Janelle Malcolm header

Janelle played for both the University of Alberta and Syracuse University hockey teams. Photo credit: Syracuse University Athletics

Students & New Grads

“I was welcomed right into the Tailings group and quickly realized we were all working hard for the same outcome. It was like I had just joined a new sports team,” says Janelle Malcolm.

Shooting for teamwork: Meet New Grad Janelle Malcolm

Playing for a team is where Janelle Malcolm feels most at ease. The new graduate and Civil Engineer with Operations Support has always been involved in sports, and sees Syncrude as another way to be part of a team. 

Born and raised in Edmonton, Janelle enrolled in enough engineering courses every semester to keep her eligible to play hockey at the University of Alberta.

“Playing university sport for more than six years, I completely lived and breathed not just hockey, but the team atmosphere that comes with playing at that level,” she says. “That led me to my biggest fear – I was scared to finish school. How was I possibly going to function in the real world away from the rink and at a job?”

Janelle says she had become accustomed to spending every day with a group of likeminded people working towards a common goal: practice hard and win games. She was worried, figuring there was no way she would ever be in that atmosphere again.

That was until the summer of 2012 when she got a job as a student with Syncrude.

“Man, was I surprised. It wasn’t what I had expected from an engineering job at all,” says Janelle. “I was welcomed right into the Tailings group and quickly realized we were all working hard for the same outcome. It was like I had just joined a new sports team.”

She says everyone in the group was eager to help and mentor new additions to the team and they quickly became her friends both at and outside of work.

“I couldn’t believe how much I lucked out. Working at Syncrude offered the team environment I knew I could thrive in for a career,” she says. “When the opportunity arose to come back full-time upon graduation, there wasn’t even a second thought.”

Returning as a new grad, Janelle was quickly welcomed as part of the Short Range Mine Planning Group. “The atmosphere at work is awesome and I can honestly say I enjoy going to work every day. Our group works hard but never fails to have fun while doing it.”

Even as a junior member of the team, Janelle says the respect she has received and the level of responsibility given has been an exciting way to start a career.

“Syncrude is a company where if you want to learn something extra or try something different, the opportunities are available,” she says.

A focus at Syncrude is to develop its employees, and one specific program that does that is the Initial Professional Development Program (IPDP).

IPDP aims to help new graduate employees get the most out of their new opportunity with Syncrude and set them on the path for success.

“It’s proven to be a great way to gain professional skills through one-on-one support, technical seminars and being paired with a career mentor,” she says.

For Janelle, it’s not just work either. “Syncrude offers a competitive salary, good benefits and a nice chunk of time off. So you can work hard and then take your time to enjoy life outside work,” she says.

Last year, she fit in trips across Canada and still had time for Vegas, Florida, Switzerland and Italy.

“I may live in ‘isolated’ Fort McMurray, but that sure hasn’t stopped me from travelling and getting the chance to do the things I want,” she says. “If you’re willing to go out and look for things to do, Fort McMurray is a pretty great place.”

Janelle has participated in a number of sports leagues in town: Frisbee, slo-pitch, curling and ball hockey.

“I’ve found Fort McMurray to be a very welcoming place. One year I did some coverage and spent Christmas here and the number of dinners I was invited to was unreal,” she says. “I was double-booked for days over the holidays. I’m proud to say that Fort McMurray is now my home and I think I picked a pretty fun place to start putting down roots.”

Apply for Syncrude co-op positions

Co-op/Discipline Work Terms

Apply for a Syncrude co-op position on our website. Information will also be available at your campus co-op office. Work terms have different start dates—January, May or September.  Many of the work terms are four months but we also have co-op students working for us for eight months and occasionally, for 12 months.

  • Jobs posted in January/February are applicable to May Co-op students.
  • Jobs posted in May/June are applicable to September students.
  • Jobs posted in September/October are applicable to January Co-op students.

Summer/Discipline Student Positions

All of our summer positions are posted on our website and at your campus Student Employment centre in January/February for employment in May through to September.

If your university doesn’t list our job postings, click here to create a profile and submit your resume and transcripts.

Syncrude has a great reputation for bringing students from all over Canada to Fort McMurray for enriching work terms. In fact, every four months, a new group of students arrives to get a head start on their careers, get involved in the community and develop relationships that will last a life time.