Amanda Vermette graduates with a position at Health Canada thanks to Science Co-op

When Biological Sciences student Amanda Vermette was half-way through her four-year undergraduate program of study at the UM, she was concerned about graduating without a well-thought-out plan.

Unsure of her next step, Vermette consulted with an academic advisor in the Faculty of Science who suggested Science Co-op. After researching it thoroughly, Vermette felt that Science Co-op would be an excellent way to explore different careers, which in turn would help her to have a definitive plan upon graduation.

In her next academic year, Vermette was admitted to Science Co-op, where she completed preparation classes on topics such as writing resumes, interviews, and workplace etiquette. Next on her “to do” list was to find a job. While searching through the university’s job database, she discovered a posting by Health Canada for a Junior Compliance Officer, the required responsibilities caught her eye. After meeting all the qualifications and applying for the position, she was granted an interview and offered the job shortly afterward.

Her Co-op work term began in September 2018 with Health Product Compliance West (HPC-West) in the Winnipeg office, where she was mentored by Senior HPC Compliance Officer Magnus Atemnkeng and underwent many hours of online training from fellow inspectors. The training allowed her to provide evidence-based, authoritative information to Canadians and key stakeholders to enable them to make informed decisions consistent with relevant legislation, guidelines, policy, and procedures.

With regards to the social side of her time at the UM, Vermette says that her best memory of attending was in her role as Director of Special Events for the Science Students Association. She says that the position allowed her to build great connections with fellow classmates, as well as planning activities such as the year-end SSA gala.

Due to graduate this month, Vermette is thrilled to report that she has a position as a Health Product Compliance Officer, thanks to her Science Co-op experience. She continues to address complaints regarding prescription drugs, over the counter (OTC) drugs, Natural Health Products (NHPs) and Veterinary Health Products (VHPs), and is in charge of ensuring compliance with the Food and Drugs Act and its associated regulation.

Her advice to current and future UM Science students is simple:

“Get involved, study hard, and take advantage of the great opportunities the U of M provides.”