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Leadership and Culture
July 29, 2021

Celebrating our future workforce on National Intern Day

Written By:
Terramera

From climate change to a growing population to food insecurity—we’re facing some big global challenges. Big complex challenges that the next generation is inevitably tasked with solving to ensure the future of our earth and humanity.

No pressure ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This National Intern Day, we are recognizing the critical value of our future workforce who are gaining real life experience while making meaningful contributions as part of our Early Talent Program.

With Gen-Z being the first generation to prioritize purpose over salary according to a recent study, it is no surprise that our Early Talent Program attracts the brightest and boldest talent in science, robotics, engineering, business and design.

In our workplace, co-ops are not making copies and coffee. Instead, they are busy designing and managing science experiments, preparing formulations, using state-of-art lab equipment, writing code, and more, to transform how food is grown and build a better future.

To celebrate their significant efforts, we asked our co-ops what they thought about getting real life experience at Terramera. Here is what they had to say:


Katherine Buchanan (UBC) – Research Biologist Co-op 

What skills did you gain that will give you a competitive advantage in the future?    

A: The biggest advantage Terramera has given me was the opportunity to work collaboratively across so many different disciplines. This environment increased my skills in communication, leadership and adaptability. As a student it helped me understand the practical applications of my degree and what the future of sustainable agriculture can look like.


Michael Chung (UBC) – Biology Co-op  

What is one key lesson you learned from your Co-op at Terramera?

One of the key lessons I learned at Terramera was that ‘fun’ is a key aspect of the workplace. For the obvious part it makes the work more enjoyable, but on another note, it makes the work much more sustainable.

To be able to continually enjoy the work I do is something that I do not take for granted and I think is something I will strive for in my career options. The importance of job sustainability through both work-life balance and enjoyment have become essential points of my career goals.


Hoda Aghaei (SFU) – Engineering Co-op

What is one key lesson you have learned from your Co-op at Terramera?

It is fascinating to learn about people’s ideas coming from different perspectives and backgrounds. It helps to solve problems faster and you will always learn something new from your team in the process.


Justin Kim (UBC) – Biology Co-op

What is one of the most interesting tasks you have worked on?

Right away you are in an environment where its your responsibility to manage a scientific experiment from start to finish. From doing literature review, to seeding plants, to making sure they are grown in the proper conditions, to assessments and data analysis, you are in the middle of everything required to run a successful experiment. You get to build critical thinking and problem-solving skills right from the get-go which is something that I valued.


Kai Gilchrist  (UBC) – Research Assistant Co-op in In Vitro Fungicide Screening

Tell us about your Co-op experience at Terramera?   

My experience at Terramera was educational, challenging and fun. I was given the freedom to problem-solve which did more for my development as a scientist (and as a person) than any other job I’ve had.


Cherri Lau (UBC)  – Research Assistant Co-op in Plant Pathology   

What’s one of the most interesting tasks you have worked on?   

One of the most interesting tasks I worked on was a spray trial at UBC with vining tomatoes. I got to learn about how tomatoes are grown indoors and how to rate fruit for ripeness. 


Patrick Nguyen (SFU) – Full Stack Engineer Co-op  

What is one key lesson you have learned from your Co-op at Terramera? 

I learnt that teamwork and collaboration are more important than the ability to write fancy and complex code.


Sally Liu (UBC) – Engineering Co-op

What’s one of the most interesting tasks you have worked on?

I was involved in the plant imaging project where I had a chance to watch the development of a custom casing for the imaging equipment, created in house using 3D printing.

I also got to help install the cameras in a greenhouse and help set up the equipment, as well as write some of the code for the cameras to automatically captured images at set intervals. It was really satisfying seeing the resulting images later in the term.


Igor Vuckovic (UBC) – Robotics Engineer Co-op  

What is one key lesson you have learned from your Co-op at Terramera?

There are a lot of ways to solve most problems, the challenge is usually not finding a solution but finding the best one for the task at hand.


Turn real life experience into a purpose-driven career

While a co-op program gives students the chance to test the ‘industry water’ of their field, they are also a way for organizations to try out individuals for full-time positions. At Terramera, one in three of our Early Talent Program participants become full-time employees, proving the mutually beneficial power of co-op programs in the workplace.

Ready to kickstart your career and build a better future as part of our award-winning Early Talent Program? Find out more today.

Happy National Intern Day to all the bright, ambitious, and courageous interns out there!

#NationalInternDay

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