Cooperating with co-op students

Mechanical Engineering Technology graduate Mamoun Ammar ‘20 worked hard as a co-op student and is now passing on his knowledge to new students.

By Emmett Steele – 3rd year Journalism student

If you’re looking for a dedicated, driven, hard-working and goal-oriented person, you need look no further than Mamoun (Moe) Ammar ‘20.

Moe moved to Canada from Syria in 2010. A few years later he enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program. “Before I started at Mohawk College, I had previous experience in engineering because I was studying aviation engineering back in my hometown in Syria,” recalls Moe.

“Friends I made in the first year would get jealous of me because I pretty much knew everything.”

In the Mechanical Engineering Technology program, students are required to complete a paid co-op placement where they work full-time in the field as part of their education. Moe’s co-op would prove to be one of the most valuable experiences in his educational journey.

“Back in 2016 I was looking for a co-op term and got hired by Keeprite National Refrigeration in early 2017,” says Moe. “Co-ops are usually a full year, so I should have been finished [my placement] in 2018.” Instead, Moe asked them to hire him for another year, and again in 2019. Throughout this time, Moe studied part-time to complete his academic requirements.

While working as a co-op student, Moe gained the trust of Keeprite as he showed time and time again what a hard-working and dedicated employee he was. Eventually Moe was overseeing other co-op students.

“In 2019, they hired a new co-op student who was learning from me,” recalls Moe.

Moe continued to work hard both at school and at Keeprite, and before he knew it, he was ready to graduate. “When I graduated in 2020, my position at Keeprite was already waiting for me since I had been working in it for the last two years—so I just carried on right away,” says Moe.

Moe hasn’t forgotten how valuable his time as a co-op student was to him, and now that he’s in a position to do so, he tries to give back to new co-op students.

“I used to go to the co-op program coordinator to find students to work with me,” says Moe. “Now, two years later, they come to me! The whole table flipped over.”

Looking at his early career experience, Moe had this advice to offer, “Go to the job you like, not to the job that pays better. Don’t worry about the money, the money will come later. But if you don’t enjoy the job, the money means nothing.”