Centre for Experiential Learning Work-Integrated Learning and Career Services 2021 Highlights Report
This annual report highlights general trends and developments over the past year. We also focus on narrative to demonstrate the learning experiences and highlight activity occurring within the CEL. We will be focusing on data from January 2021 – December 2021. For detailed statistics and historical data and newsletters please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Centre for Experiential Learning produced this report in January 2022 to be released for National WorkIntegrated Learning Month, March 2022.
Acknowledgements Hay ch qa’ sii’em siye’yu mukw mustimuxw (Thank you respected ones of this place) To the Snuneymuxw, Quw’utsun and Tla’Amin, on whose traditional lands we teach, learn, research, live and share knowledge. We raise our hands and say Hay ch qa’ sii’em siye’yu mukw mustimuxw.
PUBLISHERS Centre for Experiential Learning 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5S5 EDITORS Lillian Morpak, Career and Co-operative Education Assistant GRAPHIC DESIGN Chelsea Hamre, Graphic Designer WRITERS Alex Bowman; Alexis Beaubier; Brook Pearce; Danielle Johnsrude; Lynda Robinson; Lillian Morpak; and Tawnya Hoff CONTRIBUTORS Jonah Ferguson, Photography
Welcome Transition is the word that describes the last year and a half in the Centre for Experiential Learning (CEL). We all faced change and transition through the pandemic, in processes and protocols, and workplace environments and experiences. Every sector and person has had to be flexible to adapt and navigate in extraordinary times, and through it so have our students and employers. The 2021 calendar year was a continuation of the CEL pivoting to provide students with various supports and resources – from completing work experiences remotely to accessing online resources and workshops, alongside the gradual return of in-person work-integrated learning (WIL) experiences for students working out of province or abroad in their home countries. The hard work of the WIL faculty, our incredible community partners and numerous VIU departments supporting and developing procedures allowed these experiences to continue. We are grateful for the close-working relationships with VIU’s Department of Enterprise Risk Management, Education Abroad, International Student Services, Health & Safety, Contract Services and the faculties in which we facilitate and teach co-op and internship preparation courses and support work-integrated learning opportunities. The CEL team saw its changes with retirements, staffing changes and shifts in reporting structures. I was welcomed to the CEL in September 2021. With the fantastic work of our staff and our excellent employer and community partners, in the past reporting period the CEL has had 255 co-op and internship experiences. We have reached approximately 3,000 WIL experiences since our centralized job-posting portal, CareerVIU, was implemented in 2014. Our campus and the CEL are proud to be working with various employers across the region. Most of our students completed their WIL experiences on Vancouver Island in the past year. We know our employer partners in this region have unique needs and are happy to have VIU students support our community’s needs and responses to the ever-changing work culture and labour market. We are thankful for the opportunities, experiences, mentorships and support our partners have provided to our students. The end of 2020 through 2021 saw the launch of the Vancouver Island WorkIntegrated Learning Project (VIWIL) – a collaborative partnership between North Island College (NIC) and VIU to enhance opportunities for WIL by connecting students to employers north of the Malahat and support students’ transition to work. 4
We are excited to announce that the CEL received a one-time contribution of funding in September 2021 through Phase 2 of the Co-op and WorkIntegrated Learning Initiative following the success of the VIWIL project. This funding will allow VIU to continue to provide ongoing support for VIWIL project with employers, bolster its resources to support student and employer engagement in WIL experiences and provide career services through to the 2022 launch of Career Studio, which will be located in building 255.
Danielle Johnsrude Director, Centre for Experiential Learning & Student Engagement
Focusing on Graduate Attributes. Expanding life-enriching and career-building experiences.
We believe that education doesn’t just happen in the classroom; learning comes most powerfully through real-life experiences. We will therefore provide more opportunities for life-enriching and career-building opportunities such as co-ops, work placements and internships, and will continue to develop our suite of up-skilling and re-skilling programs for learners throughout their careers. VIU Strategic Plan 2021-2026
The VIU Graduate Attributes & Program Learning Outcomes are a focus in designing instructional and learning assignments for students completing planning and prep courses and co-op and internship experiences. There is a focus on having students recognize, and communicate around all three pillars: (Literacies, Intellectual and Practical Skills, and Civic Engagement) through their experiential learning and being able to capture and professionally communicate these attributes as they move on to career and through to workplace transition.
