Information Technology Services (ITS)

NGSIS Blog: Say Hello to the Next Generation

Published on: May 31, 2017

NGSIS Summer Co-Op Program Brings In Talent from Seneca, George Brown, Ryerson and U of T

By Alex Dault, NGSIS Program Assistant


NGSIS is joined this summer by nine summer students supporting the team’s ongoing projects as part of their co-op training. The new arrivals include junior developers, analysts and user experience designers recruited from institutions across the GTA and representative of Seneca, George Brown College, Ryerson University and, of course, the University of Toronto.

This ambitious initiative is the brainchild of NGSIS director Cathy Eberts, who was inspired by her daughter Jessica’s experience.

“It’s very stressful for students to find a co-op placement or internship – I saw this first hand with my daughter’s program at Brock. I was really happy we had the resources this year to help a group students get that much needed job experience in our department!”

It was important to Cathy that the co-op be advertised at a cross-section of institutions and all applicants given equal consideration.

So far, the recruits have been making a major contribution to IT at the institution.

“We’ve been most fortunate to have such a determined, focused group of young people.” said Pete St. Onge, one of the project leads on the ROSI Java Conversion project. This large, multi-year project is in the process of migrating the student system of record (ROSI) from an IBM mainframe to a distributed Linux platform.

Nariman Saftarli, one of the summer developers involved in the migration, is not intimidated by the magnitude of the effort: “The migration sounded like a daunting task going in, but we’ve had a lot of guidance to help us get set up and comfortable with the software we’ll be using.”

Nariman and five others — Nancy Mai, Thomas Marmer, Saba Karamsoltani,Balkar Rana and Joshua Longhi — are part of this vital effort.

Other areas enhanced by the co-op program include Business Intelligence (Valerie Gilchrist) and User Experience (Adnan Bhuiyan). Another co-op student, Jason Sparks, is working to capture the Return on Investment (ROI) of the wide variety of enterprise application projects underway.

“Jason has been an excellent resource for our efforts here at U of T.” said John Ogg, Manager for Financial Information Systems & Student Accounting.

For his part, Jason was effusively positive about his work to date:

“My experience as a co-op student working with the University of Toronto has been nothing short of amazing… I am extremely thankful The University of Toronto has given me this wonderful opportunity.”

Jason will also be working on publishing the results of his findings.

The co-op program will conclude at the end of August.


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