University of Calgary

Students sing praises of work experience internships

UToday HomeMarch 18, 2013

Breane Bos, an Arts Co-op student, says her internship at Suncor as a community investment advisor has been a highlight of her academic career.Breane Bos, an Arts Co-op student, says her internship at Suncor as a community investment advisor has been a highlight of her academic career.“I’d hire him tomorrow if I could.”

“She is indispensable.”

“I can only pray that she will consider a career with us when her studies are completed.”

Such comments from employers are typical after they have worked with University of Calgary students during internships. This week, the faculties of arts and science, along with Career Services, are celebrating and sharing the success of internship programs during National Co-op Week.

One student in the arts faculty who praises her internship experience is Breane Bos, a communications major currently completing her final work term with Suncor as a community investment advisor.

“My co-op experience has helped me be more confident, gain relevant work experience and discover what I am passionate about,” says Bos. “It has been the biggest success of my academic career.”

Students taking part in the Arts Co-operative Education program spend a year working in an area relevant to their studies. They alternate between school and work while developing a clear career focus. These students bring specific program skills, plus an ability to learn and critically analyze complex material to each placement. Arts Co-op employers are as varied as the students and  recently have included Suncor, Alberta Barley Commission, Enbridge, the Kerby Centre and multiple university departments.

The faculty of science offers an Internship Program, including 12 to 16 months of consecutive work, to Computer Science students and a Co-op option of four to eight months of alternating academic and work terms for students in Actuarial Science, Applied Chemistry and Ecology. Employers here are also varied, such as the National Energy Board, Enbridge, Nova Chemicals, Stantec and TransCanada. 

All programs provide students with paid, relevant experience, career exploration, professional networks and importantly confidence in their skills as they work to achieve their academic and career goals.

Students appreciate the economic benefits of Co-op and Internship programs. For their part, employers find the program delivers fresh-minded, high-performing individuals who make meaningful contributions to their workplaces.  

Students who are interested in learning more are encouraged to drop by the Social Science Foyer between 11 and 1 p.m. on Monday, March 18 to speak with the program co-ordinators. On Thursday, March 21, a co-op/internship panel will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in SS113, with participating employers and students sharing their experiences.


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