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Make a difference in a student's life by removing barriers to employment

An inclusive and flexible internship program that levels the playing field for students in need

Students in equity-deserving groups* can benefit the most from a paid professional experience in their field of study. Through BTO, they broaden their professional network, gain essential employability skills and access support and mentorship opportunities to better prepare them for life after graduation. 

By hiring a student, you’ll strengthen your organization’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion while providing guidance as the student builds their self-confidence and discovers their strengths.

*Students in equity-deserving groups are parents and caregivers, BIPOC and racialized students, members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, students with disabilities, students in financial need, international students, refugees and more. While this is not an exhaustive or comprehensive list, we invite you to share your ideas about how we can be more inclusive in the language we use in this area.

Why should you supervise a Beat the Odds student-intern?

As a supervisor, you’ll develop your unique leadership style by mentoring, training and supporting a student as they acquire transferable skills and explore their future career. You will also benefit from a diversity of voices, ideas, and fresh perspectives in accessing the next generation of talent.

This leadership opportunity is for you if you have some of the following skills and/or interests or would like to develop them further:

  • Interest in helping the next generation develop professionally.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a capacity for empathy.
  • Ability to communicate expectations clearly and to actively listen to junior staff.
  • Commitment to creating a supportive working environment that prioritizes learning and skills-development.
  • Interest in coaching and mentoring emerging professionals.
  • Commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in your workplace.
  • Ability to guide junior staff in setting priorities, managing their time and discovering their strengths.

You play a key role in the student's professional development. A great supervisor should do the following:

  • Integrate the student into your organization through a formal onboarding process that will introduce the organizational policies, mission, people and resources.
  • Act as a mentor.
  • Provide a safe environment where students can explore and experiment.
  • Guide the student as they set goals for their internship experience and encourage them to take steps to achieve them.
  • Provide timely feedback on the student’s work and performance to support their learning.
  • Schedule daily/weekly meetings to check-in with the student, explain tasks, provide feedback on their work and to give them space to ask questions.

About the program

Participants are undergraduate students from all four faculties at Concordia: the Faculty of Arts and Science, the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science, the Faculty of Fine Arts, and the John Molson School of Business. The internships are flexible, either part-time or full-time, from 50 to 500 hours total, and with funding opportunities available.

While English is the primary language of the internships, the program also welcomes internship opportunities in French-speaking or bilingual environments.

Internship Options

Internships can be designed to meet the needs of the intern and the employer. Internship models can vary from a short-term observational internship, to a skills acquisition internship to introduce students to the workplace, to a skills application internship, where the student uses their skills to carry out complex tasks.

Deadlines for employer applications and job descriptions

The BTO Internship program is a flexible internship program. We accept requests from host organizations throughout the year, however, our recruitment and internship start dates align closely with the academic year with four terms as shown below. This structure allows us to maintain a cohesive cohort of students. 

Recruitment periods and internship cohorts

Recruitment period Internship cohort term
Fall (September-October) Winter (January-April) 
Winter (January-February) Summer (May- August)
Summer (June-July) Fall (Sept – Dec)

During the recruitment period, a coordinator will confirm the deadline for internship requests and job description submissions; however, as a best practice, we recruit a season ahead of time. For example: for a summer placement, we recruit in the winter (January/February).


A student internship consists of training and practical learning, responding to an educational goal, which is supervised, and which allows the observation, acquisition, or application of skills in a work context.

In addition, an internship includes specific learning objectives which are assessed by the person(s) designated by the university, in collaboration with the student’s supervisor in the workplace.

The BTO internship program is for students in equity-deserving groups including:

  • International students, newcomers and refugees
  • Students with disabilities
  • Black students
  • Indigenous students
  • People of colour and students from racialized groups
  • Members of the LGBTQ2S+
  • Parents and caregivers
  • Students in financial need
  • Students in low academic standing

While this is not an exhaustive list, students from these groups are historically underserved, and they may be first-generation university students. This means that they may not have the same support systems at home or in their peer groups that other students may have. This carries forward into their career search and the learning opportunities made available to them.

Please note: we invite you to share your ideas about how we can be more inclusive in the language we use in this area.

An internship is first and foremost a formative experience for students, which means that they are learning on the job. They may need additional training to perform some tasks, and they often require more information, guidance and feedback than a regular employee would need.

For example: a student may need to do some online training on Excel to be able to manage a database of information.

When crafting your ideal job posting, be sure that the tasks are appropriate for an intern. As a best practice, you should avoid listing responsibilities that should be performed or coordinated by an experienced professional or a full-time employee. 

Internship lengths are variable and start with a 50-hour minimum commitment. The length will depend on three factors:

  1. The student’s schedule and needs.
  2. The time you can commit to supervising a student.
  3. The type of internship (observational, skills acquisition, and/or skills application).

The student’s needs 
BTO students may need more flexibility around their weekly working hours. Most students will be able to commit between 10 to 20 hours perweek up to 240hrs. You should design your potential project(s) and job descriptions for the internship with this in mind.

Supervising the student 
Think about how much time you need to plan and explain tasks, check-in and follow-up, give feedback on their work, loop in others staff members, etc.

New employees generally need more guidance to get started and they need feedback to know that they’re on the right track. Interns need even more attention. This is a formative experience, which means that they’re learning and that you play a critical role in this process.

The BTO Coordinators are the intermediary between the student and the host organization/on-site supervisor.

Once you have completed the application form and provided a job description, the BTO coordinators screen and match student-candidates to the position. If there is a match, you will receive a student’s CV to review and a request for an interview. 

While we would like to find a student for every position, we cannot guarantee this. Finding a match depends on multiple factors including the pool of student applicants, student availability and program capacity. So, it may take time to coordinate all the details before you can meet with the student, and we ask for your patience during this process.

Step 1: We ask that you complete the host application here

Step 2: A coordinator will invite you to a host discovery call to learn more about your needs and discuss next steps for the job description submission and upcoming deadlines. 

Step 3: You will need to create a formal job description for this role, like you would for any other position you would hope to fill at your organization. Use this guide to get started: Job Description Guide.

Additional questions? Reach out to us at

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