Co-op Employers of the Year for 2019

Engineering, Education

- Joy Poliquin

Each year, UVic co-operative education (co-op) students complete more than 4,250 co-op work terms in Victoria, across Canada and around the world. The dynamic, hands-on learning that students gain through these experiences is often transformative thanks to the mentorship and opportunity provided by our 1,350 partner employers.

Many employers go above and beyond to support students’ professional experiences—each year, we recognize employers who have provided extraordinary learning opportunities to UVic co-op students. The 2019 recipients for UVic Co-op Employers of the Year are:

  • More than 50 employees: RebalanceMD
  • New company (hiring co-op students for five years and under): Benevity

2019 Employer of the Year—more than 50 employees

At RebalanceMD, dynamic immersive learning is a key ingredient for success. The patient-centric, musculoskeletal care centre brings together physicians, kinesiologists, physical therapists, pedorthists and orthopaedic surgeons under one roof to simplify and enrich the patient experience. For co-op students, this means connecting with a diverse group of health professionals and gaining a multidisciplinary understanding of patient care.

RebalanceMD is a rare employer—clinical placements in recreation and kinesiology positions are often unpaid, but the company is committed to nurturing the next generation of health professionals and has hired 21 co-op students into paid positions for the past 7 years. It has also welcomed students from diverse academic backgrounds, ranging from kinesiology and recreation and health education to visual arts, commerce and English. Each year, Rebalance MD also hosts over 60 medical students and residents for their orthopaedic and family practice placements through UVic and UBC.

Students regularly provide glowing feedback about their time at RebalanceMD and the opportunity to work directly with clients and diverse practitioners. This holistic approach, combined with mentorship and career development support, gives students the chance to think critically and deepen their knowledge of musculoskeletal issues and rehabilitation techniques.

RebalanceMD has established itself as an employer of choice for UVic co-op students as well as alumni, many of whom return to the company for their first professional career position after graduation.

2019 Employer of the Year—new company (hiring co-op students for five years and less)

As the global leader in corporate social responsibility and employee engagement software, Benevity is an employer to watch. The Canadian company develops programs and technology that help businesses incorporate online giving and community investment initiatives into their operations. Last year alone, this led to their clients processing nearly $3 billion in online charitable donations and more than 17 million hours of volunteer time facilitated through 200,000 charities worldwide.

This passion for giving back extends into Benevity’s own workplace culture—a focus that makes the company a sought-after co-op employer for UVic students. Since hiring its first UVic co-op student in 2017, Benevity has welcomed 10 software engineering and computer science students onto the team, and counting.

Students are trusted to manage projects that matter, contributing their skills to software development and design while benefiting from extraordinary mentorship support. Benevity believes in the power of positivity and assigns each co-op student a “Benevi-buddy” from a different department as a way to enrich students’ understanding of the company structure. Students also connect regularly with senior-level staff who provide guidance about career development within the industry, and are encouraged to access online courses to supplement their learning.

Benevity’s approach to mentorship is a recipe for success—students regularly return for a second work term or find full-time career opportunities with the company.

Beyond hiring co-op students, Benevity also regularly participates in the UVic Hi-Tech Fair, hosts regular on-campus information sessions for students, and participates in mock interview clinics for engineering students who are preparing to apply for their first co-op positions.

Find out more

Co-op Students of the Year for 2019

About the Co-op Employer of the Year award.


In this story

Keywords: co-op, employment

People: Harrison Kettyls, Ronak Sheiki

Publication: The Ring

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