New Autoly car app fueled by skilled Sheridan co-op students
For more than three decades, Sheridan has been facilitating dynamic work-integrated learning opportunities for its students. While many students have brought new ideas and energy to well-established businesses across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond, six in co-op work terms with Autoly – a full-service automotive mobile application – had the opportunity to bring the start-up from development to launch.
Autoly founder Mohamad Sibai set out to disrupt the automotive sales industry after a less-than-ideal experience purchasing a car upon immigrating to Canada in 2016. “I found many pain points in the process,” he says. “I was surprised at how the sales process wasn’t so different from what I experienced in my home country. It became clear that some of the limitations of the industry are universal.”
Determined to find a better solution, Sibai chatted with customers and salespeople to find areas for improvement on both sides of the transaction. Where he landed was the idea for an app that appeals to newer generations by using technology, gamification and online collaboration to make the car buying and selling experience less stressful.
What better way to design an app than with the target audience in the driver’s seat? Sibai, who is a Mississauga resident and aware of Sheridan’s established presence in the city, reached out to Cory Latimer, Associate Director of Cooperative and Career Education at Sheridan, to learn of ways to leverage students’ skills.
“We’re always looking for new and interesting opportunities for our students to gain relevant hands-on experience in their field of study,” says Latimer. “Autoly has become a strong employer partner with our Career-Integrated Learning team, offering a supportive, diverse and exciting workplace for our students.”
Even during the pandemic, Autoly took on co-op students through virtual placements. Honours Bachelor of Business Administration – Marketing Management, Honours Bachelor of Mobile Computing, Honours Bachelor of Interaction Design, and Computer Systems Technology – Software Development and Network Engineering students have worked with Autoly at different stages of its start-up journey since the company received seed funding in April 2019.
“I learned a lot from my co-workers and mentors and polished my technical and interpersonal skills.” – Sheridan student Anuj Choudhary
Anuj Choudhary used his computer systems training to work as a Full Stack Developer co-op student at Autoly. He helped with the back and front-end of the application using coding and design skills, while collaborating with teammates. “I had a fantastic experience with the whole Autoly team,” he says. “I learned a lot from my co-workers and mentors and polished my technical and interpersonal skills.”
Honours Bachelor of Interaction Design student Kristen Dingle worked on Autoly’s UX/UI design as a Product Developer co-op student. “My placement gave me an opportunity to learn and practice office etiquette, improve on my communication skills and use the knowledge and skills I was learning in school at an industry-level standard,” she says.
“The quality that Sheridan students deliver is above and beyond market demands.” – Autoly founder Mohamad Sibai
Autoly’s app officially launched on February 9 at a virtual National American Dealer Association expo – a milestone that Sibai believes was made possible with the dedication of Sheridan’s co-op students. When it comes to other employers considering bringing a Sheridan co-op student on board, he says: “Don’t blink! The quality that Sheridan students deliver is above and beyond market demands.”
Find out how to hire a Sheridan co-op student.
Visit Autoly’s website to learn more about the app.