipen, an ed-tech company, where I worked on a government funded program called Level UP, helping students gain work experience. Currently, I am completing my last work term with the SCCE as a Project Support Assistant. A large part of my role is working on programming for co-op students, such as the Mentorship Program, Co-op Cafe Corner, Gathering of the Minds, and a Co-op Alumni Networking Night, among others. Co-op has been incredibly beneficial in helping me discover what I enjoy in a workplace and where I want to go post-grad (working in tech). Outside of co-op, I love hiking, playing the ukulele, going to the gym, and binge-watching Netflix originals.

Alicia Wong – Life Sciences

Alicia Wong – Life Sciences

Hi everyone! My name is Alicia. I am in my fourth year at the Life Science Co-op program, and I am one of the 2021/2022 Co-op Ambassadors. For my first co-op term, I worked at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) - a nuclear research facility, as a Radiobiology Student specializing in cancer biology. I worked at CNL for 8 months, at first working remotely to conduct and write literature reviews and in the summer working in-person to help assist in the laboratory with cell and animal experiments. Some fun facts about myself ~ I enjoy travelling, sailing, trying new recipes, and spending time with friends and family. If you have any questions regarding research positions or future careers opportunities in Life Science, feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to connecting with all of you soon.

Kennedy Austin – Molecular Biology & Genetics

Kennedy Austin – Molecular Biology & Genetics

I am a fourth-year undergraduate student in the Molecular Biology and Genetics Co-op program here at McMaster. I started out in Life Sciences in my 1st year, then applied to the MBG program in 2nd year, and to the co-op specialization in my 3rd year. For my first co-op work term (January 2021-August 2021), I worked as a student research assistant in the Surette lab at the McMaster’s Children’s Hospital. I was lucky enough to experience this role in-person and gain an enormous amount of lab skills. My project was aimed at helping a post-doctoral fellow to classify a specific family of proteins responsible for breaking down carbohydrate sugars digested in the human colon. I learned how to clone and sequence these proteins as well as several other lab skills including PCR, plating bacteria, protein expression, and much more! I enjoyed this project (and the lab members) so much that I am now continuing working in the Surette lab and classifying these enzymes as my 4th year thesis project. I would be happy to talk to any students potentially interested in co-op and share my experience or answer any questions!

Christine Baglio – Molecular Biology & Genetics

Christine Baglio – Molecular Biology & Genetics

Hi, I'm Christine and I am in my 4th year of the MBG co-op program. I completed my first co-op term in Dr. Marie Elliot's lab at McMaster. Our lab works with the Streptomyces bacteria and is interested in understanding the genetic mechanisms and pathways for the various Streptomyces growth modes. For the winter work term, I worked from home, analyzing RNA sequencing data and getting up to date with the current literature. For the summer term and into my 4th-year thesis, I have been working in the lab and have gained a variety of technical skills. So far, I have done Western blotting, bacterial cloning, gene deletions, conjugations, and more! In my free time, I enjoy going to the gym, going on nature walks, and reading!

Madinakhon (Madina) Sulaymonova- Environmental Sciences

Madinakhon (Madina) Sulaymonova- Environmental Sciences

I am currently in my fourth year of Honours Environmental Sciences Co-op at McMaster University. Through an acceptance into the Life Sciences program, I found myself navigating towards a specialization in Honours Environmental Sciences with a focus on environmental policy as a way to link human health to factors of the natural environment. I am on a route towards receiving a certificate in Geographic Information System (GIS), which will be used to map and analyze real-world data applied in multiple fields within our economy. I began my journey at Avella Injury and Pain Management as an E-commerce Virtual Intern for my first co-op placement to enhance my knowledge in design, code, and pain management. My second placement was in the department of Facility Services at McMaster University as a GIS Summer Student, where I led a pilot project to turn our campus into a fully spatial campus. I am fascinated with understanding how our society functions and want to further my skills by working with other intellectuals in a field of work within the healthcare system.

Jaimini Patel – Biology and Pharmacology

Jaimini Patel – Biology and Pharmacology

Hi everyone! My name is Jaimini and I am a fourth year Biology and Pharmacology co-op student. As I’m sure many others have emphasized, the co-op program has been a really meaningful experience to me as it has given me a chance to explore a diverse range of careers in science. I encourage all students to be open to things outside of your comfort zone (whether it be projects, clubs, or even entire jobs) as you may stumble across something that interests you that you previously did not think of pursuing. My co-op experiences so far have been in the industry sector. As a science student, I expected my work to be very lab-based, but there was so much more to learn that I simply had not been exposed to in an academic setting. I loved learning more about these non-traditional aspects of science since these skills – which we are not necessarily exposed to in academia – are actually relevant to lots of science jobs! Outside of science, I enjoy doing art, going on nature walks, and reading!

