A CENGN Student’s Journey

It’s that time of year when we must say goodbye to our CENGN Students. These students come to us from all over Canada. Most have worked at CENGN for the past four months to gain hands-on experience and contribute to our organization’s mission of fostering Canadian technological innovation.

Here is a complete list of our Fall 2022 students, their roles, and the schools they represent:

Grace BaggaTraining Operations StudentCarleton University
Olivia CyrVideo and Design Marketing StudentUniversity of Ottawa
Mikayla FederchukContent Writer and Marketing StudentUniversity of Ottawa
Benjamin GabrielAcademy Digital Infrastructure StudentUniversity of Ottawa
Krish MulaniBusiness Development Specialist StudentDalhousie University
Taylor ParkAnimation and Graphics StudentAlgonquin College
Brianna PhanthavongHuman Resource Specialist StudentUniversity of Guelph
Abinav RawatCloud Infrastructure Engineering StudentDalhousie University
Aravind ThricovilCloud Infrastructure Engineering StudentLambton College

Cloud Infrastructure Engineering

This fall, two Cloud Infrastructure Engineering Students, Abhinav Rawat and Aravind Thricovil, spent their Co-Op experience working on Netbox. Netbox is an inventory, IP and resource management tool part of CENGN’s infrastructure.

Abhinav worked on developing a plugin for Netbox that can be used to reserve a device. He enjoyed working on this project as it had a huge learning curve and presented many challenges. Still, in the end, there was a great feeling when he was able to deliver.

“This was my first Canadian Co-Op. Working with the team and better understanding how Canadian companies operate was a pleasure. My team was very welcoming, encouraged me to work to my fullest potential, and gave me plenty of opportunities to learn and grow. It felt great to have a team to rely on, and I knew I could always depend on them for quality feedback that has prepared me well for my future.” – Abhinav Rawat

Aravind worked on developing code to ensure new functionalities and requirements as part of the Netbox sprint. His changes included feature enhancements which improved user experience. During Aravind’s time at CENGN, he completed two courses from the CENGN Academy, CENGN Cloud System Specialist (CCSS) and Infrastructure as Code (IAC). These courses gave him the skills to make a major impact on the Netbox project. Aravind also found it beneficial to observe how his team approached obstacles and the thought process taken to develop creative solutions.

“I was very grateful that at CENGN, the students don’t get thrown into the deep end without proper mentorship and support. During my time here, I was very pleased to work with a team of very talented and skilled individuals. My team provided me with a good knowledge base and set strong requirements that allowed me to learn many new things.” – Aravind Thricovil

Training and Operations

CENGN Academy is designed to provide cloud computing skills sought after by leading tech companies. The training courses offer opportunities and advantages for individuals and organizations looking to stay at the top of their field.

Benjamin Gabriel, Academy Digital Infrastructure Student, was responsible for maintaining the digital infrastructure of the training software. More specifically, he worked on the back end of our customer interface tools, such as forms and registration, so that course offerings could be implemented on a proper scale. Benjamin enjoyed the brainstorming sessions he participated in with his team as he was able to help influence the direction of the CENGN Academy. He also appreciated how well-built CENGN’s student experience was and its large focus on training and onboarding. As a student, he was invited to attend all-hands meetings and the company’s AGM, which gave him insights into how the company operates and helped him with his professional development.

I enjoyed working with Docker and found it interesting as I learned about this in the CENGN Academy Bootcamp that I attended as part of my onboarding experience. After the Bootcamp, I was able to apply what I had learned to my work immediately, so I really saw the benefit in it.” – Benjamin Gabriel

Taylor Park, the CENGN Academy Animation and Graphics Student, worked on technical graphics, takeaway documents, power points and graphic illustrations for CENGN’s training programs. One of her main projects was overhauling the graphics for CENGN Academy’s Multicloud Applications Deployment training module. Working with her team, Taylor improved the module’s existing graphics and built new ones from scratch. Taylor is very proud of the amount of time and work she put into this project, as she had to produce many graphics and had the opportunity to assist with authoring the course.

Working on the takeaway document for the Cloud Systems Specialist (CCSS) course was a learning experience as I had to learn more about how to use Adobe Illustrator to complete the project. This project also introduced me to the process of receiving feedback and direction from a supervisor and gave me a great perspective of what it’s like to work as a graphic designer.” – Taylor Park  

Grace Bagga, Training Operations Student, continued her Summer 2022 CENGN internship into the Fall to complete a second term. She spent most of her Fall term developing and animating videos for CENGN Academy courses and creating graphics. Since the CENGN Academy courses mostly did not contain many graphics, Grace had a lead role in what the course would look like in terms of colour and design. Additionally, the four videos she made helped to shape the courses and will be used as templates for other courses.

“The Docker Basics Intro and Virtual Machine videos were my favourites to make because they were the most creative in terms of applying a variety of new animations that we didn’t see before. So not only did it have a really nice end result, but I had a lot of fun learning so many new animation tricks.” – Grace Bagga


As for the Video and Design Marketing Student, Olivia Cyr, her role was to create graphics for social media posts, blogs, articles, and press releases. Her role allowed her to create marketing collateral from start to finish and collaborate with the teams that had requested the graphics.

