From Paris to Shanghai, from San Diego to Manitoba, Ottawa and Montréal are just a few of the many locations where Macdonald Campus students have interned over the past few summers. Whether it was cleaning up an oil spill that contaminated a lake and the surrounding soils, working as a research assistant whose position focused on the effects of additional terrestrial carbon in freshwater ecosystems, or heading to Ghana for a 4-month internship working on a project called Linking Farmers to Markets, which aimed at fostering better relationships between the actors of the grains value chain in Northern Ghana – Macdonald interns have done it all!
The Bieler Family Internship Office is focused on assisting our students in finding the best internship placements around the world that will help forward them in their academics as well as their real-world experiences. Our students are like no other – driven, focused and determined – they seek out internships that will challenge and inspire them. They want to take all of their academic knowledge and years of education and put words into motion, in a practical, hands-on work experience. More than anything else, students look to internships to help them establish a professional path for themselves.
The essence of an internship is to bridge the gap between education and career and see how the two relate – from the classroom to the real working world – where theory becomes practice. It’s a chance for the industry to see what types of students are coming out of the university system; at the same time, giving students a chance to get some experience and insight into what the professional job world is looking for in an employee. For students and employers, the advantages in participating are numerous and serve to benefit both parties.
How can having interns benefit my company?
- Internships are a direct pipeline to the cream of the crop among college-educated, entry-level employees
- Interns can fill positions and assist employees by bringing enthusiasm to companies in the form of new developments in the industry, new ways of thinking about things, fresh ideas, and different approaches to tackling difficult challenges
- Interns allow companies to receive exposure via the university and thus may help future recruitment, as well as grounding the company within the community
- Québec employers may claim a tax credit for on-the-job training of a student intern
- Students are highly capable of contributing all kinds of business value
The program requires that each student be placed in their internship for a minimum of 10 weeks or more, working 35 hours a week.
Prior to each student intern starting their placement, an email will be sent to the intern’s supervisor at the company/industry outlining the internship program, supplying information about the evaluations and important dates.
Employers that host Macdonald interns are also asked to complete a mid-term and final evaluation of the student. The mid-term evaluation will take place halfway through the student placement. Additionally, should schedules and distance allow, the Internship Officer will try to visit each student in their internship placement and review the mid-term evaluation with them and their employer. At the end of the internship, a final evaluation will be sent to the employer for completion.
Both the mid-term and final evaluations are tools used by the Internship Office to help assess the progress of the student intern. In order to ensure the internship is a good fit for both parties, the evaluations are necessary.
Tax Credit Information for Québec Employers
For Québec based companies that meet the eligibility requirements, you are entitled to receive a certain percentage of what is paid to your intern, and it will come back to you from the Federal Government in your Income taxes. Please consult the Revenu Québec web site for paperwork and additional information.
The Internship Office will forward the two necessary documents to your company following completion of the student’s internship.
What have past interns said about their experiences?
Brenda Moore, interned at UBC
“My summer experience at UBC has given me many new ideas about future career possibilities. It has taught me the patience and precision of lab work, which are skills that I can use in my future coursework. It has introduced me to the stamina and unpredictability of fieldwork, which I hope to employ in future fieldwork as an engineer. Most of all, it has revealed to me the mechanics of teamwork, in a setting other than the classroom. It felt like an introduction to the “real world” that students are always talking about after they graduate.”
Jeffrey Courchesne, interned at Dion Machineries
“This is a great job for me because not only is it related to my field of study but also the exact part of it in which I am the most interested in, the agricultural part. Working at Dion was a hands-on learning experience for me. This was actually my second summer working at Dion and they rewarded me by letting me build new machines that I did not get the chance to work on last summer, as well as having me be responsible for a certain tasks that I was not last year.”
Xavier Bélanger, interned at Agropur
“During my internship I really enjoyed when I had a characteristic that went well and I was given the green light to push it to the limit regardless of cost and the possible danger to the equipment. I really felt the trust my supervisor had in me and also the freedom of going all the way I wanted to go.”
Alexandra Sumner, interned at the University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center, UNDERC
“I was able to spend my second summer in a row at a research station (UNDERC), situated on the Wisconsin-Michigan border. Working again in the same position re-affirmed my interest in going to graduate school after graduation. An incredibly valuable aspect of this job was the guidance I received, both from fellow students and from researches. I was told what type of graduate program was good for my personality, which professors and schools are well-known, and what the opportunities are in the field of aquatic ecology after school is over. Possibly even more beneficial are the contacts I made while working at the research station. I have met professors from a multitude of wonderful American universities, with whom I hope to have future research opportunities.”
Interested in getting involved?
- Please feel free to contact the Internship Officer, Kendra Gray by phone (514) 398-7924 or by Kendra.Gray [at] mcgill.ca (email)
- If you have an internship job posting that you would like circulated to students on the Macdonald Campus, please fill out the Employer Job Form, available in both French (poste_de_stagiaire.doc) and English (employer_job_form.doc)