In this report 08
09 09 10 10 11 11
Background on the Centre for Experiential Learning and Work-integrated Learning Experiential Learning as the Foundational Philosophy Work-integrated Learning The Centre for Experiential Learning – Mission, Vision, Values Co-op and Internship Meet the Team Current Programs
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A Year in Numbers - WIL Highlights Employer Highlights and Stories Career & Employment Highlights
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Faculty Highlights Bachelor of Interior Design Bachelor of Design in Graphic Design Professional Baking and Pastry Arts Culinary Arts Bachelor of Tourism Management and Tourism Diploma Indigenous Ecotourism Certificate Bachelor of Hospitality Management and Hospitality Management Diploma Recreation and Sport Management Diploma Bachelor of Kinesiology/BA in Kinesiology Creative Writing and Journalism (BA) Program Program and Department Chair Highlights
30 31 32 33
Event and Student Spotlights Hospitality Management Alumni Networking Event Labour Market Employer Panel Events Co-op Student Featured on VIU Blog
34 35 36 36 36 37
Ongoing and Future Initiatives Vancouver Island Work-Integrated Learning Project and Highlights Ministry Funding Career Studio VIULearn Resume and Cover letter Course CareerVIU: CEL’s Work-Integrated Learning and Student Employment Portal
Background on the Centre for Experiential Learning and Work-Integrated Learning (WIL)
Experiential Learning as the Foundational Philosophy The Philosophy of experiential learning is the foundation in understanding the development of the Centre for Experiential Learning at VIU and the programs it offers. Experiential education is a philosophy that informs many methodologies in which educators purposefully engage with learners
in direct experience and focused reflection to increase knowledge, develop skills, clarify values and develop people’s capacity to contribute to their communities. For the full definition please view Association for Experiential Education.
What is Work-Integrated Learning (WIL)? Work-integrated learning is a model and process of curricular experiential education which formally and intentionally integrates a student’s academic studies within a workplace or practice setting. WIL experiences include an engaged partnership of at least three stakeholders: an academic institution, a host organization and a student. WIL can occur at the course or program level.
The Centre for Experiential Learning (CEL) is dedicated to student success through work-integrated learning (WIL), Career Services, Peer-Supported Learning (PSL) and Co-Curricular Engagement & Learning (OCCEL). The WIL faculty and staff prepare students for co-operative education and internship opportunities, and for their transition to work by providing instruction in for-credit courses that contribute to the students’ academic success. The team assists students in developing meaningful opportunities and objectives that fit the unique needs of each student and their desired industry. Each faculty member assesses and evaluates student learning within the workplace context and collaborates with community partners. The highlights in this report will focus on WIL and Career Services. Co-operative education, commonly referred to as co-op, consists of alternating academic terms of study and paid full-time work terms. Each co-op work term is a minimum of 420 hours in a workplace setting related to the student’s field of study. The number of required work terms varies by program. For example, a four-year undergraduate degree can include three co-op work terms allowing students to complete their post-secondary studies with twelve months of work experience.
Mission The Centre for Experiential Learning (CEL) provides quality educational opportunities that employ effective teaching and learning strategies in experiential learning and career education that contribute to meaningful employment.
Internships are much more flexible in format for both students and employers. They can be full-time or part-time work experiences and they can be paid or unpaid for-credit work experiences. They may occur in the middle of an academic program while students are still studying or after all academic coursework has been completed. Internships vary in length, hourly commitment and are often the only WIL experience in a program.
Vision Through the design of workintegrated learning (WIL) courses and activities, CEL collaborates with other decanal areas to provide an integrative, practical approach that contributes holistically to students’ development.
Values Experiential Learning Community Engagement Diversity Inclusion Excellence
The activities of the CEL demonstrate the goals and values of the Student Affairs Strategic Framework (2018-2021) and the VIU Strategic Plan 2021-2026. Over the next year with updates to the Student Affairs Foundation Plan, the CEL Operational Plan will develop strategic goals and objectives for all the units. It is through its programs and services offered that we support the guiding themes of the Strategic Plan of People, Place and Potential, as well as VIU’s six interwoven commitments. 10
Meet the Work-integrated Learning (WIL) & Career Services Team
Alex Bowman Work-integrated Learning Faculty
Lillian Morpak Career and Co-operative Education Assistant
Alexis Beaubier Work-integrated Learning Faculty
Brenden Johnston Employer and Student Engagement Specialist
Did you know? Co-ops and internships are among the most popular forms of WIL that the CEL helps to facilitate between our students and a diverse range of host organizations. These organizations include employers, non-profit organizations, industry associations, small- to mediumsized enterprises, entrepreneurs, government departments and social services. Thinking about adding WIL to your Program/ Course? Compare the attributes of the various forms of WIL using this informative matrix from the BC WIL Council found here.
Brook Pearce Work-integrated Learning Faculty
Paula Deering Career Services Specialist
David Woodward Work-Integrated Learning Faculty
Lynda Robinson Work-Integrated Learning Faculty
Tawnya Hoff Experiential Learning Assistant/ Senior System Administrator CareerVIU
Vanessa Stratton Employer Engagement and Project Manager VI WIL- completed December 2021
Programs Supported within the Centre for Experiential Learning Co-op Programs • Bachelor of Hospitality Management • Bachelor of Tourism Management • Computer Science • Culinary Arts • Engineering • Recreation and Sport Management Diploma • Tourism Studies Diploma • Information Technology and Applied Systems
Internship Programs • Creative Writing • Criminology • General • Geography • Graphic Design • Interior Design • Philosophy • Kinesiology
A Year in Review in Numbers WIL Highlights from 2021 (January-December)
Co-op Positions Posted
Ministry Funding $175,000 in funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Training to use towards resourcing for supporting more student and employer engagement with WIL experiences and bolstering opportunities and suite of services for students in their transition to the workplace.