Olivia also made marketing videos where she developed ideas, put together outlines, drafted storyboards, created finalized versions, and then presented them to those who had requested the content. Throughout her work term, Olivia’s favourite role was designing graphics. She enjoyed the creative aspect of this task as it allowed her to apply her views, ideas and insights while providing her with more artistic liberty.

“What I loved about being a CENGN student was having the ability to be in person. The social events and meetings I attended allowed me the opportunity to know the team better. From having meals together to attending the AGM, these events allowed me to start conversations with people on the team that I might not have had the chance to meet.” – Olivia Cyr

Mikayla Federchuk was the Content Writer and Marketing Student. Her roles and responsibilities included writing articles, newsletters, blogs, web pages, press releases and social media copy. Two of the projects she is proud of are her article, Difference Between AI, ML and DL and the press release she authored on the partnership between CENGN and Memorial University to bring machine learning courses to tech professionals.

Mikayla was able to lead the article creation process from start to finish. This began with keyword research to determine what tech-related topics Canadians were looking to learn more about. From there, she selected a topic and began to research it. While writing articles, Mikayla had to keep her previous keyword research in mind to ensure that the article was optimized for SEO. The article presented Mikayla with the challenge of turning a complex topic into a piece of understandable and useful information. At the same time, it allowed her to improve her writing skills and gain a new piece for her portfolio.

“I really wanted to use my time at CENGN to improve my professional writing skills. I spoke to my CENGN mentor about this, and he was really excited to help me achieve my goals and improve my skills. I couldn’t have asked for a better team or a better learning environment to prepare me for my future endeavours.” – Mikayla Federchuk

In addition to their typical roles, the CENGN marketing students also got the opportunity to assist with event organization for all-hands meetings and the CENGN Annual General Meeting by helping set up and take down events, organize food and put together event collateral.

Human Resources

Brianna Phanthavong, Human Resource Specialist Student, spent her time at CENGN working on updating the employee handbook, implementing policies, and revamping the employee information hub. Brianna enjoyed using the Atlassian tools, such as Jira and Confluence and feels the tips and tricks she learned will benefit her future.

“My time at CENGN solidified the fact that I enjoy working in Human Resources, specifically the recruitment side, as I was involved in the onboarding and offboarding of the Fall 2022 students. The company culture and the close-knit team at CENGN also helped me to discover that I enjoy working in the tech industry.” – Brianna Phanthavong

Business Development

Krish Mulani, Business Development Specialist Student, supported members of the business development team with new and ongoing projects by assisting with research and client relations. He also worked on a project with the marketing department to conduct a competitive analysis for CENGN Academy. Beyond comparing CENGN Academy’s service offerings to its competitors, Krish explored improvements that could be made to the different courses and their forms of promotion. More recently, Krish has been putting together reports summarizing the research he collected on training, advisory, and testing services.

“During my time at CENGN, I am proud of how well I worked with the team and proud of how I always tried to go above and beyond for whatever was asked of me. I am also grateful that I had the opportunity to work with the marketing team and that I now have work and presentations that I can showcase in the future.” – Krish Mulani

Feeling Confident For the Future

All the CENGN Fall 2022 Students unanimously agree that their time at the company has prepared them for their future career paths on both a skill and professional development level.

The students were also very impressed with CENGN’s Student program as it was very well put together, and the organization presented a welcoming learning environment.

According to Benjamin Gabriel, “leaving CENGN will be very bittersweet since it was such a great group of people to work with. I will always remember my time here. Hopefully, my path will cross again with all the people I’ve had the pleasure of working with.”

“Thank you to everyone on the Training team for making my term super fun and educational” – Taylor Park

The CENGN Fall 2022 Students

To conclude their work term, here is some of the advice that the students would like to pass on to other Co-Op students:

“When you have the opportunity to learn more, take it!” – Brianna Phanthavong

“Students should do what they love and deliver in the most proficient manner so they can be an asset to their team” – Abhinav Rawat

“Make the most of your time. Have some faith in yourself and in your team. Build good relationships with your supervisors.” – Krish Mulani

“Keep your eyes and ears open. Implement the skills you learn. Do it with passion!” – Aravind Thricovil

“It is okay not to know things and don’t be too afraid to ask questions. Just make sure you’ve tried a few solutions before you do.” – Benjamin Gabriel

“Be yourself! Learn a lot and do your best work so that you can set up your future for success.” – Taylor Park

“Try to be flexible but manage your time well!” – Grace Bagga

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be organized. And from a marketing perspective, be ready to roll with the punches because things will change. So, make sure you are able to redistribute your energy.” – Olivia Cyr

“Don’t be afraid to let your supervisor know your personal goals for the work term. They are often more than happy to help you achieve them!” – Mikayla Federchuk

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About the Author

Mikayla is a Content Writer and Marketing Student at CENGN (Fall 2022). She is a Business Commerce Student at the University of Ottawa focusing on a specialization in Marketing. Mikayla is passionate about using professional writing to transform complex topics into enjoyable and easily consumable content. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and volunteering as a Senior Marketing Manager for Enactus uOttawa, a student-led non-profit organization that uses entrepreneurial action to empower people to improve their livelihoods.

More by Mikayla Federchuk

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