A fresh perspective can do a world of good. New ideas are available through UBC Okanagan’s popular Co-op Education, a win-win partnership for employers looking to harness the energy of student talent.
The program connects university students and community partners for a variety of work-experience opportunities. Learners are provided invaluable real-world experience, and employers have access to work with energizing and youthful students connected with the latest methods and practices.
“Any business that’s looking to be innovative should be looking at bringing in a UBC Okanagan Co-op student,” says Kevin Dorrius, General Manager of Community Futures Revelstoke.
“It’s great for the projects that employers might have in the back of their minds but don’t have the capacity within their current staffing levels to get done,” he says.
Students eager to expand their resumés with meaningful experience are vetted through an interview process conducted by UBC Okanagan.
Now an alumnus of UBC Okanagan’s Management program, Mark Rossi was assigned to work for Revelstoke Community Futures. Rossi says the experience, along with two other Co-op work terms with Parks Canada and Capri Insurance in Kelowna, provided a launching pad for his career in marketing and sales.
“My employers not only provided tremendous mentorship and coaching, but they also allowed for a surprising amount of freedom for me to tackle projects that I was passionate about,” he says.
“It was a fantastic way to supplement my education and a good way to get some relevant work experience to help build up my resumé.”
Last year, the program evolved to increase accessibility for businesses throughout the region. Employers can now access support through a grant sponsored by the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust, to help cover the costs of bringing a student aboard.
The program has also expanded to include students enrolled in a variety of studies – everything from languages, sciences, human kinetics to management – meaning more businesses will have access to students with diverse skillsets.