Selkirk College co-op students are fresh out of the classroom, immediately productive and bring an enthusiasm and cutting-edge industry know-how to the workplace.
Lisa Janssen is the Community Services Manager for the City of Fernie that regularly hires Advanced Geographic Information Systems (ADGIS) co-op students. She finds students highly motivated in applying the innovative skills learned in the Selkirk College program.
“The technology sector is ever changing,” she says. “The exposure to current and emerging GIS technologies that the Selkirk ADGIS program offers students results in them bringing new experiences and fresh ideas that can be applied to our business practices.”
Lisa Janssen, Community Services Manager for the City of Fernie with Selkirk College co-op student Rosemary Dykhuizen.
Beyond this, mentoring new emerging professionals brings with it deep personal benefits as well says Janssen.
“Working with people at the beginning of a new career journey is something I find very rewarding. An important tenant of our program is providing students meaningful work to enhance their skillsets and broaden their context and experience,” she says. “The GIS sector is a close-knit group, and the local government GIS sector is even smaller. I have had the opportunity to keep in touch with many of my students over the years and they are all thriving in their GIS careers, many of which have chosen to stay in the municipal sector following their experience here in Fernie.”
Selkirk Producing Employable Graduates
Barb Stewart is the manager for Boundary Invasive Species Society in Rock Creek that hires Recreation Fish & Wildlife Program students from Selkirk College annually. She is thrilled students arrive equipped with the required set of technical skills to handle the tasks of the job.
“The program gives them not only theory but also field experience,” Stewart says. “Selkirk has a great program producing employable graduates."
Selkirk College has seven programs that provide a Co-op option to students:
- Geographic Information Systems
- Engineering (Applied Science)
- Integrated Environmental Planning Technology
- Forestry Technology
- Recreational Fish and Wildlife
- Business Administration – Accounting/Finance
- Business Administration – Professional Management
Of course, co-op education is invaluable to the success of the student, a future graduate and member of the workforce. It formally integrates students’ academic studies with relevant hands-on experience promoting confidence and industry connection.
Employers like Bernie Penner appreciate the eagerness of co-op students coming from Selkirk College as they jump in ready to continue their learning.
Bernie Penner is a Senior Civil Engineer at Pennco Engineering Ltd in Nelson. The firm offers co-op students from Selkirk College an opportunity to learn, grow, and advance their career as the multi-disciplinary team of engineers share their passion to succeed, he says.
Pennco mentors Engineering Program students on how to produce actual working drawings that are used for tender purposes, sometimes directly for construction.
“In all cases, each student is eager to gain experience in applying engineering principles to real-world problems,” says Penner.
Co-op Education & Employment Services Team Supportive in Process
The Co-op Education & Employment Services team contributes to the success of the placement through personal and professional service. CEES staff promote your job to their students, facilitate interviews and stay connected throughout the placement.
In many cases, there is also funding available for companies to hire co-op students.
For more information on how to bring a co-op student into your work environment, contact Jessica Adrain by email or phone at 250.365.1258.