Plooto continuously welcomes highly skilled students to become Plootonians for their co-op terms and experience what it is like to work at a FinTech startup. Today, we have David Lascu, a student from the University of Waterloo, sharing his experience working in the tech department of Plooto.
Co-op Experience at Plooto
This past work term has helped me grow exponentially both as a professional and as a student at the University of Waterloo. I have experienced an incredibly welcoming work environment with friendly staff that taught me new skills and nurtured existing skills. For all of this, I am hugely grateful to the team at Plooto. With their help, I had access to all of the resources and support needed to navigate in my role. To paint the complete picture of my experience, I will rewind to the beginning of my co-op search and start from there.
The Search for Co-op Position
I am currently studying Mathematics at the University of Waterloo with co-op, which means that I am consistently alternating between a four-month study term and a four-month work term throughout my five-year program. Last fall was my study term, meaning that searching for a co-op placement took up a large portion of my time between schoolwork and learning. As the pandemic continued to cause disruption, searching for a job was incredibly difficult. While I was searching, there was one that stood out. I was excited by Plooto because their recruitment posting did not blend in with the rest: it directly highlighted all of their expectations and precisely explained the type of candidate they were interested in.
Looking at the technical requirements, I realized that I fit the description very well. I did my fair share of research on the company to better prepare myself. All online sources pointed to Plooto as a welcoming and engaging environment that I would be eager to experience.
After I created a cover letter to hopefully give the recruiters at Plooto a better idea of who I am, I sent it in along with my resume and anxiously waited for a response. In the coming weeks, I heard back from various companies with notice of an interview, one of which, to my delight, was Plooto. I spent a lot of time preparing for my interview with Plooto. I was determined to make a good impression and getting my co-op placement.
When the interview came along, my nerves were quickly pushed aside by the friendly and straightforward interviewer. All expectations were clearly communicated during the interview, and I hoped that I left a good impression. A few days later, I received an offer from Plooto and was ready to start my first professional co-op term. I remember feeling relief, excitement and promised myself to work as hard as I could.
The Social Experience
My first day at Plooto was, unfortunately, the only one I had in person. My onboarding was conducted in a once full but now empty office, where I was able to experience very little of what the in-office culture was like.
Despite my concern about working remotely, I quickly felt welcome at the company. I was given a chance to introduce myself to my team on the first day, and I got a chance to meet the rest of the company a week later during the company town hall. Plooto seamlessly integrated their professional and productive workplace with a comfortable and friendly social dynamic from team-building events such as virtual movie nights to company-wide Jack Box party games.
Going into my first co-op placement, I was concerned about being one of the youngest, but I quickly realized that wouldn’t be a problem. Sports, world events, and company culture were all things we could joke about and relate to. Making conversation with everyone came naturally and strengthened my feeling of belonging at Plooto.
The Professional Experience
From a professional point of view, this co-op experience has taught me more than any classes in university thus far. When beginning my placement, I had a very open conversation with my team leader discussing what I was looking to get out of this experience and how he could help facilitate that. The result was an opportunity to try working on new challenges and learning new technical skills with the support of a mentor.
I had the opportunity to not only complete the tasks outlined in the job description but also to take on challenges at my own pace and work on things that interested me. For instance, I was able to work closely with the marketing department to develop new front-end items for Plooto’s website. This experience exposed me to a new type of software development that I had not been accustomed to, and my enjoyment of it drives me to pursue a job in this field in the future.
I also learned a lot about working within a tech company. All projects I have worked on in the past have either been personal or with a small group. The time I spent at Plooto has given me a chance to be a part of a much bigger team, experience how meetings are conducted, and learn from everyone at the company.
This co-op experience has prepared me very well for a future of professional work in the technology industry. Because Plooto provided me the opportunities, I learned numerous new skills that will be valuable for many different positions and companies in the future. I would be very quick to recommend Plooto, especially to those in the same situation that I was in a few months ago.
Plooto is filled with driven, skilled, and friendly people eager to show you the ropes and offer support when you are lost or unsure of something. I wish nothing but the best to everyone here and look forward to seeing what big things come from Plooto in the future!