Employee Feature: Q&A with Copperleaf’s Co-op Students

April 11, 2022 Samuel Tam

Meet Emily Lukas, Nicole Paul, and Austin Nguyen, a few of Copperleaf’s amazing past co-ops. They share their experiences at the company, what they’ve learned, and the impact of their work.

What are you currently studying and what do you do at Copperleaf?

Emily: “I am studying Computer Engineering at UBC and am a software development co-op on the Copperleaf Value™ team.”

Nicole: “I recently graduated from SFU with a concentration in Human Resources and am an HR coordinator co-op on the employee experience team.”

Austin: “I’m studying Marketing and Business Technology Management at UBC with a concentration in Business Analytics and am a marketing co-op.”

What has your experience been like at Copperleaf?

Nicole: “Although I’ve only been in this role for 4 months, the employee experience team has made sure I feel like an important part of the team. I love being able to observe and learn from everyone and witness great ideas being implemented collaboratively.”

Austin: “The marketing team is extremely inclusive and supportive. From my very first day, everyone has been welcoming and willing to help. I was able to quickly build professional and personal relationships and I love that we not only discuss work-related topics but also share adorable dog and baby photos!”

I’ve enjoyed how welcoming and open everyone is at Copperleaf. As a co-op student, I appreciate how no one makes you feel silly for asking questions. Everyone is encouraged to learn, grow, and take risks, which is especially important for someone who is new to the corporate world.

NICOLE PAUL

HR Coordinator Co-op, Copperleaf

What new skills have you developed from your co-op term? How might you apply these to your degree or future work experiences?

Emily: “I have learned so much about the software development cycle—from writing production-level code to understanding the deployment process. As part of an agile team, I regularly participate in peer reviews, gather requirements, and iterate on my work—building valuable skills that will be transferable to any software development role. I was also given the opportunity to take ownership of my learning and choose the areas I wanted to focus on. This flexibility allowed me to gain hands-on experience with my team’s entire tech stack and a high-level understanding of Copperleaf's products.”

Austin: “As a marketing co-op, I support the team with various functions across different regions, including running social media campaigns and utilizing Salesforce, WordPress, Marketo, and other marketing tools to share our content externally. I’ve also been given opportunities to explore other fields that I may be interested in pursuing, including product and project management.”

How have you been supported in your role while working remotely?

Nicole: “I have weekly check-ins with my team lead where we discuss my day-to-day tasks, challenges, career goals, and overall experience at Copperleaf. I’m encouraged by my team to touch base on a regular basis, as often as needed, to stay connected virtually. I’ve also used our OfficeFlex benefit—which is available to all employees, including co-ops—to purchase things I need to stay productive while working remotely.”

Which accomplishment(s) are you most proud of in your role?

Emily: “I got to play a major role in my team’s initiative to internationalize our Copperleaf Value solution. As part of the effort to support multiple languages, I wrote the code for the feature, built custom tooling, and coordinated a global review process with Copperleafers from around the world. The release of this feature improves the accessibility of the product for clients across the globe. I’m excited for all our clients to use Copperleaf Value in their native languages.”

My favourite part of Copperleaf’s culture is how much value is placed on mentorship and collaboration, especially while working remotely. Everyone is always eager to help, which makes it easy to ask questions and facilitates my growth as a developer.

EMILY LUKAS

Software Development Co-op, Copperleaf

What was the most memorable experience you had here?

Austin: “My most memorable experience was supporting our employee appreciation party to celebrate Copperleaf’s successful IPO on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Having the opportunity to participate in this exciting milestone and see our company achieve a billion-dollar valuation was a definite highlight.”

What is your favourite part of Copperleaf’s culture and why?

Emily: “My favourite part of Copperleaf’s culture is how much value is placed on mentorship and collaboration, especially while working remotely. Everyone is always eager to help, which makes it easy to ask questions and facilitates my growth as a developer.”

Nicole: “I’ve enjoyed how welcoming and open everyone is at Copperleaf. As a co-op student, I appreciate how no one makes you feel silly for asking questions. Everyone is encouraged to learn, grow, and take risks, which is especially important for someone who is new to the corporate world.”

Austin: “I really appreciate the flexibility that I’m given to carry out my work. I’m trusted to plan my work schedule and can set time aside for personal priorities. I also love how everyone supports one another—I’m always able to schedule a quick meeting to clarify things if I need more guidance.”

What advice would you give to our new co-op students? 

Emily: “Ask lots of questions and don’t hesitate to challenge yourself. Your learning experience is your team’s top priority and they’ll be sure to support you along the way!”

Nicole: “Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions, try not to take things too seriously, and just enjoy your co-op experience! Take advantage of all the opportunities that Copperleaf offers and get involved with committees—they’re a great way to meet people.”

Austin: “Be proactive and don’t be afraid to try new things! Be sure to dip your toe into all areas you’re interested in.”


As one of Canada’s Best Employers for Recent Graduates, Copperleaf is always looking for talented individuals to join our team! We offer a variety of co-op positions in Product Development, Employee Experience, Marketing, and Technology Experience.

About the Author

Samuel Tam

Samuel Tam is a recruitment co-op on the Employee Experience Team at Copperleaf. He is currently studying Business Technology Management and Organizational Behaviour & Human Resources at the UBC Sauder School of Business and is passionate about improving Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the workplace.

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