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Work while you learn

Photo: Maddy Dams

Public Administration student Maddy Dams

Real-life learning through co-op and practicum

At UVic, learning extends beyond the classroom. Here you'll be challenged to learn in new and dynamic ways in the field. You can complement your academic studies with serious hands-on work experience through co-operative education (co-op) or a practicum or internship.

It's a great opportunity to sample areas within your field and explore your future career options.

Co-op in action

MPA student Maddy Dams (Public Administration) spent a co-op work term with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM), where she helped build a sustainable building as a project assistant.

"I wanted a position where I'd be working on green initiatives. I was intrigued by the UBCM because of their unique role working with local governments and the Province," says Dams, who is intensely proud of the work she completed. She hopes her efforts will help the building achieve a LEED Gold rating at the end of the project, a lofty goal. Every element of the building process, including all the materials used to construct the building, must be screened carefully.

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"I've always had a desire to make a contribution, which is why public service appeals to me," says Dams. She feels strongly about protecting the environment and promoting green initiatives. But these movements haven't always been so popular. "I'm excited to see green initiatives become an acceptable topic. It's not just some crazy hippie thing anymore," she said, with a laugh.

While on the job, Dams was responsible for a variety of tasks, including helping with the LEED submission, product sourcing, staff policies, documentation, and staff education and training.

Practica and internships

Open your world to opportunity with service-based learning. Some of our programs (nursing, social work, and child and youth care) include a mandatory practicum, which is a directed work experience in your field of study. There is also a required internship in the School of Nursing's nurse practitioner program.

Practicum and internship experience gives you the opportunity to put theory into practice. Local, national and international opportunities will enhance your professional experience and broaden your understanding of policy, practice, therapeutic work and community development.

Co-operative education programs

Through co-operative education (co-op), you can alternate terms in class with paid work terms in positions related to your field of study. You'll graduate with work experience, a great resume, contacts in your field, and some extra cash in your pocket.

Co-op is an educational model that allows you to learn by doing, both in the classroom and workplace. Whether it's testing a career path or earning a paycheque, co-op can be a beneficial part of your university experience.

Programs in the Schools of Public Administration and Health Information Science include an integrated co-op component. Visit the Co-op and Career Services site for more details.

Career services

Visit Co-op and Career Services for help finding casual work, like the perfect summer job, or part-time work and volunteer opportunities.

You can also get help from Career Services staff as you search for full-time work after graduation.

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