Co-Ops Proving the Possibility
My name is Armando Gonzalez, and I’m a rising 4th year at the Georgia Institute of Technology. I’ve known about Patientco for almost three years now, as I first heard about their co-op opportunities during my freshman year. A friend of mine worked for Patientco and constantly raved about the opportunities she had been given here. During the first half of my sophomore year, I started getting to know the company better through the recruiting events they held near Georgia Tech’s campus. I was eventually given the chance to interview with Sean (my now supervisor) and other developers at Patientco, and I started my co-op as a software engineer in the beginning of my third year at Tech.
During my first term with Patientco, I worked with the platform team and was given the task of rebuilding the search platform that runs within our core application. I handed this project back off in the last week of my first term. The work I accomplished in that first semester made a real impact on the engineering team – and on the company overall. I didn’t accomplish this alone; I was constantly inspired by the talent surrounding me at Patientco, and was constantly put in a position encouraging self-motivation and helping me quickly learn.
This summer marked my second term with Patientco. This term, I had the opportunity to pair with another Co-op working in the Engineering department. We collaborated on an internal project aimed at proving the possibility and benefit of automating more of the pre-processing required on check images that come through our system. Rather than having our customer support team operators manually searching and associating account-related information by reading check images themselves, we automated the reading and searching of the text on these images. In the process, I learned a lot about the shortcomings of text recognition software and how to integrate different products to add business value through internal tools like our new service. At Patientco, there is a culture of ownership that does not exclude the students that work here as co-ops. I was able to own this project with another co-op, and have improved my communication and collaboration skills in the process.
Aside from practicing my software development and engineering skills every day, I’ve made some lasting memories here. With an open office and culture, I felt like a part of the team in and out of the office. One of my favorite memories here must have been the day that Patientco officially disbursed one billion, billable dollars through our system. This milestone made Patientco a “three-comma” company and deserving of the party that took place later that month to celebrate. Our accomplishment was celebrated with an intimate, company-wide meeting that commemorated of all the hard work that went into surpassing this milestone. I’m fortunate to feel like I’m truly a part of Patientco’s success at a time when the company is experiencing so much of it. The day we officially hit that milestone is a memory that I’m sure I will never forget.