As the first round of summer internships comes to a close, students are encouraged to apply for job opportunities in February and March. According to Kaelan Ruddick, the career services coordinator, there are currently 23 internships available for Mt. A students.
The prospective job opportunities are available for students in all disciplines and the only criteria are to be in good academic standing and to be returning to Mt. A in the fall, Ruddick explains. In an effort to represent underserved students, Ruddick says that some internships are associated with “the Meighen Center and first-generation programming.”
The internship program works in collaboration with Sackville-based community partners such as Livebait Theatre, Festival by the Marsh, Ducks Unlimited, and CHMA. Internships are also provided by Crossroads for Women, which is located in the Moncton area.
Summer internship opportunities are important because “a lot of students cannot do an unpaid summer experience,” says Ruddick. She continues by saying that these opportunities allow students to “explore their interests and connect what they’ve been learning in the classroom to their work.”
Students are assisted in setting goals at the beginning of the summer, which highlights “the support and mentorship students are getting out of these programs,” as Ruddick explains.
Most of the internships that are provided are associated with small, community-based organizations. Thus, students are able to develop skills surrounding “leadership roles, self-direction, communication, and problem-solving,” says Ruddick.
Despite the many benefits that are associated with the summer internships, some students have addressed concerns.
Brooke Fredricks, a third-year commerce student, says that “Mt. A should provide more summer employment opportunities.” Fredricks recommends that clearer communication should be present between applicants and employers. “It’d be nice if the university sent an automatic scripted email to applicants that didn’t receive the position, so they can move on and apply for a different job,” Fredricks added.
Vincente Ramirez, a third-year psychology student, says that more opportunities should be provided for international students. Aura Groomes agrees, stating that “international students aren’t eligible for most internships.”
In response, Ruddick says that they have been “working to increase access to internships for international students in the past two years” because they have “unique barriers to employment.” She explains that the university has been working in collaboration with ‘FutureNB International Program’ to create internships for international students.
In addition, some students claim that Sackville has limited employment opportunities. Caitlin O’Rourke, a fourth-year psychology and sociology student, claims that she has had little to no luck with finding employment in Sackville. O’Rourke, who resorted to working in Moncton during this school year, is currently worried about finding work for the summer in Sackville.
In terms of summer internships, O’Rourke says that she has found “little to no psychology or sociology internship opportunities that weren’t research-based.”
Ruddick, however, says that “very few […] internships are actually research positions” and that one out of the 20 internships that are currently posted are research-focused.
An anonymous source spoke to accessibility issues such as transportation related to having to seek work outside of the Sackville community. The student would also like to “see more job opportunities at Mt. A and in Sackville.”
Students can access programs related to career opportunities from January 30 to February 3 in light of career week.
“At least one event is happening every day of the week,” Ruddick says. The week’s focus is centered around “how to interview and network with confidence,” she continues.
Some of the programs that are being held throughout the week are resume and cover letter workshops, a career fair, and interview workshops. Additional workshops include a career advising session hosted by Britney Smith Gallant on Tuesday. Gallant specializes in career advising that is specifically tailored towards young women.
Ruddick strongly encourages students to attend the career fair happening from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Gracie’s Café on Thursday, February 2. Ruddick explains that 19 organizations will be attending, and six of them are looking to hire students.
The goal of the upcoming career week is to “help students feel more prepared for post-grad opportunities,” says Ruddick. Ruddick explains that work opportunities tend to be “the source of lots of anxiety for students.”
Ruddick encourages students who are interested in experiencing a ‘Sackville summer’ to apply for summer internship opportunities, since “Sackville can be a very hard place to find work.” More information regarding summer internships and career week can be located on Mt. A’s experiential learning website and social media pages (@mta_experientiallearning).