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A Closer Look into the Co-op Experience at Spare

Read the firsthand accounts of our present co-ops, Fathima Tabassim and Abbey Moores, and gain insights from the journeys of Kaleigh Crawford and Vasilii Perfilev, who initially joined Spare as co-op students and have stayed ever since, continuing to contribute to Spare’s platform as Software Developers!


Abbey Moores and Fathima Tabassim

A co-op role at Spare is more than just an internship; it's an inclusive and exciting experience working at an impactful tech company. Our co-ops benefit from the unwavering support from their teams while contributing tangible value to the company by taking on projects that contribute to unlocking the potential of mobility for all.

Take a closer look into the firsthand accounts of our present co-ops, Fathima Tabassim (Marketing) and Abbey Moores (People & Talent), and gain insights from the journeys of Kaleigh Crawford and Vasilii Perfilev, who initially joined Spare as co-op students and have stayed ever since, continuing to contribute to Spare as Junior Software Developers!

Why Did You Choose Spare?

Driven by a shared mission to make a meaningful impact on the world, Fathima, Kaleigh, Abbey, and Vasilii all echo the sentiment of contributing to a more accessible and convenient transportation landscape, particularly for underserved communities. Their enthusiasm for the tech industry is evident, with a shared appreciation for Spare's adoption of modern technologies, interfaces, and programming languages. As a forward-thinking and fast-growing company, Spare provides a platform for impactful work and valuable opportunities for continuous learning. The unanimous recognition of Spare as a great team emphasizes the collaborative and supportive environment that fuels personal and professional growth. 

As a software developer, what sets Spare apart is its commitment to staying at the forefront of technology. The constant embrace of recent technologies and programming languages, coupled with a readiness to adopt changes, aligns with my passion for innovation and ensures that every line of code I write contributes to impactful solutions.

- Vasilii Perfilev, Junior Software Developer

Spare has not only broadened my perspective on the impact and nuances of transportation services but has also sparked my interest in the interconnected web of urban planning and community design. Collaborating with such a strong team has reinforced my passion for Marketing and Design in the tech industry, and this experience has fueled my desire to contribute meaningfully to the world through my work.

- Fathima Tabassim, Marketing Co-op

My co-op at Spare wasn't just a job; it was a revelation. Engaging in backend development not only aligned with my career goals but revealed a passion I hadn't fully explored before. In the future I would likely continue pursuing back-end development roles, a shift from my initial inclination towards full-stack roles.

- Kaleigh Crawford, Junior Software Developer

A Day in the Life of a Co-op at Spare

For a co-op student at Spare, a typical work day may consist of team meetings, one-on-ones, and solo time to work on any projects. Weekly team meetings improve alignment for the week and make every team member feel welcomed from their first day. The level of support received is notably high, challenging the common narrative of co-op struggles. Whether working from the Vancouver HQ, a Coworking space in your city, or remotely, the emphasis on team support and the benefits of a remote-first work environment make every day at Spare a fun and rewarding experience. It's important to note that each co-op's responsibilities vary based on their team and role. To provide an insider's perspective, let's explore the experiences across a few of Spare's teams:

Marketing:

Typical tasks for a Marketing co-op include creating and coordinating marketing content for social media, and staying updated on industry trends. A Marketing Co-op can expect to assist different team members on projects involving design, website and landing page updates, updating sales enablement material, email marketing, webinar and event promotions, writing launch announcements, and drafting and editing blogs and case studies.

People & Talent:

One of the focuses of Talent Acquisition Co-op on the People Team at Spare is contributing to Spare's Employer Branding plan. Collaborating with the VP of People, co-ops can have the opportunity to formulate and execute quarterly plans and posting schedules. Other regular tasks may include reviewing and screening candidates for open positions, providing support in sourcing efforts, and actively generating analytics and reports.

Software Development:

A typical day may often be centered around coding tasks. Developer co-ops get the opportunity to learn the code base and develop new features while receiving substantial support from their team leads and other members. Kaleigh was a co-op on Spare’s Open Team, she shared some extra insight on her experience:

I'd like to highlight my experience as a female co-op in a development environment, where my initial concerns about not being taken seriously or feeling out of place were alleviated. The team's welcoming attitude and the equal treatment and respect I received, regardless of gender, made my time at Spare exceptionally positive, especially considering previous challenges during my university experiences.

Kaleigh profile photo
Kaleigh CrawfordJunior Software Developer, Open Team

Culture at Spare

At Spare, we cultivate a culture of respect and support, ensuring that co-ops never feel "lesser than" due to their lower levels of experience. Our team is aligned by a set of Guiding Principles that represent the most successful people at Spare. These principles include fostering a growth mindset, taking ownership, and acting with urgency. They collectively create a decision-making framework which empowers individuals to think critically about their approach to work.