Students completed the Planning for Upper-Level Internship (INTP 300) Course
Provides opportunities for students to synthesize theoretical knowledge and practical experience within their field of study. By engaging in a variety of self-discovery activities students will identify skills, strengths, interests, values and competencies to inform their search for a relevant and meaningful internship experience. (3:0:0)
Rest of Canada
Rest of BC
Average Monthly Salary
Where did our Students Work?
Who are our Employers?
Corporation or Private Business69%
I have worked with [Ray, Culinary Arts student] at a couple different restaurants and encouraged him to go to school as he has so much potential and cooks at a higher level than I have seen from someone with his small amount of experience in the kitchen. Overall Ray is a pleasure to have in the kitchen and I have no doubt he can take his culinary career to whatever level he is determined to get to.” Darren Watson – Executive Chef (now GM), Bayside Bistro and Lounge, Bayside Oceanfront Resort
Government (Federal, Provincial, Municipal) 8% First Nations, Inuit, Métis, Indigenous Government/ Community/Organization 2% The course content integrated nicely with our day-today operations. We were happy to support Melanie in the tutelage of applying the course concepts to real work challenges, and Melanie has excelled here at Nanaimo Golf Club, and from what I see, has also excelled in her Hospitality Management Program.” Charles Stephens – General Manager, Nanaimo Golf Club.
Career and Employment Highlights
Students registered in VIULearn Resume and Cover letter Course
Job Postings in CareerVIU Employment Portal
Active Employers in CareerVIU Employment Portal
Newly registered students in CareerVIU 13
Bachelor of Interior Design Students in the Bachelor of Interior Design program complete a summer internship between the third and fourth year of their degree. This past summer, all students secured internships in the field of design, allowing them to apply their education and training to hands-on experience. The experience of applying their education and being mentored by design professionals reinforces what they have learned at VIU, and further expands the breadth and depth of their industry experience. Students in the Bachelor of Interior Design program participate in client consultations, play a role in designing commercial and residential builds, selecting finishes and working
with a variety of building trades. During summer internships, many students see the development of real projects from ‘Design Concept to Completion,’ which is a process they study in class. Studying this process and seeing how it is applied in the field cements their learning and plays a key role in building their design confidence. Many students returning for their fourth and final year continue to work with their host employer part-time or have their internship supervisor serve as their external advisor for their Capstone Design project. The partnerships formed through internships are invaluable to the students, to VIU and to the design industry.
I am very grateful I had the chance to experience the work industry before graduating from my program. I have learned a lot from Karly and will always be thankful for our wonderful relationship. I am proud to say I am now a member of the Karly Parker team, and I look forward to my design growth knowing I have Karly by my side. A piece of advice that Karly taught me that I cherish and believe everyone can benefit from is: ‘If you don’t know something, just ask.’” Crystal Bell – Bachelor of Interior Design Student
Bachelor of Design in Graphic Design
Professional Baking and Pastry Arts
Students in the Bachelor of Design in Graphic Design program pursue a professional career in the creative discipline of digital and print design. Students in this program have a diverse range of career options to explore through their internship, which occurs in the summer between third and fourth year. Students secure internships in web design, packaging, illustration, animation, production and prepress, advertising, marketing communications
The Professional Baking and Pastry Arts program began its first formal co-op component for certificate students in the summer 2021 semester. Having a recognized co-op component as part of this program allowed students to not only apply their training in the field full-time but facilitate the accumulation of hours towards their apprenticeship and Red Seal designation. Students in this program worked alongside professional pastry chefs in a range of
design, corporate identity, editorial design and print shops. These internships take place in a virtual, in-person or hybrid setting. All three workplace settings allowed students to enhance and expand their knowledge of the field, develop additional marketable skills and add to their design portfolio.
As a graphic design student, the internship course helped me tremendously with developing and improving my portfolio, résumé and networking skills. I was put in uncomfortable situations and interviews where I had to talk about myself, but that turned into confidence and a new belief in my abilities. This course also gave me my first look into the design industry that later evolved into a summer internship. The skills and knowledge that I gained through my internship are things that I will carry and hold onto as I proceed into my own career as a professional graphic designer. After completing my internship all my worries about starting my career have faded and I now feel ready and well equipped to start my work career.”
local artisan bakeries, patisserie shops, high-end resorts, commercial bakeries and specialty catering companies. The addition of the summer co-op program was very well received by both students and employers, and its first year was a huge success. All students were hired upon completion of their co-op and are now happily baking delicious creations and continuing their professional journey in the field.
