For Roberta da Silva Muller, one of the key reasons that she enrolled in Humber’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program was for the co-op opportunities. She also had a clear plan for these placements.
“For my work terms, I wanted to get different experiences to see in which work environment I could develop the most,” said da Silva Muller.
Da Silva Muller’s first four-month co-op placement was as a Jr. Machinist Summer Student at Ben Machine Products, an industry leader in end-to-end engineering and manufacturing solutions for military and defence industries.
“I think it was really important for me to know the manufacturing process and understand why each part is important in order to get a final product with good quality,” she said.
She wanted more hands-on experience and found a position where she worked in the shop, passing through different departments including Computer Numeric Controllers (CNC) operating, deburring, finishing, and shipping.
“It was an absolute pleasure to have Roberta become part of the co-op program here at Ben Machine Products,” said Michele Iacovelli, assistant production manager. "From the very beginning, you could tell Roberta was a strong career-minded individual that understood exactly what her goals were, and she set her sights high on achieving them."
“Roberta excelled in everything that was given to her and always gave maximum effort in the process," he said.
Students in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program must complete three work placements in total. Da Silva Muller’s next two placements were four months each, and she spent them consecutively with CiF Lab Solutions (CiF), a total solution provider of laboratory products for the healthcare, education and industrial markets.
“CiF is proud to partner with Humber to provide students a ‘hands-on’ work experience,” said Vince Occhipinti, vice president and general manager at CiF Lab Solutions. “We value and appreciate the quality of the students and their commitment to our organization.”
Da Silva Muller was involved in developing, engineering and testing new, existing and customized products at CiF. She credits this experience with helping her better understand the manufacturing aspect when developing products.
When asked about her overall co-op experience, and advice for future students thinking about co-op, da Silva Muller was clear in her support of pursuing co-op programs.
“It’s a great opportunity to get hands-on experience. It’s also a chance to connect with companies in your field of interest and experience your first step into your career while still in school,” she said.
Now in her final year of the program, da Silva Muller has a clear idea of what particular aspect of the mechanical engineering process she wants to pursue.
“I really enjoyed working with CiF Lab Solutions. After my co-op term, I was offered a part-time position while I finished my studies and I plan to keep working with them after I graduate,” she said.
Da Silva Muller’s three co-op placements provided her with 12 months of valuable experience within the manufacturing and engineering industries, which will help her secure a full-time job upon graduation.
Her final advice for female students interested in a career in technology?
“Believe in yourself! You are capable of achieving your goals and you will be a great professional. Just keep improving yourself.”
Learn more about the co-op and work-integrated learning opportunities offered by the Faculty of Applied Sciences & Technology.