Co-Op Student, Nick Describes His Time with Grantek…

June 14, 2017

Hello, world! Nick Hetherington here; I’m a co-op student in the Systems group at Grantek and I thought I’d share a little about my experience over the past eight months.

I’m looking forward to telling you about all the learning I’ve done and progress I’ve made during my time with Grantek, but first I want to paint the scene with the Grantek culture that makes it all possible. That so many people know their co-workers across the continent on a first name basis shows me how connected the company is across multiple offices. I like the small office feel we have here in Vancouver, but it also feels like we’re part of something much bigger and all working towards a common goal. Company-wide town halls where employees can hear directly from and ask questions of the executive make me feel connected and invested in the success of the company. There’s also a refreshing value placed on the wellbeing of Grantek employees that’s helped me manage personal issues alongside my work. And we like to have fun! In October the Vancouver office went ATVing near Whistler, and we’re having a summer BBQ in early June before heading to Whistler with some guys from the Allentown, PA office. In addition to our daily foosball and weekly sushi rituals, I play on a soccer team with some of my colleagues and we’ve been skiing and out for food and drink together. It’s a great environment to work in!

From day one I felt like I was a valuable member of the Grantek team. Within the first month I was hard at work on my first project, developing a PLC program and HMI application for a new process in a dairy plant. I wrote project documentation, interacted directly with the client, and spent three days on-site commissioning the system. Having my hands in all aspects of the project was an excellent way to learn a variety of technical skills, and improve my general project skills. I had real responsibility and all the support I needed from my colleagues, a balance that has allowed to me learn an incredible amount during my time at Grantek. Since my first project I’ve worked on many others, including implementing an OEE system that may be the basis for a global rollout, migrating a beverage plant’s PLCs from legacy systems to new hardware and virtualizing their operation servers, and building a SCADA screen for a local brewery. The technical and non-technical skills translate across my projects, and the variety keeps me interested and engaged in my work. While the learning curve has been steep, I’ve been very happy with what I’ve accomplished in my eight months with Grantek.

That’s all folks!

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