Student outlines importance of work–integrated learning


We believe in learning by doing and that’s why 98 per cent of our qualifying programs offer work integrated learning. While opportunities may vary by program, they all share a common goal of allowing you to take what you’ve learned in the classroom and apply it in a real-work setting. We wanted to get a student perspective on work integrated learning, so we reached out to Ali Khan who managed to score the only co-op position available in George Brown College’s marketing department!

  1. What program are you in?
  2. AK: I’m currently enrolled in the Digital Media Marketing Program. It’s a two-semester certificate program, with a four-month work-term in between the semesters.

  3. What is your current role and what are some of your responsibilities/what are you learning about?
    AK: I’m working as a marketing intern at George Brown. My role entails assisting with various projects that pertain to marketing efforts for the various programs and activities conducted at George Brown. I’m getting a lot of exposure to marketing mechanics and processes and there’s a lot of analytics and project management involved, which is very relevant to my program.

  4. How did you find this role? What was the process?
    AK: Students in my program were encouraged to apply for jobs on the GBCareers Open New Browser Window portal. Although this was not mandatory, I felt the jobs on the portal would be more directly relevant to my program’s objectives. I applied to many jobs, but I was really hoping that I would land this one. As a student at George Brown, I thought it would be amazing to work in the organization and get a holistic understanding of marketing in a Canadian work setting. I applied to the job through the portal and received an interview, following which I was offered the job.

  5. What do you personally think are the benefits of work experience while studying?
    AK: In general, I think that students who are able to apply what they learn to real-life scenarios, with real-life consequences, are able to understand and retain that knowledge far better. Also, apart from specific course material, it is important to remember that any job involves working and collaborating with other people. This opportunity has allowed me to exchange ideas and learn from my colleagues.

  6. Now that you've been doing your role for a while, what advice would you give to students who may be looking to do work experience as part of their program?
    Look for something that you would be interested in doing. I know this sounds like extremely generic advice that could apply to literally everything, but it’s true. It’s important to know what objectives you want to achieve for yourself and pick a course/job in line with those objectives. If you have worked a full-time office job before this, keep in mind that many co-ops/internships are, by definition, entry-level jobs, so you need to keep that in mind and be ready to do some grunt work.

  7. What is the most important thing you will be taking away from this work experience?
    AK: Having worked in another country for four years prior to this, my initial personal objective for this course and by extension this job, was to get exposure to the general environment of a Canadian work place. However, now after working here for almost two and a half months, I hope to make some meaningful connections with the people I worked with.