During my time at Sparkling Hill Resort, I learned so much about the industry. I started my co-op terrified, with very little confidence and not knowing what to expect. After completing my co-op and being hired full-time, I have created my own plating for desserts on the menu, and I’m currently helping with ordering, scheduling and inventory. I’ve found that school can teach you a great deal, but enhanced knowledge is going to come from being hands-on in the industry… I have done nothing but grow into this career and feel an even deeper passion for the trade. I have made so many professional connections through this position from Vancouver Island all the way to Australia. Most of the people that work in the kitchen are international, and it is so cool to learn about them and where they’ve been. I’m so thankful for the co-op opportunity I was offered as it was instrumental in my professional development. I would not be where I am today if co-op was not a required component of the baking program” Mel Beaudry – Baking Apprentice
Grant Hooper – Bachelor of Design in Graphic Design Student
Culinary Arts The Culinary Arts program is internationally recognized and gives students the knowledge and hands-on skills which they bring to the culinary industry. The past year was a struggle for culinary employers as many restaurants were short staffed or had to shut their businesses down.
Despite these odds being stacked against them, these students managed to use the skills they learned in their co-op employment preparation class to secure their co-op positions, and then worked hard applying their culinary knowledge all summer. There were many restaurant chefs and managers who were so impressed that they’re asking for more students this year. Way to go, culinary students of 2020-2021!” Alex Bowman – CEL Faculty, Culinary Arts
Co-op Work Term Completed: Summer 2021 This summer I was hired at West Coast Fishing Club as a cook for my co-op. Before arrival, I had no idea what to expect heading to this small island off of Haida Gwaii, not knowing anyone else there, diving into the deep end. I was greeted by friendly faces and felt comfortable instantly. The first two weeks, our crew used each day to recipe test and get the kitchen set up for opening day. Myself and another cook were in charge of creating a sourdough bread program, so we spent a portion of each day figuring out how to make beautiful loaves of bread in an old convection oven with no proper bread-baking tools. The opening came fast, and our small team was shook. We had to start putting in 12- to 20-hour days to accomplish the high expectations of a fine dining menu for 50 clients daily: for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I started on breakfast shift for about three weeks, starting my shift at 4 AM and sometimes staying for a dinner service. I improved on cooking eggs to order and being organized to work a quick fire breakfast service. Everyone comes at once and there are no timed seatings (like dinner service). I then moved on afternoon shifts for the latter half of my time at the lodge, rotating through all the stations: garde manger/pastry, entremetier and saucier/meat roast. This was an amazing experience. I look back now and realize how extremely lucky and formative my time at the lodge was. I had three amazingly talented chefs who saw something in me and my coworkers, so they set up the kitchen like a culinary school bootcamp. They made sure we rotated through each station; we got support in whatever projects we wanted to try. They pushed us to grow. They shared techniques and recipes they had learnt from travelling and working abroad in Michelin star restaurants. Through them, I learnt the value of direct communication in the kitchen, not being afraid to ask a lot of questions, how a solid work ethic will take you far, that you don’t necessarily need to be the most talented one in the kitchen but if you are the hardest working and willing to learn and improve, it will be recognized. I also learnt the importance of working clean, organization and planning out your day. I was taught to run during prep so I can focus on service. I am really grateful for the opportunity and experience to work with such amazing, caring chefs. Through my time at the lodge, Chef David Leader got me an opportunity for a three-month internship at Noma in Copenhagen. This is really incredible, and unfortunately I have postponed my internship until this turbulence with COVID passes, but I look forward to the experience. Currently I am working at Published on Main, in Vancouver, which is also a high-caliber kitchen, and I am able to recognize a lot of the good habits I learnt this summer are very transferable here. I see myself pushing at my current job for a while longer as there is lots of room to grow and amazingly talented team of chefs there. I would love to work abroad after for a little while and eventually settle into my own place.” Amanada Fowles – Culinary Arts Certificate Student
Bachelor of Tourism Management and Tourism Diploma The Bachelor of Tourism Management and Tourism Diploma programs give students valuable information and career-preparation skills to prepare them for a variety of exciting career opportunities in the tourism industry. Madison Paquette (Madi) is a recent VIU Bachelor of Tourism Management
graduate who worked to launch the new Vancouver Island tourist attraction: The Malahat SkyWalk in Malahat, BC. During her work term, Madi served in a number of roles. She was responsible for creating content for the website, creating social media feeds, leading community events and co-creating the guest experience.
Working towards the opening of the Malahat SkyWalk was the perfect opportunity to use the knowledge I gained during my degree; from events planning, to accounting, experimental product design and sustainable tourism.” Madi Paquette – Bachelor of Tourism Management graduate
This entire co-op was about creative and critical thinking [and] about how to solve the next step we had to figure out. [Madi] was in a situation where there were no pre-set processes or ‘how to’ manuals, so everything from day-today mundane tasks to creating our social accounts from scratch was new and being developed.”
Carson Balmer partnered with a VIU tourism graduate and VIU business graduate to start a tourism business in Nanaimo called Westco Experiences Ltd. During his co-op, Carson was responsible for building and adapting a customer base for this fledgling tourism business. This constituted designing, organizing and running children’s outdoor summer camps, adult paddle yoga, business team-building parties, paddle tours and paddle board lessons. Carson was also responsible for launching an online booking system and creating content for the Westco social media pages. As the Lead Paddle Guide, Carson led a variety of paddling summer camps, tours and lessons with children, youth and adults, in an age appropriate, safe and responsible manner – all while sharing Nanaimo coastal history, and the importance of environmental sustainability.
