Spotlight: Back to School

For many students, summer is spent on vacation, relaxation and enjoying the break they have from difficult studies. Other students spent their summer days developing new skills and gaining experience in the workplace. The first week of school is coming to an end, and the transition period between summer and fall is settling down. I can speak from experience that summer will be missed by many students. Our summer student staff Nabil is back in classes at McMaster University. We talked to him this week about his experience here at GreenOwl.

How did you end up working at GreenOwl? Was it a good experience?

I found GreenOwl through my father Abdilkader Hamza, he knew Matt and Navin through business and I was able to get an interview through those connections. After two interviews I got a call back with a job offer. Overall I'd say my time at GreenOwl has been amazing, I feel really fortunate because this was my very first CO-OP.

What was your first impression of GreenOwl, and did that change after spending more time working?

My first impressions of GreenOwl were interesting, I've barely been to company offices in the pasted so I was taken aback to how the layout of the office was. It was much more free than the regular cubical style you would see in other companies. Also everyone at the office seemed to be a lot more social and connected because of the layout. After spending more time my interest turned into enjoyment, I liked that If I needed help with a tasks my coworkers were close by. The work that I was doing related to what I was learning in school, and I soon got used to a 9-5 lifestyle.

What did you like most about working at GreenOwl? What did you like the least?

What I liked the most about GreenOwl was that I was able to learn so much from my coworkers. There experiences with software development and general knowledge eclipses mine tremendously, so I made sure to take every chance to listen to their explanations. Now I have more knowledge going back to school, and I feel really confidant that I will excel because of these teachings. The thing I liked the least was the commute! Before working I was not prepared to wake up early enough just to make it to work on time, and It really gave me a perspective on how people make the drive to work everyday. Thankfully I was able to adjust.

How would you describe the experience of working at GreenOwl as a student?

As a student I would say that working at GreenOwl is a lot different that what you would expect at a CO-OP. I felt as if my role in the company actually made an impact, and that I left benefiting both the company and myself. Usually CO-OPs are just so you get the experience of working a full time job, and it doesn't necessarily mean that your work makes a huge difference. I'm glad my experience was the former.

What is the most important thing you learned while working at GreenOwl?

The most important thing I learned while working at GreenOwl is the importance of networking. Many of the ventures GreenOwl does are heavily depended on the software development aspects of the company, but none would be possible without having the connections in order to make these ventures profitable. Making it as a startup is very difficult even with the right software talent, so I really learned to appreciate what we were able to accomplish because of the connections the company had. I will definitely carry this lesson within my own career as an engineer.

If there was one thing you could pass on to the next student staff at GreenOwl, what would it be?

One piece of advice would be to get to know and learn as much as you can from the people here at GreenOwl. This startup has a lot of great talented workers, and I am definitely better and more prepared as an engineer because of the experiences and lessons I've gotten from people at GreenOwl.

We've really appreciated having Nabil here this summer and it has been a blast. Shout out to you, you have been amazing, best luck with your studies and you always have friends here at GreenOwl. :)


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