Talented. Hardworking. Passionate. These are just a few words being used by employers to describe Memorial students and graduates. On Thursday, March 22, Memorial’s Division of Co-operative Education and Department of Career Development and Experiential Learning teamed up to raise a Toast to Hire Learning to celebrate the support of employers and success of students and graduates.
Term 5 engineering student Bradley Decker is one of the students being recognized for his exceptional work during co-op placements. He credits the co-operative education program with preparing him for his future career. “The co-op program has offered me the chance to further expand my knowledge of engineering by allowing me to apply what I have learned in the classroom to real world situations,” he explained. “This real world practicality allows me to be more adept and better prepared to handle the challenges I'll face in the future."
Every year, over 1,500 students are placed with organizations worldwide through co-operative education programs. Students complement their academic knowledge with practical experience, enabling them to become highly qualified professionals in their field. Employers benefit from the fresh perspective and keen work ethic of students.
Consilient, a leading developer of push e-mail, multimedia and advertising software for mobile phones, has been participating in the co-op program for five years. "Memorial’s graduates and work term students are some of our top performers and enable us to set a high standard for product innovation at Consilient,” said Trevor Adey, Consilient CEO. “Their desire to excel and learn about the commercialization of intellectual property are some of the skills we see coming to the forefront at Consilient,” Mr. Adey added.
Dr. Michael Collins, associate vice-president (academic) of Memorial, believes that co-operative education creates opportunities for students. “Today Memorial’s co-operative education programs are highly regarded by both students and employers throughout the country as well as abroad, he said. “The evidence shows that students who have been involved in co-operative education are more employable than those who haven’t had such experiences, and often start with higher salaries, since they have the experience that has allowed them to apply their theoretical learning to the real job situation. Memorial is committed to co-operative education for the benefits such an education provides our students and we are actively seeking to expand the program to other parts of the university.”
In addition to the co-operative education programming, the Department of Career Development and Experiential Learning is available to help all Memorial graduates with their job search. Jennifer Browne, director, wanted to recognize employers who have used their services to reach new grads. “We wanted to show our appreciation to employers, and we decided to work with co-operative education, as so many of our employers also hire co-op students,” explained Ms. Browne. “Employers have been very supportive of Memorial graduates and we wanted to recognize that.”
A Toast to Hire Learning hosted a reception followed by a presentation and awards ceremony. Students, Bradley Decker, Faculty of Engineering, Shane Pomroy, Faculty of Business Administration, Erica Pritchett, Department of Human Kinetics and Recreation, and Adam Lundrigan, Department of Computer Sciences, were recognized for their exceptional work term performances. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador was recognized for its continued support of co-operative education at Memorial, and Consilient will be recognized with the Employer Initiative Award.