Workplace Experience Program
What is the Workplace Experience Program?
The Workplace Experience Program (WEP) provides international students within the Bachelor of Commerce Co-op program with an opportunity to gain exposure to Canadian workplace culture.
Why the Workplace Experience Program matters
Some of our international students find it very challenging to find jobs in Canada that qualify for co-op work term credits, which results in either securing employment that offers minimal remuneration, or returning to their home country to complete work terms. This can limit their ability to grow their professional network and break into the Canadian job market after graduation.
Our objectives for the Workplace Experience Program are to provide international students with an opportunity to gain familiarity with the Canadian workplace culture, build connections with Canadian employers and build confidence in our international students when job searching.
What does my commitment involve?
The program takes place during the months of May, June, July and/or August, following the students’ first or second year. Each student is matched with a host organization based on their suitability and career interests for a suggested minimum of 35 unpaid hours. The schedule is flexible so that it can be coordinated to fit the needs of both the host organization and the student. For example, the program outcomes could be achieved over three half days a week for one month, 2 full days a week for one month, or every day for just one week.
We encourage the host organization to involve the student in activities that would provide the best opportunity for learning and growth. This may include:
- Exposing the student to multiple units within the organization by “shadowing” various employees
- Providing the opportunity for the student to observe workplace practices such as staff, stakeholder, or client meetings
- Having the student collaborate on a current project or work assignment and providing feedback on performance
- Pairing the student with a current co-op or internship student to provide peer-to-peer learning
Benefits of being a WEP host organization
- Gain access to potential future employees that you otherwise might not have the opportunity to consider
- Grow the leadership capacity and skills within your team by having staff coach and mentor an international student
- Showcase your organization as a welcoming and inclusive workplace that appreciates the many benefits a culturally aware and diverse workforce has to offer
- Influence the workforce of the future by providing a student with the chance to heighten their experience and appreciation of Canada
- Low-risk, low-investment opportunity to retain international talent in Nova Scotia, positioning our region as an attractive and welcoming place for them to live and work, which aligns with several of the Ivany Report goals.
If you are interested in becoming a host organization, or have questions regarding the Workplace Experience Program, please contact Jennifer Coombs, Program Coordinator, at 902-494-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.