Jeniszka Gill – Biology and Pharmacology

Jeniszka Gill – Biology and Pharmacology

Hi, my name is Jeniszka ! I am 5th year Biology and Pharmacology student here at McMaster. I completed both my Co-op terms in academia working in a cancer research lab in Toronto studying photodynamic therapy on skin cancer. Currently I am on a thesis term looking at photodynamic therapy for pancreatic cancer. I chose the co-op program because it is a great opportunity to figure out what your interests are while also picking up practical work and life skills along the way. I had no clue what I wanted to after my undergrad and through my placements I now have a better idea of what kind of work I like to do. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about Bio-Pharm, Co-op or Academia or anything else really

Kruti Bhakta – Biology and Pharmacology

Kruti Bhakta – Biology and Pharmacology

Hello! My name is Kruti and I’m in my 5th year of the Biology and Pharmacology program. My first co-op experience was with Shoppers Drug Mart in the Cannabis Care business unit. I got to work with a team of pharmacists that prescribe medical cannabis and support patients in guiding them through the process of treatment (registration and insurance, dosing guidance, product explanations, adverse effects, and more). My other co-op experience was this past summer working with Dr. Lisa Dolovich at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy University of Toronto. I assisted the Research Coordinator with activities involving the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Cross-disciplinary Training program (DSECT program) for graduate students. I also helped with the writing and editing of a Canadian Institutes of Health Training Grant Proposal, analyzed and reported survey results, and spearheaded the program website refresh project. During my co-op terms I managed to have a lot of free time as well to do things I really enjoy, like reading, watching movies, painting, and spending time with family and friends.

Ana Stanciu – Biochemistry

Ana Stanciu – Biochemistry

Hi! My name is Ana Stanciu and I am thrilled to be a co-op ambassador for the Biochemistry program! I have had the opportunity to complete my first work term at MEDUCOM Health, a pharmaceutical marketing agency, while gaining a lot of valuable experience which is what co-op is all about! I decided to be a co-op ambassador to help students who are interested in pursuing this program, answer any questions they may have and openly share my experiences. One of the most important things I learned through my first work term is that you're not expected to know everything about everything. As a science student, you're well equipped with the ability to learn new things! Being open to learning and asking questions is one of the most important characteristics of a co-op student which will help in your professional development. I'm really looking forward to connecting with you all this year!

Chloe Wu – Chemical Biology

Chloe Wu – Chemical Biology

In a recent co-op term, I worked under an industry/academia collaboration between Suncor Energy and the Hoare Lab here at McMaster's Chemical Engineering department, formulating antibacterial coatings and doing some bacterial testing. My interests mainly lie in the CPG industry and sustainable changes in product development, and I'm super passionate about personal development and experiential learning! I feel like chemistry (and STEM in general) opens up so many career paths that students aren't exposed to. Co-op gives us multiple opportunities to not only explore these career pathways but even branch out and experience functions like marketing and consulting. Through these experiences, I've met lots of people, developed my independence and gained more clarity which, as a result, helped me be more proactive in creating my goals and taking the steps to achieve them - and I think this is something that's essential in any post-secondary career before we graduate and are thrust into the real world. Be curious, grasp every opportunity that comes your way and have a plan! I'm always open to sharing my experiences and answering questions, so don't hesitate to reach out 😊

Roxana Ruiz-Arduengo – Chemical Biology

Roxana Ruiz-Arduengo – Chemical Biology

I am Roxana. I am a Level IV Chemical Biology Co-op student. I spent my first two work terms at the SickKids Research Institute in the department of Molecular Medicine. During my time there, I worked in biophysical and biochemical cancer research developing a phase separation assay to analyze interactions between an oncogenic fusion protein and various small molecules, including a therapeutic that is currently in clinical trials. I learned plenty about academic research, honed my lab skills and confidence, and developed my scientific communication skills, as well as a plethora of other transferable soft skills. Additionally, I gained lots of insight into what I want in my future career. In my free time, I love to read, travel, play new board games, and watch movies!

Gaffney Luk – Earth & Environmental Sciences

Gaffney Luk – Earth & Environmental Sciences

My name is Gaffney Luk. I am currently a fifth-year co-op student in Earth & Environmental Sciences. Right now, I am on a work term for the Region of Peel, assisting the Environmental Education department in creating and delivering material based on water conservation and wastewater treatment to students in K-12. In the past, I've created GIS maps for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and back in third year, moved to Ottawa to work for Health Canada to help draft new chemical regulations before transitioning to working from home. I am excited to be an ambassador for the program and can't wait to help all of you.

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