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Putting engineering education to work: co-op & internship program growing

April 20, 2012 — 

Courtney Skene-HamiltonThe Co-operative Education and Internship Programs at the Faculty of Engineering provide both students and employers with an opportunity to work together in a meaningful partnership. Students have the ability to combine practical paid work experiences with their classroom-based education to further enhance their skill set and work experience. Employers have the ability to connect with motivated, pre-selected students with the added benefit of increasing the flexibility of their recruitment strategies.

“All engineering students at the University of Manitoba have the opportunity to participate in co-operative studies,” says Ms. Carolyn Geddert, P.Eng., Engineer-in-Residence and Director of Co-operative and Internship Programs at the Faculty of Engineering. “It allows them to understand more about being a professional, more about the obligations of an engineer, and more about how exciting their work-life can be.”

While Co-op has been available in all our departments for many years, the recent addition of a faculty-wide Director of Co-operative & Internship Programs demonstrates the Faculty of Engineering’s commitment to growing and enhancing this important program. Last year the Faculty placed 127 co-op students. This year we’ve had interest from over 200 students, and our goal is to double that number within a couple years.

“I did mine (co-op) at Bristol Aerospace, working on the satellites they’re designing,” says recent Mechanical (Aerospace) Engineering graduate, Courtney Skene-Hamilton. “I got experience in industry before actually graduating, and now I can’t imagine graduating without it.”

In addition to Biosystems Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering, Co-op is also available to students enrolled in the Internationally Educated Engineering Qualification program (IEEQ). In this program students gain valuable Canadian experience, while employers gain access to mature, experienced engineers eager to apply their skills in the Canadian context.

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