Technologist (Co-operative Education program)

Thinking Outside the Box

Technology is continuously evolving in our fast-paced society, opening doors to computer programs and gadgets that were once unimaginable. This proliferation facilitates access to information, which entails both positive and negative repercussions. The notion of unpredictability in the workplace led Ali to apply as a technologist at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). The type of work he does is not something you see everyday. “We have to look at technology with a different perspective and constantly think outside the box,” he says. In this position, a high degree of dexterity and mechanical aptitude with electronics are necessary to complete tasks. “It is nice to combine your skills to contribute to making Canada a safer country,” he adds.

Thanks to the Co-operative Education program at his university, he began working at the Service when he was a fourth-year software engineering student. Participants in the Co-operative Education program alternate between the classroom and the workplace, allowing them to gain hands-on experience. The program ensures that every candidate finds a placement, it provides an online list of employers with job descriptions, students apply to positions and are called for interviews. Graduates finish with a total of four placements related to their field of study, each lasting four months. “The program is great; it allows students to build a résumé and gain experience before graduating,” he explains. “In my case, it enabled me to get my foot in the door at the Service, as I completed my two last placements here.”

Once Ali graduated, he was offered a contract as a consultant at CSIS. After three years in this position, he decided to apply for a competition in the hope of becoming a technologist. Competitions are internal job postings open to employees who meet clearly identified requirements. Although the process varies by branch and position, it generally includes an oral interview and possibly a written test. Ali won the competition for the technologist position and became an indeterminate employee at CSIS. “The competition was quite stressful, but I am proud to have successfully completed the process,” he concludes.

<<The employees' names have been modified to protect the privacy of our employees>>.