Co-Op Students at SolutionInc

Written by: Alex Whitman & Ben Madill, Co-op Students at SolutionInc

Hello, my name is Alex Whitman and I just finished my first year at the University of Western Ontario where I am pursuing a Bachelor of Medical Sciences, taking lots of computer science courses as my electives. I am heading into my second year this September and I’m ecstatic that I got the opportunity to work at SolutionInc this summer between my freshman and sophomore years. SolutionInc is filled with lots of super friendly and incredibly bright people. The entire team was super welcoming to me and I learned a lot from my coworkers. 

I would like to think that I’ve always been a bit tech savvy, as I grew up with the internet around me and spent lots of time on computers when I was young. I had never taken a networking class in school so I had lots of learning to do before starting at SolutionInc. Before this summer, I would say the most networking that I had done would be port forwarding to host a video game server so I could play multiplayer games with my friends. However, this summer I gained a lot of networking experience, as well as general computer skills and professional skills for the workplace. 

Some of the things I did this summer include assembling hardware, staging hardware with software, applying testing and troubleshooting skills, quality control, writing bash and python scripts, configuring and setting up SolutionIP Flex servers, reaching out and communicating with clients, monitoring and administering our networks, video editing, using Linux/UNIX operating systems for the first time, and learning lots about networking in terms of how networks actually work, as well as practices for setting up a network to handle complex requirements (i.e. VLANs, subnets, DHCP requests, DNS servers, firewalls, minimizing RF interference, authentication/keys between server and client, configuring switches, broadcast-to-all signals, etc.). 

If a lot of the words in the paragraph above are confusing to you, don’t worry — they were to me at the beginning of this summer as well. Now that the end of the summer is coming up, I am confident in a lot of my networking abilities, having redone some of my home network that my dad had misconfigured when he originally set it up years ago. However, I still have a lot more to learn before I come close to the expertise of some of the employees here. The team at SolutionInc are experts in the networking field, having expedited my learning of the entire field exponentially over the summer. The team can certainly come up with a solution for your network while handling all of the understanding of the complicated words above for you, as demonstrated by their ability to supply high speed internet to thousands of guests at a time in some of the largest hotels in the world, among other locations.

I am super grateful for the opportunity I was given to work at SolutionInc this summer. It was the first job I have had where I actually looked forward to going in to work, as I was always doing things that I found interesting and all of my coworkers were great. As Mark Twain said, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. This summer position has definitely reassured me that I want to pursue a career that involves computers and technology as I find both fascinating. 

 


 

Hello, my name is Ben Madill.  I was just finishing my first semester at Dalhousie University for Computer Science when I was first asked if I was going to join the co-op program, stating that it would give me work experience and show me what it’s really like to work in a corporate environment in the tech industry. I signed up thinking it couldn’t hurt to add work experience and try out a few different fields but at the time I did not realize how much I would be able to learn and the skills I could build through this program. As I approached the end of my second year I began the search for my first co-op job, through my first 2 years at university my courses all consisted of coding and would rarely touch upon networking; one of the most important fields and one of the most applicable skills in the tech industry today. This is when I found the ad for SolutionInc, a company that Managed WiFi Services for numerous corporate clients. The position seemed to rely heavily on networking skills and at first I was hesitant due to my lack of networking experience and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to contribute to the company. I applied anyway seeking something new and challenging. What I didn’t know then is that if you’re trying to improve your networking skills while in a very comfortable work environment there is no better place than SolutionInc. All my coworkers were more than ready to help me if I ever found myself stuck or lacking technical expertise and I was given all the resources I could’ve asked for to build a knowledge of networking. Through the summer I worked on several projects that all helped me round out my technical and non technical skill set, some of these tasks include configuring access points and networks for corporate clients helping me understand how all of this actually works on a large scale, as well as helping with day to day support issues like figuring out why a network is under-performing or helping an end user connect a device to a network. These helped me with my ability to troubleshoot and my communication skills with consumers and employees at other companies. So if you’re looking for somewhere to build your networking skills through actual practice then I would recommend SolutionInc to be the first place you look at.

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