Our fast-paced startup environment provides co-ops with opportunities for learning and personal development. Spare's strong feedback culture, coupled with a growth mindset, actively promotes learning from mistakes, fostering a dynamic and collaborative atmosphere. This vibrant culture positions Spare as an ideal workplace for co-ops seeking a supportive and mission-driven community.

For a deeper dive into Spare's Culture and our Guiding Principles, check out Spare's official culture document!

No blame culture was very important for me when I started. In one of my first months at Spare, I released a broken version of the Rider app. Everyone on my team supported me through the revert process mentally and technically.

- Vasilii Perfilev, Junior Software Developer

As a co-op student here to learn, I appreciated having an open feedback loop with my manager. In this arrangement, I knew she would be honest, providing advice in the areas where I was developing, and offering positive feedback when I excelled at certain tasks. I feel like I have grown personally and professionally over the past 8 months, and it wouldn’t be possible without the constructive feedback I received from my entire team!

- Abbey Moores, Talent Acquisition Co-op

The transparency within and across teams really makes you feel like you're part of something much bigger than yourself, that what you're doing in your day-to-day truly has an impact in the bigger picture.

- Fathima Tabassim, Marketing Co-op

Fathima at Spare's Fall Hackathon Closing Ceremonies

Support and Resources for Co-ops

Spare provides a supportive environment for co-op students, placing a strong emphasis on a collaborative team setting where we regularly share insights and provide guidance. Additionally, our comprehensive onboarding process is designed to equip new members with abundant resources to grasp Spare's workings. This includes introductory meetings with every team at Spare so new employees can understand each team's function and connect with Spartians across the company. Spare’s dedication to innovating processes and tools ensures ongoing opportunities for both individual and team growth.


Support from colleagues was definitely what shaped my experience and skill development the most. I proudly completed two API integrations during my co-op, receiving substantial support from the entire development team, with special acknowledgment to my team lead, Andrew, who played a pivotal role in my professional development. His guidance, assistance with code, and constructive feedback greatly contributed to my growth as a software developer, ensuring I never felt unsupported or struggled alone.

- Kaleigh Crawford, Junior Software Developer

The People & Talent team is something special. I felt so supported by my entire team, and genuinely look forward to every Monday when we get to connect. As I gained new responsibilities in my role, I was never afraid to ask clarifying questions, and was encouraged to reach out to my teammates whenever I needed extra support.

- Abbey, People & Talent

Abbey and members of the People & Talent Team at their Team Offsite.
The Events Marketing Manager, who was assigned as my "buddy" would consistently meet with me to discuss my projects, help me prioritize tasks, provide guidance, answer any questions, and create a development plan for my learning while keeping my interests and passions in mind. This was very valuable as it helped me stay on the right track and maximize the quality of my learning experience at Spare.

- Fathima Tabassim, Marketing Co-op

Favourite Spare Memories

Our People & Talent Team Offsite in Toronto! Since Spare is a remote company, every team has an annual offsite for the team to connect in-person for team bonding, activities, and future strategic planning. It was so exciting to meet my team in person. We got to dive deep into understanding what we want to achieve as a team, and how we work best. Additionally, we went on some fun team outings which included lots of sushi spots, exploring the city, and seeing the musical Hamilton!

Abbey profile photo
Abbey MooresTalent Acquisition Co-op

My favourite memory working at Spare was getting to meet everyone in-person for the first time in Vancouver, and enjoying the best ramen I've ever had with a few colleagues!

Kaleigh profile photo
Kaleigh CrawfordJunior Software Developer, Open Team

My favourite memory was when I participated in the JHU Dry Run simulations as a rider. This was probably a week after my on-boarding, I went into the office for the first time, met new people across many teams, and got to know them as we drove around Vancouver. The best part is that the dry run gave me a better sense of what the product was, what the company did, and allowed me to contribute in my own small way to closing the deal with John Hopkins University, one of our biggest Safe-Rides customers! It gave me a sense of pride and belonging so soon after beginning my journey with Spare.

Fathima profile photo
Fathima TabassimMarketing Co-op

By the end of their term, our co-ops have experienced personal and professional growth, established a network of supportive Spartians, and made a real impact at Spare! If the prospect of a Spare co-op experience intrigues you, be sure to keep an eye on Spare's Careers page and LinkedIn. We are excited to welcome additional co-op students to the Spare team over the upcoming year!

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