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Posted on November 9th, 2005

I am entering some turbulent waters, and I don’t know where I’m going to find myself when it’s over.

Here’s the situation: I have three formal job opportunities and one additional one on the side. All three interviews were today. Maybe I can solicit some additional feedback, which would help me decide on what I should do.

Before I start, though, I should outline my purpose of being in co-op. To a large extent, it is about the experience. I am here in school to learn, and working will hone my abilities and will perhaps help to navigate a path towards a career. But, I don’t know where I’m headed (specifically), so the future is still quite fuzzy. To a smaller extent, co-op is about the money. I do have expenses, so I have to keep those into consideration when taking on the job.

More recently, however, I have been putting a great deal of emphasis on my proximity to my friends. For many of them, this upcoming term will be the last good opportunity to spend time with them before they graduate. And I value that.

So, without further delay, here are the job statuses:

1. ITG Canada – Trading Strategist (Toronto). This was my first interview today and, as I said, it went fairly well. The job content is familiar territory to me, and the salary is quite very good. But, it’s in downtown Toronto, which means a long commute each way. Add some long hours into the mix (days start at 7:45am and end around 5:00pm) and it makes for a pretty long day. Also, I’m not sure if this is what I want to be doing for the rest of my life.

2. CGI – Web Application Developer (Toronto). This interview went spectacularly well. I had a lot of good laughs with the interviewer and we got along really well. The job sounds better than what I had initially thought; while it’s still nothing really new to me, I’d escape the finance industry. I was also encouraged by the prospect of long-term opportunities within CGI. The interviewer seemed quite confident of my ability to do the job well there. But, it’s in Toronto, and it’s also something that I may not want to do with my life.

3. University of Waterloo – Web Application Developer (Waterloo). This “interview” was quite strange. Hence, the quotation marks. I was the only candidate being considered, and the interviewers (two professors at the university) were really trying to sell the job to me. I didn’t have to do a whole lot to convince them that I’d be a good fit or anything. The benefits are that it’s a new field of study for me (civil engineering), and it’s on campus (which is amazing). They seemed to be open to the possibility of telecommuting from home, too. The drawbacks are the pay (which is roughly 30% lower than my previous salary), and the diversity of the work (as I will only have one, large project for the term).

4. Searchlight MD – Software Developer (“Waterloo”). This job is the one that I’ve been considering independent of co-op. I talked with one of the guys on the phone over the weekend and it sounded promising. They deal with matching patients with clinical trials, which has extensive applications in the healthcare industry. It’s a small company with a lot of potential for growth, and I’d have a wide range of duties; the “Software Developer” title refers to the bulk of my responsibilities, but I will have other roles as well. The “Waterloo” is formatted as such because I’d likely stay at home to do a lot of the work. But, with any startup, there are many risks to be considered as well.

I’ve also heard back from another Morgan Stanley position and from Microsoft; they want to interview me. What the heck am I supposed to do?! Rankings are due tomorrow, so I have to be quick with my decisions. I could sign off on all of the jobs, which would mean that I would pursue the other remaining jobs. Or I could take one and maybe work for Searchlight on the side.

Here are my reasons to stay in Waterloo:

– don’t have to find sublet
– don’t have to move all of my junk (and there is a lot of it)
– friends are here
– Embassy is here
– it’s a great little city
– Black Forest 2006
– others, some of which I forget and some of which I prefer to keep undisclosed


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