This work experience has clarified my understanding of my values and their importance, by implementing my values in my everyday work, and expressing them to my customers and guests. My values include being passionate about the natural environment, and creating a positive memorable experience for my customers and guests.” Carson Balmer – VIU Tourism Diploma Graduate
Madison’s supervisor – Malahat SkyWalk
Indigenous Ecotourism Certificate Cassie Francis completed the Indigenous Ecotourism Certificate program in 2021. For her WIL experience, she served as a Cultural and Wildlife Guide for Homalco Wilderness and Cultural Tours in Campbell River, BC. Cassie applied her Coast Salish cultural heritage and tourism education to inform guests about Indigenous culture, history, traditions, myths and legends. She also shared traditional knowledge, conservation
and life cycles of coastal marine and wildlife. As First Mate aboard the tour boat ‘Klohoy,’ Cassie ensured the tour guests were safe while exploring the traditional coastal waters, lands, wildlife and communities. Cassie wrote while reflecting on her experience.
I would like to raise more awareness for sustainable Indigenous ecotourism and share my culture, history and our old traditional rules and protocols [to help] revive our culture slowly in our community and make culture something everyone can be as interested and passionate as I feel.” Cassie Francis – Indigenous Ecotourism Certificate graduate
Bachelor of Hospitality Management and Hospitality Management Diploma Bachelor of Hospitality Management program prepares students for every facet of the bustling world of tourism and hospitality with a flexible two-year diploma or four-year degree. In this experiential program, students have the opportunity to develop strong industry connections and gain technical and practical skills in areas of hospitality marketing, accounting, human resources, management and more. The Management of Hospitality program prepares graduates to work in diverse fields such as hotel
management, tourism programs, and sales and marketing. The program involves the learner in an internationalized curriculum as well as culturally-diverse professional and social environments. Students are engaged in activities that develop their skills to synthesize and solve problems in a global context. The program balances academic and applied skills by designing learning opportunities where learners apply theories in hospitality business environments with a co-operative education model.
During my first co-op term I had an ‘innovation idea’ assignment. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me think critically about how I could help the business. It is a great mindset to have and something I continue to do. ‘How can I do this better? How can I improve?’ I feel this mindset reaps its own rewards as discussing this with the general manager yielded reporting responsibilities, research tasks and expansion of my work role. I am in the fortunate position that I have available to me an exceptional network team for mentoring purposes. Leadership is one of the goals that the club is actively fostering among all staff. The skilled professional team is a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw and learn from. I am grateful for the opportunities afforded to me and hope they will continue” Melanie McNeilage – Bachelor of Hospitality Management Student
Going into the hospitality degree program I wondered why we had to take co-op class. I said to myself: ‘I know how to work and be professional, so I do not need this class.’ But I tried to be open to the teachings and did all my assignments and participated in in-class exercises. Although I did not get my dream job, I still was able to benefit from the co-op program. For someone who has social anxiety but loves hospitality it can be difficult but at the beginning of my co-op job we were asked to write our goals, challenges and solutions, and I attained one of my goals of increasing my selfconfidence. [My self-confidence] has really improved and I am able to cater to the needs of guests without feeling anxiety of how my accent sounds or if I am able to be of service to them. I would say to other students: ‘be open to the co-op program and you will not regret it.’ I hope you enjoy this program as much as I do.”
Recreation and Sport Management Diploma Victoria Koutstaal (Tori) has followed her passion for aquatics and water safety all through her studies at VIU. This past summer, Tori expanded her learning from the poolside to the beachfront where she earned the required “Waterfront Certification” and safely served the patrons and beach goers at Westwood Lake Nanaimo, BC.
This job [gave] me the opportunity to engage with members of the community, especially at the lake because the lifeguards are in such close contact with the public. This also gave me valuable teamwork experience because I was in a new environment and had to learn how to work with other guards in a completely different environment.” Victoria Koutstaal (Tori) – Recreation and Sport Management Diploma Student
Oluwawemimo Ayodele (Wemmy) – Bachelor of Hospitality Management Student
Bachelor of Kinesiology/BA in Kinesiology
Creative Writing and Journalism (BA) Program
The Kinesiology program provides students with the knowledge and experience to pursue careers in education, fitness/ wellness management, movement science, outdoor leadership, rehabilitation sciences, coaching, athlete development and sports administration. As such, the internship options available to students in this program are varied and diverse. Students complete an internship in their third year of the program, allowing them to return
The Creative Writing and Journalism (BA) Program teaches students the skill of writing in various settings including publishing companies, magazines and newspapers and screenwriting. Students from this program complete their internships with different companies and organizations and because of the pandemic, many of these opportunities in 2021 were completed in a virtual environment.
to their studies in fourth year with some interesting field experience and knowledge. Their internship experiences often help to inform the research they carry out in their final year and cement the direction they want to take their career. Many students in this program pursue graduate studies upon completion of their degree, so their internship experience in the field helps add value and diversity to their application.
