Partnering to ensure students gain practical experience in a COVID-19 labour market

Transformative Learning | Strategy 15: Student Experience
Theme: Collaboration

Finding Co-op opportunities and internships is increasingly tough for university students across Canada, as COVID-19’s impact on the economy has created labour market jittters. Thankfully, students are finding meaningful work through a creative partnership that matches qualified business students with employers seeking help with their business challenges.

Sauder students Michael Tersigni, Sofia Martinez Lopez and Chaissan Ashcroft (l-r) took part in the summer internship program, offered in collaboration between Sauder and Mitacs.

UBC’s Sauder School of Business is the pilot school in a network of Canadian business schools to partner with Mitacs, a national not-for-profit organization whose mandate is to work with universities, companies and governments to support industrial and social innovation.

The Mitacs Business Strategy Internship program launched in May 2020. Through the efforts of the team at the UBC Sauder Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre, over 260 graduate and undergraduate students have been placed in summer internships with small- to medium-sized enterprises and not-for-profits. Students are paid a $10,000 stipend shared by Mitacs and the employer.

The program was so successful for both students and employers that Mitacs has extended the funding through the Winter 2021 and Summer 2021 school terms, for up to 300 new internship opportunities being offered through the Business Career Centre.

“Mitacs is proud to partner with UBC Sauder to provide practical, research-focused work experience for students addressing the specific challenges that organizations face during COVID-19,” says Mitacs CEO and Scientific Director John Hepburn. “Successfully pivoting operations is requisite to our economic recovery and future success.”

Please visit the Sauder website to learn more about the program and to hear what B.Com students Michael Tersigni, Sofia Martinez Lopez and Chaissan Ashcroft gained from their internships.

Through Strategy 15: Student Experience, we are creating opportunities for students to feel more engaged and better supported during their time at UBC, outside as well as inside the classroom, across all our campuses and learning sites.