Kyle Faiczak Recipient of Science Co-op Award 2019
The annual Co-op Student of the Year award recognizes three students who display exceptional job and academic achievements, and contribute in a meaningful way to cooperative education and extracurricular activities at McMaster and in the community. Kyle was among the 383 students who were registered in co-op programs and completed 507 work terms with employers across North America in 2019.
Cooperative Education is an integrated approach to higher education that enables highly motivated students to alternate academic terms with paid, relevant work experience. Science co-op students complete a standard academic degree program, as well as 3 or 4 co-op work terms in jobs related to their studies.
Kyle worked in Michael Brook’s lab in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology during last year’s winter and summer terms.
“Over 140 undergraduate students have worked with me during my career,” Michael wrote in his nomination letter for Kyle. “I have been fortunate to have had several excellent students. However, I have never had a student as productive, creative and easy to work with as Kyle. Mr. Kyle Faiczak is an excellent young scientist who really makes things happen. He is easily the best co-op student I have ever had.”
AWARD-WINNING ADVICE FOR STUDENTS AND EMPLOYERS
What’s the most important lesson you learned through your co-op?
Don’t be afraid to share ideas. My employer always encouraged me to share my thoughts about the projects I was working on, no matter how naive they might have been and in the end some of those ideas led to really unique discoveries.
What was the best part of your co-op?
The best part of my job was the people I worked with. Everyone helped to make the lab such a welcoming environment and I learned so much from talking with them about their projects. Everyone really supported each other and it made it really fun to come into work each day.
What advice would you give to employers who are thinking of offering a co-op work term?
We bring new ideas and can share different perspectives for the jobs that we are hired to do. Even though we might only be there for four or eight months, we can make a significant impact in the time that we're there.
What advice would you give to students who are thinking about doing a co-op?
To any students who are debating about doing a co-op, you should really push yourself to do it! The work experience that you will gain is so invaluable and you'll get to see what areas of work you might be interested in for your future. Plus, it's a great way to enhance your resume if you don't have any prior work experience in your field! Overall, I really recommend that you apply for co-op, you won't regret it!