Employer profiles

Organizations from a variety of industries have worked with UVic geography co-op students.

For example:

  • Federal government departments and agencies such as Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Natural Resources Canada, the RCMP, Parks Canada, Department of National Defence, Transport Canada, Environment Canada, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
  • Provincial government ministries and agencies such as BC ministries of Environment; Community Development; Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources; and Health; and the Auditor General of BC
  • Local governments and regional districts such as District of Saanich, City of Langford, Capital Regional District, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Regional District of Mount Waddington
  • Non-profit organizations such as Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria, Recycling Council of Alberta, SeaChange Marine Conservation Society, Raincoast Education Society, Allan Brooks Nature Centre Society, Habitat Acquisition Trust
  • Private companies such as Terra Remote Sensing Inc., Dillon Consulting Ltd., Judith Cullington & Associates, Albian Sands Energy Inc., Adrena Line Zipline Adventure Tours, Emergeo Solutions Inc.

Supervisors enjoy working with UVic geography students because of the skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm they bring, as well as for the opportunity to mentor a future leader.

Strategically, co-op students can help with seasonal work fluctuations, special projects, or with long-term recruitment strategies.


District of Saanich

"The District of Saanich has been effectively hiring co-op students for many years. Saanich recognizes the importance of fostering a practical and meaningful workplace experience for our future workforce.

These students represent the cream of the crop with respect to their academic standing, drive and enthusiasm. They bring creativity and a fresh perspective to the workplace that in turn, encourages teamwork and mentoring from staff.

The GIS Section has employed students since 2007 to compile Saanich infrastructure into our enterprise GIS.

This is challenging for inexperienced students but feedback has shown that students appreciate the complexities presented to them and they achieve many valuable GIS and interpersonal skills in a short time frame.

The effort expended by the employer to supervise and mentor the student enables staff to take on leadership roles and foster the student's productivity, learning and career exploration.

The co-op experience has proven to be very beneficial for students and our organization and we intend to continue this rewarding and meaningful relationship."

Nicola Parfett
GIS Coordinator, District of Saanich

Pacific, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

"For us the co-op experience has been excellent. The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) has been hiring Co-op students for 15 years.

Why? Because of the benefits to our organization: we can evaluate potential future employees while they are in our working environment, the students can see if they like our work and our working environment before we commit to taking them on as full time employees and, not least, it has been an effective way to make progress on our projects.

In addition, it is also relatively simple for us to bridge into full time staff positions those students that have previously worked for us. Several of our present employees have previously worked for us as Co-op students – a measure of our success with the Co-op program.

Co-op students have worked on various projects related to hydrographic data or marine navigation charts, mostly with a GIS or database focus.

Tasks have ranged from data conversion (hard copy to digital or from one digital format to another); to data conditioning (bringing digital data to our present standards); to database loading; to updating meta-data records, to updating charts. Many have also had opportunities to spend time in the field on data acquisition activities.

The majority of the work these days is computer based in an office environment, generally as members of a small work unit undertaking tasks that are components of larger projects."

Bodo de Lange Boom
Canadian Hydrographic Service – Pacific, Fisheries and Oceans Canada