Offer Overload

Well co-op job rankings came out this morning. I had applied to 9 companies, interviewed with all 9, and received 8 job offers this morning. The co-op system is treating me well.

So here’s a quick summary:

Company Position Location
Telus Software Developer Vancouver
Bridgewater Systems Software Designer Ottawa
Net Integrations Technologies Human Cannonball Montreal
IBM Software Developer – Eclipse Winnipeg
University of Waterloo 2nd Year CS Tutor Waterloo
UW – Environmental Science Agent-Based Simulation Programmer Waterloo
Zymeworks Computer Simulation Programmer Vancouver
Morgan Stanley Programmer Analyst London, England

The only company I didn’t get an offer from was RIM (I don’t think they like me much after I told off an interviewer and left the interview early – but that’s another story). My strategy for co-op this time was to be picky and look for interesting jobs in interesting places. I tried to avoid jobs in Waterloo, Toronto, and Winnipeg, but I still applied to a few.

My bid dilemma right now is whether to work at Zymeworks or Morgan Stanley. I’ve been agonizing over the decision all day and getting feedback from friends and family.

Category Morgan Stanley Zymeworks Advantage
Location Canary Wharf in downtown London, England Granville neighborhood in Vancouver, Canada MS – As nice as downtown Vancouver is, London is tough to beat
Job Programming financial software in Java and C# Programming molecular simulations in C to run in Linux clusters ZW – although I’m more comfortable with the MS work, the ZW job is more interesting and challenging
Work Environment Hundreds of developers within huge organization, probable working in cubicles Small startup company (~10 people) in open working environment ZW – I like working in close proximity to my peers and getting to know everyone at the company
Pay & Benefits Free flight, free corporate housing (like a hotel), relocation covered, and they pay very well. $$$ Free flight and decent pay. $$ MS – I’d have lots of money to spend touring around England
Career Development Would look good on a resume I’d learn a ton. Might be somewhere I’d consider working full time. Toss Up – They would both be good for my career
Social Activities Only co-op from Waterloo. May be others from Europe. My work badge would get me into museums and art galleries free. 5 other co-ops from Waterloo and Simon Frasier. I’m sure everyone goes out for dinner and what not. I know the whole company entered a fun run a few weeks ago. ZW – The guys at ZW should really cool. MS is a bit of an unknown.
Friends Could swing by Scotland to visit Findlay Erin and Chad are going to Vancouver. A ton of people are down in Seattle (Lorrissa, Greg, Graeme, Ben, Sarah, and so on). ZW – I know I’d have a blast with the people in Vancouver 😉
Touristy Stuff London is huge! National Gallery, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace. Castles. Ability to jump a train and end up in Paris, Rome, or Glasgow for the weekend Stanley Park, Grouse Mountain, Science Centre. Whistler MS – I’ve been to Vancouver twice before, and I’m sure I’ll be back again. I doubt I’d see everything in London in 4 months
Intangibles British Accents. Being the “guy with the funny accent”. Being in Europe. Staying in Canada. Not turning a great company down again. MS – I want to be the guy with the accent

So right now I’m pulling out my hair trying to figure out what job I’m going to take. I was leaning toward Vancouver, but after talking to some friends and family I’m starting to lean toward London. Actually my Dad tried to convince me to come to Winnipeg, which I thought was amusing.


  1. I also interviewed with Zymeworks (this term) and Morgan Stanley (last term) and I’d go for Zymeworks any day, because of the work and I really liked them at the interview. Oh, and I love Vancouver, but I suppose Vancouver pales in comparison to London. I’m not sure how much the Zymeworks people liked me since I told them to not rank me and my job is cancelled anyway, but if they want me I think I’d work there full-time.
    I’m terrible at convincing people.
    Poor NITI, with all those turned-down offers.


  2. Perhaps you could consider that the likelihood of living and working in Europe once you’ve finished your degree is less likely than working in Canada. That is, you have a decent (if not better) chance of ending up at Zymeworks full-time regardless of having worked there as a co-op (unless they aren’t looking for full-timers). Point for working in London.
    On the other hand, if you’re going to London because you want to see Europe and make big bucks… do you need to work there to do what you want? I mean, you could work here (Canada) after school is done.. and go on a trip or two (or more!) to do the things you want to do in Europe, without having to work at a job that isn’t necessarily what is drawing you to the area. Point for Zymeworks.
    BUT, will you take those trips if you don’t work there? Will you regret not making oodles of cash? Will you have more fun with your buds nearby in Vancouver than touring around (possibly alone) in England/Europe.
    Just a possible extra 2 cents… =0) Good luck with your choice!


  3. i’d go for zymeworks. interviewed with them last term, and i really liked them… and programming distributed clusters is WAAY more cool than financial stuff. it seems that most of the benefits in MS column are related to the physical location – england/europe. but really, you can always visit england/europe later, but chances to work at a kick-ass job are a lot harder to come by.
    the other point in favor of zymeworks is that you’d be in a technical company, as opposed to the technical branch of a non-technical company. i’ve never done the latter, but from what i hear, people who have generally like it less.


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