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Employers and students highlight the benefits of work experience

March 15 panel discussion by faculties of arts and science marks National Co-op and Internship Week
March 14, 2016
National Co-op Week runs from March 14-18 and is determined by CAFCE – Canadian Association for Co-operative Education. Photo by Louie Villanueva

National Co-op Week runs from March 14-18 and is determined by CAFCE – Canadian Association for Co-operative Education. Photo by Louie Villanueva  

Lauryn MacDonald receives an Honorable Mention for Student for Co-op Student of the Year 2015 from Dr. Virginia Tumasz, Associate Dean – Undergraduate & Student Affairs.  Photo by Ashleye Tremblay

Communications Co-op student Lauryn MacDonald receives an Honorable Mention for Student for Co-op Student of the Year 2015 from Dr. Virginia Tumasz, Associate Dean – Undergraduate & Student Affairs.  Photo by Ashleye Tremblay

With Co-op and internship programs becoming an increasingly popular option for students and employers, the faculties of arts and science are taking part in this national week-long celebration and, in collaboration with Career Services, are hosting a Co-op/Internship employer and student panel on March 15, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. in the Taylor Family Digital Library Gallery Hall. The panelists will share their experience and discuss how these programs allow students to gain practical experience, increase their professional network and graduate with a year of relevant work on their resume.  Employers are able to augment their staff with energetic and knowledgeable students who are able to complete short-term projects or fill staffing shortages during work terms of four, eight or 12 months. While the students are test driving careers, employers are able to preview potential full-time employees.

Employers often note the commitment they see in their Co-op and Internship students and their eagerness to learn as much as possible during their work terms.  Students are surprised that they are considered part of the team and have responsibilities equal to full-time employees. 

Students considered part of the team 

Lauryn MacDonald, a communications Co-op student and recent award winner, will be part of the Employer and Student Panel on March 15. Her former supervisor, Chris Forrest, from AdFarm, noted on her nomination form, "Lauryn was simply the smartest, most professional and exceptional intern I have worked with in my 22-year career. She was delivering the type of work I would expect from a professional with three to four years of experience. She is a superb reflection of your university and the quality of its programs. I would hire Lauryn in an instant!"

Typically Co-op and Internship students have completed two years of their degree so they bring fresh academic knowledge to the workplace.  After their work experience they often have increased focus and organization they can apply to their studies.

Work terms preceded by extensive pre-employment training

Coordinators for the Co-op and Internship programs assist students in securing work terms with extensive pre-employment training, including resume reviews and interview prep and complete site visits to ensure the success of the work term. Co-op and Internship allows students to work, earn and learn and be supported throughout the process.

Placements occur across industries from major oil and gas companies, to small NGOs and also with local, provincial and federal government departments.  Many campus departments also take advantage of the Co-op and Internship program with students working at the Centre for Community Engaged Learning, the Women's Resource Centre and NUTV. 

For more information on these great experiential learning programs check out the Arts Co-op Program, and the Science Co-op/Internship program and plan to attend the March 15th panel.

 

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