New UBC Okanagan management internships give top students career head-start

A new Management Internship Program launched this week at UBC Okanagan will give top students valuable experience -- and a career head-start -- in the business world.

"The program, designed to allow third-year Management students the opportunity to get hands-on experience while they are still in school, is an excellent new addition to our Co-op Education Program," says Brandy Delves, Co-op Coordinator at UBC Okanagan "This program allows our students the opportunity to get real-world experience before they graduate, giving them a head-start on their future career."

Students in their third year of Management studies will compete for the ability to work with organizations in the Okanagan Valley, Lower Mainland, and Alberta.

"When I heard about the internship program and all the possibilities that exist I was thrilled," says third-year Management student Aron Balakrishnan. "It will give me a great opportunity to gain real-world application, expand my network and start along my career path. With skills and experience from the Management Internship program here at UBC Okanagan, I won't be concerned about whether I'll have what it takes to make it 'out there'."

A unique element of the Management Internship Program is the length of placement. Typically, co-op students work for four or eight months before returning to school. In the Internship Program, students can stay for eight, 12 or even 16 months consecutively with one employer.

"Based on my experience with co-op and internship programs at other institutions, students returning after their work experience perform better academically, entertain more and better job offers upon graduation and, because of their earnings, graduate with less student debt," says Ian Stuart, Dean of the School of Management. "What a fantastic learning opportunity for Management students at UBC Okanagan."

Okanagan employers are excited about the program, too.

"In today's labour market, it's wonderful to see a program like this being implemented," says Roberta Fidalgo, Assistant Vice-president, Human Resources at Valley First Credit Union. "We know today's workforce is not looking for employment, they are looking for employability. Providing opportunities for learning and development will position the students well given today's 'cafeteria' of employment choices. This program should definitely be taken into consideration when developing a long-term recruitment strategy."

The Management Internship Program takes the top 25 third-year Management students who complete foundational business and management courses such as financial accounting, managerial accounting, finance, marketing, organizational behaviour, operations management and information technology and information systems, as well as pre-employment workshops such as interviewing skills and workplace success.

Organizations interested in participating in the program by hiring a student can contact Program Coordinator Brandy Delves, at 250-807-9206 or brandy.delves@ubc.ca.

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