Creative Writing and Journalism Student Kristen Bounds applied her creative writing, Taking the KIN Internship course was one of the best decisions I could’ve made to launch into my professional career. Through the internship program I learned the key skills needed to take my first steps into the professional world, like learning how to write a professional resume and prepare for an interview. I was put out of my comfort zone but gained the skills and knowledge that allowed me to complete two successful internships. My internship experience was one that I really value, and I credit my professional confidence and maturity to the internship program. I am now entering the workforce as a well-equipped Kinesiology graduate with the experience and professionalism needed to peruse my career goals.”
journalism, research and editorial skills to work as an Editorial Intern with FOLKLIFE Magazine on Gabriola Island, BC. As an intern Kristen used various media sources to locate content for the publisher, interview sources and write publishable content for FOLKLIFE. Kristen demonstrated a strong ability to communicate and to listen effectively and was exceedingly positive to work with. Kristen took on other roles to help with the success of FOLKLIFE, such as starting a grant application, and helping to package and deliver magazines.
That internship really helped solidify and reinforce my experience and definitely helped me land the job I have now.” Kristen is working as a Social Media Specialist for Ecologyst, one of North America’s most innovative sustainable fashion brands. Kristen Bounds – Creative Writing and Journalism Student
Hayley Tait – Kinesiology Student
Program & Department Chair Highlights Work-integrated learning and internships are critical experiences that help to shape the career paths of Kinesiology students. Recent updates to the internship program in Kinesiology has allowed more students to participate through the introduction of KIN 373 - Planning for Work Integrated Learning in Kinesiology. This preparation class not only allows more students the opportunity to have work-integrated learning experiences (i.e., through internships), but also helps students to develop their professional portfolios and identify the key professional goals and attributes that will be essential as they enter the work force. Many of our students have aspirations to work in the variety of rehabilitation sciences including occupational, physical and massage therapy, and the internship program provides them with hands-on experiences in clinics, shadowing clinicians and developing skills that will help them in their future careers. As the chair of the program, I am proud of the experiences that our students have had and take pride in the wonderful representatives they are in the community.” Dr. Louis Matter – Department Chair
The internship program offers our Interior Design students in third year the opportunity to learn important on-the-job skills by obtaining a position in the design or construction industry. It gives them a taste of the real world, along with the excitement of often being part of a project team. It widens their view of the profession and deepens their ability to be creative and problem solve. This experience gives each student a more in-depth viewpoint into the issues that they will face in their fourth-year final projects. It will always be an invaluable part of our Interior Design Program.” Kenneth Chooi – Instructor and Program Chair
We’ve been extremely pleased with the rollout of our first co-op in the [Professional Baking and Pastry Arts] program. Employers have been incredibly receptive to hiring our students and the students had a wonderful experience. The co-op has been the final piece for making our certificate program a robust preparation for students transitioning into industry.”
For students in the Graphic Design program, the internship program managed through the Centre for Experiential Learning has been an invaluable addition to their core learning. From the preparatory course, all the way through the actual internship, students report back positively on the depth and breadth of their experiences. From the department’s perspective, the changes in students postinternship are apparent. Students return from their experience with new confidence and maturity, and more faith in their own abilities. We couldn’t be happier with the outcomes from the [CEL], and their partnership with our department has been exemplary.”
Rita Grower – Program Chair, Culinary Arts and Professional Baking and Pastry Arts
Patrick Foster – Program Faculty and Former Program Chair
Experiential learning, learning with a purpose, is foundational for the Hospitality Management program at VIU. Work-integrated learning is one of the cornerstones of the strategic vision of the department. The Bachelor of Hospitality Management (BHM) at VIU attracts applications to its program from around the globe. Many students that arrive, do so with the goal of leveraging their education to make real and substantive improvements to their lives. The three mandatory work-integrated learning opportunities in the BHM are a key learning and life-altering experience, which is valued; indeed, it is difficult to conceive a professional management degree program that would eschew embracing work-integrated learning, if available. History and observation tell us that the importance of work-integrated learning is not only at the student level, but also at a societal level. The integration of education into practice, learning with a purpose, is fundamental to any professional education. This is true of numerous professions, from medicine to law to hospitality; the context may change, but the value remains. One of those values is the early exposure to the realities of the student’s chosen profession, and an initial socialization in that profession. Students meet fellow students during their work terms, and realize they share similar goals. For many, strong bonds both to the profession, and to others, are created during these occurrences. Our societies are all the better for these work-integrated learning opportunities.” Peter Briscoe – Program Chair, Hospitality Management
Events and Student Spotlights
Hospitality Management Alumni Networking Event Graduates of the Hospitality Management program gladly stepped up to provide career support to first-year students at a networking event hosted in the fall. Alumni shared best practices; everything from marketing oneself using social media to creating strategies for connecting with organizations and opportunities. Feedback from first-year students was incredibly positive, and being able to speak to those that had been in their shoes previously provided the students with optimism and tangible support. Some VIU graduates in management positions even offered co-op work term placements to the students.
