The value of co-op
A good computer science program should equip graduates for fulfilling work in the real world. And Greg Leaver, who graduated from computer science in 2013, has what most people in his field consider a dream job. As a Google software engineer, Leaver is a great example of where a Ryerson degree can take you.
“A huge part of why I’m here now,” he says, “is due to the co-op program at Ryerson.” By the time he’d earned his bachelor’s degree, Leaver had accumulated two years of work-term experience including a full year as a software developer at Toronto’s Intelliware Development Inc. “I spent enough time during that 12-month co-op that I grew from being viewed as just an intern to a full employee.”
While he’d previously applied to Google Canada for an internship, Leaver says it wasn’t until he was nearing graduation that he got a chance with Google. “Google contacted me and asked me to reapply and update my information. I had an interview and then a job.” After spending two years working for the company in California, Leaver transferred to Google Canada headquarters in Kitchener, Ont., where he works today.
Reflecting on his successful career path, Leaver says that beyond his co-op experience, he found it helpful to be open to job opportunities outside of Toronto. “Students should look at all their options, not just local ones.”
From his vantage point, Leaver sees lots of positive changes in the department. “It’s been interesting to see the growth, both in the size of the program and also how it’s actively adapting to industry needs.” In particular, he notes the new software engineering specialty and more program flexibility. “I see that faculty members are very invested in making big improvements and big changes to the program.”
This story originally appeared in the Faculty of Science’s publication external,Celebrating Five Years.