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Experiencing COVID-19 as a D2L Co-op

This past winter, I greatly enjoyed my co-op term as a software developer at D2L. Throughout my co-op term, the COVID-19 situation evolved rapidly. I wanted to share my experience of these changing times through the lens of a co-op student, and how thoughtfully D2L supported me and helped me navigate the term.

I started my co-op term in January, back when my team was still working from the Kitchener office, located in the historic Tannery building. About halfway through the term, the office was closed due COVID-19, and all employees moved to a temporary work-from-home basis. D2L made sure I had everything I needed to succeed at home, including my laptop, keyboard, and a solid headset for meetings. I was also allowed to bring home my comfy chair from the office to encourage an ergonomic setup!

Aside from aiding with the physical change in my environment, biweekly one-on-one meetings with both my mentor (a more senior software developer) and my manager, allowed me to openly share my thoughts, concerns, and discuss how I was dealing with the transition. Both my mentor and manager were extremely supportive throughout the process, and I felt like I had colleagues at work who were always prepared to listen to my challenges. My whole team got together once a week for a “stand-up” meeting, where we discussed our current work and upcoming milestones. Even outside of the office, I was able to effectively communicate with my teammates and manager, despite the technological barrier.

However, one thing still made me very anxious about working from home: the social aspect of work. When I was in the office, my team was always ready to chat, about work or outside interests; I felt that I really bonded with my team. I was worried that the social connections I had built would be severed by the lack of in-person contact! I am glad to say I was wrong! My manager set up daily “coffee chats” with our team, so we could chat casually over a cup of coffee. D2L set up a social environment where I could connect with my team over a variety of channels, be it over coffee chats, Slack messages, or email.

As well, the senior leadership and People & Culture team were extremely helpful in the work-from-home transition. They provided timely daily updates on the situation and how it was affecting the company. As a co-op student, this helped me feel at-ease through the changing times, as I was always kept in the loop.

I am so happy my transition to working from home went so smoothly. This positive experience has encouraged me to return to D2L in the fall, where I look forward to exploring more of the world of software and eLearning!

This term I am representing D2L as the Campus Ambassador for the University of Waterloo! Connect with me on Linkedin to learn more about #lifeatD2L

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