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U of G’s flexible internship program

U of G’s flexible internship program

The internship is a win for both employers and students

By Eugenie Officer

The University of Guelph recently launched a new flexible internship program.

This course pairs third- and fourth-year undergraduate students with engaging companies and orginizations in the agri-food sector.

The flexible internship course offers a dynamic and engaging approach towards professional and personal development. To begin, students hear from several guest lecturers who focus on the unique opportunities within the ag sector. Students learn important interview skills, as well as how to best present themselves in the workplace.

Using these newly acquired skills, students apply to various employers which work in partnership with the university. Perspective employers conduct formal interviews with each selected student.

Students then complete a 40-hour internship. This opportunity provides them with necessary skillsets that could advance their careers even before graduation.

Some examples of internships have included students working at trade shows on behalf of companies, tending to greenhouse production or planning agricultural events.

Students can use their experiences to decide whether they enjoyed the area of work or if perhaps the job was not the best fit for them.   

Logan Emiry, a third-year student at the University of Guelph, is working with Farms.com for his flexible internship.

“The opportunity has helped me further my connections in agriculture and exposed me to new career opportunities I wouldn’t have tried otherwise,” he says.

Danica Matovic, the course coordinator, says the internship provides an excellent opportunity for both students and employers. “This placement allows employers to meet passionate students who they may want to hire in the future,” she says.

The program is drawing an increasing amount of interest from prospective employers.

The Farms.com group, which includes the job boards AgCareers.com and CareersInfood.com, recognizes that “the agricultural industry is faced with talent shortages,” says Graham Dyer, president and CEO of the company.

“We are also aware that the public at large has many misconceptions about the agricultural industry and those misperceptions place an even great challenge on recruiting. We thought this innovative program provided a unique way of helping us expose more talented young people to the industry.”

The flexible internship enables students to develop important career skills and allows them to add an impressive job experience to their resumes. This process will help students to find a job that they are passionate about after graduation.

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