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Osama Baig

 

Employer

Ontario Power Generation

Position

Engineering Development Student

Type

Co-op

Duration

8 months

Program

Nuclear Engineering

Would you return to this employer?

Yes

Would you recommend your employer?

Yes

Would you return to a similar position?

Yes

 

Did you always know you wanted to do a co-op/ internship?

Gaining work experience and concurrently completing a bachelors in Nuclear Engineering seemed like a very valuable opportunity. This is combined with the added bonus of getting paid to learn and contribute to industry wide efforts, like the Darlington Refurbishment project. An Internship or Co-op provides a means to find out exactly what type of work style you enjoy and compatible environment to flourish in. In summary, yes I always knew that I wanted to do a Co-op/internship.

Did you have any concerns or hesitations before you started?

Before starting a Co-op with OPG, I had the pleasure of completing 12 months as an Application Engineering Intern - Nuclear Division at Lakeside Process Controls. OPG is a customer of Lakeside, so I was well aware of their various departments and was very comfortable in transitioning over to OPG after completing the third year of my program.

What were your expectations?

Working for the Darlington Refurbishment, a $12.6Billion project, my expectation was to utilize the knowledge of nuclear grade components and valves gained while at Lakeside. Also, I wanted to pursue the development of skills at OPG in a project management role.

How did your experience compare with your expectations?

It was beyond exceptional,. With past internship experience under my belt, it allowed me to establish a level of trust with management and become heavily involved with implementation of fleet wide efforts. My Co-op in the Refurbishment Maintenance group was heavily focused on a Project Management role. At my time with OPG, I discovered that I truly thrive in this interactive and challenging environment.

Did you enjoy your experience?

Facing new challenges everyday, I was provided a wealth of opportunities to grow. Interacting with Engineering groups, work crew's and management on a daily basis, I was always in learning mode. The maintenance Refurb team provided an environment where developmental students can implement new initiatives and take on a wide range of projects.

What were your tasks and responsibilities?

As a developmental student within the Refurbishment Maintenance group, I had the pleasure of being involved with a number of exciting and challenging projects. Starting with the implementation of the Votes Infinity Diagnostic tool at Pickering and Darlington, which replaced Flow scanner by Lakeside. Having a background in Application Engineering, I took on an active role in this project. Also, a highlight of my time at OPG was helping co-lead the PHT Filter change out Initiative. I liaised with Engineering, crews performing the work, and procedures group, thus establishing ground work for Unit#2 Return to Service. Managing commitments with a wide array of project work, I was responsible to meet deadlines on time.

What was the work atmosphere like?

My Section Managers and fellow coworkers in my division were very approachable and supportive. The work environment in the maintenance refurbishment team upholds a professional standard based on mutual respect.

Did you receive any additional training and/or opportunities?

There are numerous training opportunities at OPG that, if interested, I had the opportunity to ask my section manager at anytime to learn more about. At my time with OPG, I was heavily involved with North American Young Generation in Nuclear and was able to participate in conferences and educational seminars. Highlights include Engaging with MP’s and representing the Nuclear Industry at Parliament Hill. Also, hosting a workshop on behalf of OPG alongside co-workers on implementation of SMR Reactors at the McMaster Energy Conference.

What previous skills and/or competencies helped you in your role?

12 Month - Application Engineering Intern - Lakeside Process Controls; Chapter President - NAYGN UOIT; Vice President of Student Life FESNS - Engineering Society.

What previous skills and/or competencies did you develop during your placement?

Project management.

What advice would you offer to students thinking about pursuing co-op/internship?

As industries across Canada become highly competitive, co-op and/or internship experience is a gateway to a successful career. It provides a professional network and chance to gain traction within your industry of choice. You are truly missing out on an opportunity for monumental growth and self development if you do not participate. Completing my first 12-month internship term after just my second year, I performed a lot better in school. I understood the material better and was able to relate to my experiences working in industry. The chance to gain work experience, get paid well, and significantly increase your chances of taking on a career of your choice is a chance you don’t want to miss out on!