Labour Market Employer Panel Events The Labour Market Employer Panels are a series of events to encourage students to take an optional co-op and internship available within their programs. The targeted programs for these events are Computer Science, Geography, Engineering and Information Technology and Applied Sciences (ITAS). The pandemic changed the way this series normally runs, as it was based on the Labour Market Roundtable Events –
an event where employers and students networked in a roundtable setting, creating one-on-one connections. Last year to fit within the pandemic restrictions, the event changed to a panel setting where local employers showcased their businesses and organizations to students. At the end of each event, students had the opportunity to speak with the prospective employers directly, which helped maintain the important personal and professional connections.
Computer Science Co-op Student Shared Her Knowledge on Cyber Security in VIU Blog Computer Science student Nina Gill was featured in the VIU Blog where she discussed her co-op experience in the VIU Information Technology department. She still works in the department as a Student Technical Support Assistant and applies her computer science knowledge and her passion for cyber security to the work that she does. The VIU Blog article’s author Jenn McGarrigle shares this quote from Nina: I was having a one-on-one meeting with my manager one day and she asked me where I saw myself in five years,” she remembers. “I told her that I have an interest in cyber security. That informational interview started the conversation.” The full article is titled Investigating a passion for cyber security.
Ongoing and Future Initiatives
Vancouver Island WorkIntegrated Learning Project (VIWIL) Vancouver Island Work-Integrated Learning (VIWIL) is a collaborative partnership between North Island College (NIC) and Vancouver Island University (VIU) created in the spirit of enhancing opportunities for WIL and connecting employers with students on Vancouver Island north of the Malahat.
co-op opportunities posted for VIU as result of VIWIL
Launched 4 social media platforms (twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook) – all garnered a range of engagement and sharing of information through partnerships including regional chambers
Secured an additional 170+ new employer connections that are from a small organization and not for profit Developed toolkits, resource hubs and online resources – including onboarding manuals, training on how to work with international students and how to hire for success, and a blog series 34
employer postings collected between official launch in September 2020 and May 2021 Provided a model for other institutions in partnerships and developing regional hubs
Provided awareness and employer engagement through connections and events such as Beyond 2020, Connect Fair (bringing in 500 employers), webinar series and coffee chats 35
Career Services and Transition to Work
In summer 2021, the CEL applied for funding through the Ministry of Advanced Education Skills and received $175,000. The funding allowed us to secure two additional resources that will focus on getting more employers to hire students and help students become more successful in their work experiences. Having resources dedicated to building our career services is crucial to our next steps as a department and provides more services to students and employer partners. With these new positions, we will be working on launching the Career Studio for fall 2022 in building 255 and welcoming a return of career service offerings. Stay tuned for exciting updates as we move towards September.
Career Studio is a future career services hub that will provide students with resumewriting, interviewing and job-searching resources. Many aspects of this hub will be student-run to give students peer support. The studio will also raise awareness of the CEL and the work that we do to support students with their WIL opportunities.
VIULearn Self-Paced Resume and Cover Letter Course CEL facilitates an online, self-paced Resume and Cover Letter Workshop through VIULearn for students to enhance their resume and cover letter writing skills. Since January 2021 we have enrolled 260 students. Students can email CEL@viu.ca to register, and faculty can request sections of their students to be enrolled by contacting us.
CareerVIU: CEL’s Work-Integrated Learning and Student Employment Portal The CEL’s online WIL and student employment platform CareerVIU allows the VIU and external community to post job opportunities to students and alumni at no charge. All VIU students and alumni can access the system by logging in with their SRS login credentials. The portal features multiple job boards including a general job posting board, an on-campus job posting board for work-op and nonwork-op program opportunities and two WIL opportunity boards. CareerVIU has over 3,400 active external employers using the system and posting an average of 1,400 job opportunities each year. CareerVIU also receives thousands of additional job and WIL opportunity postings through the Magnet Outcome Campus Connect (OCC) job portal feed, submitted by employers from across Canada. Magnet administers the National Student Work Placement Program (SWPP), providing employers with wage subsidies to hire post-secondary students for paid work experiences within the students’ fields of study. SWPP funds many of the OCC opportunities in CareerVIU.
The CEL and MBA co-op and internship programs use CareerVIU and WIL tracking system. Since its implementation in 2010, the system has recorded 2,566 co-op and 1,850 MBA internship placements. CareerVIU also offers events calendars, as well as an appointment booking system that can be integrated with external calendars. CareerVIU offers ever-expanding capabilities designed to promote experiential learning, support student success and help staff and faculty implement student experiential learning opportunities. The CEL is researching additional future platform features so that we can expand our experiential learning services to students, and staff/faculty. Staff and faculty can learn more about the features available through the CareerVIU system by contacting us at CEL@viu.ca. CareerVIU is an Orbis Communications system portal.
