Conestoga news

February 17, 2023 3:20 PM

Project-based learning connects graduates to alumni industry partner

Three 2022 Conestoga Computer Programming graduates have been hired by a local industry partner based on a capstone project they produced for the company in the last year of their program. 

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Three 2022 Conestoga Computer Programming graduates have been hired by Derivative Path based on a capstone project they produced for the company. L-R: Ana Carolina Lage Muniz de Souza Campos, Paula Matsuo and Arthur Lira Foizer presenting their project at the college's IT Demo Day.

Arthur Lira Foizer, Ana Carolina Lage Muniz de Souza Campos, and Paula Matsuo created a developer workflow management dashboard for Derivative Path, an industry-leading provider of capital markets technology. The project was a culmination of skills and knowledge they learned over their program.

The idea was brought to students by the client at the college’s IT Pitch Night, where industry partners propose projects to teams in the hopes of addressing technology needs through capstones. Conestoga relies on partnerships with industry and community leaders to contribute to the quality of programs, including project-based learning opportunities that enable students to solve real-world problems.

“Sometimes we have these big ideas that we just don’t have the resources to dig into. We pitch to Conestoga students to help get us started and evaluate the idea further,” said Chris Renaud, Chief Technology Officer at Derivative Path. “We are providing students with experience and mentorship, but they are also motivating our teams by bringing excitement to the project and pushing the envelope.”

Renaud is a 2006 graduate of Conestoga’s Computer Programmer/Analyst program and credits his time at the college for providing the practical and theoretical skills needed to launch a successful career. He has been bringing real-world challenges to Conestoga students for capstone projects for the past five years.

“What I love about Conestoga is their practical approach to teaching the various technologies,” Renaud continued. “We had this team that utilized those skills to create an amazing product and were so talented that it felt like a crime to let them go out into the industry - we had to find a way to keep them.”

Foizer, de Souza Campos, and Matsuo, who were all international students from Brazil, were hired by Derivative Path after graduation to finish the dashboard, which has now become part of the company’s product line. As software developers, they continue to expand services.

“In my experience, Conestoga students and graduates have a refreshing level of professionalism. They are serious about their careers and progression and don’t take the opportunity to work on these projects lightly,” said Renaud. “We are able to provide real-world learning opportunities that help bridge a gap between theory and practice, giving students an edge as they enter the workforce and helping us address challenges.”

Derivative Path is an award-winning and industry-leading provider of capital markets technology and derivatives execution services. The company develops technology-led solutions to assist financial institutions, buy-side, and commercial end-users in executing and managing their international payments, foreign exchange, over-the-counter commodity and interest rate derivative transactions.       

Conestoga’s School of Applied Computer Science & Information Technology is based at the college’s Waterloo campus, with access to one of the fastest-growing technology sectors in North America. Leading-edge programs offer a 21st-century education that prepares graduates for exciting careers in the innovative world of information and communications technology. With a strong connection to local industry, project-based and work-integrated learning enables students to solve real-world problems and engage in new technologies that empower a professional journey in a rapidly growing sector.