RBC donates to Mt. A experiential learning

$440,400 gift gives Mt. A students hands-on work opportunities to develop employable skills

RBC representatives came to Mount Allison to present their donation. The money will help students prepare for the 21st century workforce. Aude Gazzano/Argosy

Last Thursday, Mount Allison University administration announced the $440,000 donation that the Royal Bank of Canada made in order to fund opportunities for students to get involved with experiential learning. Royal Bank of Canada representatives came to Mt. A to host the RBC Future Launch event.

“[This event is] to celebrate RBC and the funding that they’re giving to Mount Allison,” said Shannon Robinson, a post-graduate intern who works with Mt. A’s office of experiential learning and career development. “It’s to fund the internships and experiences that are made possible on campus.”

Experiential learning (also known as applied learning or hands-on learning) is a core part of Mt. A’s learning experience. Students get the opportunity to participate in real-life experiences and activities in their fields of interest, such as field trips, entrepreneurships, conferences, research and fieldwork.

“Mount Allison is a place for big ideas,” said Mt. A President Jean-Paul Boudreau. “We want to change the world and make it a better place. We want to help advance our students for the 21st century.”

Returning students can apply for summer internships through the experiential learning program. They can either intern with an organization or create their own experiential learning project. Mt. A has partnered with a variety of organizations to give their students the chance to gain important skills for work upon graduating. Some organizations include the Atlantic Wildlife Institute, Bagtown Brewery, the Canada Revenue Agency and Invicta Health. To look for more organizations check out mta.ca/careers.

The experiential learning program also offers summer research grants from May to August for any student in their final year of study who plans to graduate that year. This gives students the opportunity to conduct their own research study or creative project.

The Elevate program, something new that the experiential learning office is introducing this year, gives students the chance to work on career development by participating in off-campus job shadowing or service learning.

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“It gives the chance to do one-on-one resume-building workshops, and there’s also a conference on Nov. 1 and 2, [which] will [have] breakout sessions, guest speakers and talks about skills you need to have to go into the workplace,” said Robinson. “It’s designed to be as compact as possible and deliver to students everything that our office has.” The program consists of 10 hour per term.

Briann Scovil, a fourth-year Mt. A student and RBC student ambassador, discussed opportunities that RBC is offering to Mt. A students who may be interested in working with the bank.

“We are hiring any student. Whether you come from a science, arts or commerce background, you can submit your resume,” said Scovil. “RBC is hiring for all departments, so if you’re interested in global markets, investing or more of the commercial banking side, RBC is hiring students, especially those in second or third year.”

As a part of Career Week, RBC employees, including Scovil, will be available for a casual meet-and-greet on Thursday, Oct. 3 in Tweedie Hall. Students will be able to network, get resume feedback and learn about job opportunities at RBC.

Kirk Muise, RBC vice president of commercial financial services for eastern New Brunswick was also in attendance. “I’m really impressed with the unique program that [Mt. A] offers,” he said. “Today we are at a time of unprecedented economic, social and technological change. The future and prosperity depends on our young people and their ability to lead us forward.”

Muise also discussed how unprepared students can feel going into the workforce once they graduate. “[Students] can’t do it alone. They need to have partners,” he said. “Through our RBC Future Launch we’re helping today’s young people prepare for jobs. We’re working with organizations to provide you with 21st-century skills, mentors, networks and practical work experience.”

Emma Conrad
Emma Conrad is a writer for the Argosy.