Special Thanks to Our Employer Partners 49th Parallel Grocery 7-Eleven A&W ACI Architects Advanced Health + Sports Clinic Alberni Brewing Company Axis Design Back to Back Chiropractic Bamboozle & The House of Leaves Banff Lodging Company (Tunnel Mountain Resort) BarBurrito Nanaimo Restaurant Bekins Moving & Storage Beyond Beauty Bar Beyond Seafood Ltd BGC Okanagan Blackball Oval Bocca Cafe Bodhi’s Bakery Browns Socialhouse Cactus Club Cafe Camp Narnia Canadian Armed Forces Canadian Red Cross Canadream RVs Capilano Suspension Bridge Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society Chatime Nanaimo Chemainus Visitor Centre Chico’s Fried Chicken N Pizza City of Nanaimo City of Yellowknife Coast Discovery Inn Coastal Cookery COCO Café Commissionaires BC Comox Valley Youth Music Compass Group Canada Costa del Sol Cowichan Valley Regional District Crust Bakery Cuckoo Trattoria Curry Culture Dairy Queen Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort Delta Hotels Whistler Village Suites Delta Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa Design One Stevens dhKarchitects Domcor Earls Kitchen + Bar Eddie Bauer Edgewood Treatment Centre ESC Automation Extreme Air Park
Fairmont Banff Springs Fairmont Château Whistler Fairmont Empress Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Flavours Of India FOLKLIFE Magazine Freshslice Gabriola Island Chamber of Commerce Genoa Bay Cafe Greenplan Haida Gwaii Trader Haida House in Tllaal Hearthstone Artisan Bakery Here2Help Herold Engineering Limited Homalco Wildlife & Cultural Tours Hong Kong House Restaurant Hud Studios Identity Graphic Services Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Island Catholic Schools Island Optimal Health + Performance Jenny Martin Design JTF Security Kananaskis Country Campgrounds Karly Parker Design Build Inc Kaslo Home Hardware Kermodei Tourism / Terrace Visitor Information Centre Kim’s Korean BBQ House KnptnFit Strength and Conditioning Level V Bakery LightForm Lighthouse Lighthouse Bistro & Pub Lion Rampant Long Beach Lodge Resort Longwood Brew Pub Ma Maison Malahat SkyWalk Marriott International McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Melange Restaurant Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Oyster Bay Municipality of North Cowichan Munro/Thompson Communications Inc Nanaimo Arts Council Nanaimo Golf Club Nanaimo Regional Hospital Nawalakw Healing Society Nemo Sushi Neon Nail Spa Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort NWT Brewing Company Oak Bay Beach Hotel
Orangetheory Fitness Origin at Longwood Pacific Shores Resort & Spa Parks Canada Parksville District Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Centre Penny’s Palapa Pho Boi Restaurant Pho Tin Tin Pivot & Pilot Creative Playful Pups Doggy Daycare Poets Cove Resort & Spa Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge Port Alberni Port Authority Powell River Outdoor Learning Centre PR Social House Praxis Technical Group Quails’ Gate Estate Winery Quality Recreation Ltd. Quiznos Rack Attack Regional District of Nanaimo Retirement Concepts Rockwater Secret Cove Resort Roll & Chicken Saputo Sasquatch Trading Scan Designs Ltd Sea Love Farm Seasider Bistro SemiosBIO Tech Sephora Seriously Creative Shade Sails Canada Shearwater Marine Silver Springs Golf and Country Club Skip The Dishes Smitty’s Socially Montréal Inc. Sonora Resort Spaciz Design Company Sparkling Hill Resort + Spa Spinal Injury Cord BC Starbucks Staybridge Suites West Edmonton Stratocom Solutions Studio AE Interior Design subTerrain Magazine/ Anvil Press Subway Sushi Ryu Japanese Restaurant Synthesis Design Inc. The Bayside Resort The Breakfast Nook The Brick The Buck and Ear Grill The Dime The Grand Hotel
The Happy Nest The Home Depot The Lakehouse at Shawnigan The Lighthouse Bistro The Masthead The Parkside Hotel & Spa Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort & Conference Centre Tim Hortons Top Drawer Graphics Inc. Tourism Nanaimo Information Centre Tourism Radium Town of Ladysmith Triple O’s Tseshaht First Nations UC Baby Victoria U’mista Cultural Centre Univerus Software Canada Inc Unsworth vineyards Urban Life Solutions (ULS) Valley Physiotherapy Vancouver Churchill College Vancouver Island Health Authority Vancouver Island University VIUSU Volleyball BC Walmart Wendy’s West Coast Brand Management West Coast Fishing Club Westco Experiences LTD Whistler Cooks White Spot Wildplay Element Parks Woodgrove Optometry Woodgrove Pines Wellness Clinic
900 Fifth St., Nanaimo, BC, Canada | Building 255, Room 204 For General Inquiries: phone: 250-740-6639 | email: CEL@viu.ca services.viu.ca/centre-experiential-learning