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

The Beat the Odds internship program aims to help students in equity-deserving groups deepen their engagement with their studies and renew their commitment to their academic program. Selected students will receive a paid internship in a relevant organization (either full-time or part-time). Participants will also have access to additional support like professional mentorship, workshops, and a peer network.

The program is aimed at students who are:

  1. Currently registered in an undergraduate degree or certificate program at Concordia University (independent students and students on leave are not eligible).
  2. From traditionally underrepresented groups who are more likely to encounter systemic barriers of unemployment, underemployment and low academic standing.

To participate, you must be a student from at least 1 (or more) of these groups:

  • 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

Additionally, you must meet at least 1 of these criteria:

  • At risk of leaving program / dropping out
  • In financial need
  • In low academic standing
  • Would benefit from increased self-confidence

About the Beat the Odds internship program

The program is open to undergraduate students from all four faculties. The internships are flexible (either part-time or full-time), can be fully funded by the Experiential Learning Office at Concordia University and they can vary in nature and across the total number of hours (anywhere from 50 to 500 hours).

While English is the primary language of the internships, the program also offers interns select placements in French-speaking or bilingual environments.

Internship Options

Internship models can vary from a short-term observational internship, to a skills acquisition internship to introduce you to the workplace, to a skills application internship, where you use your skills to carry out complex tasks.

Apply to the BTO Program!

Applications are now open for the Summer 2024 Academy! 

Internship term in Fall & Winter



The Experiential Learning (EL) Office designed this program to ensure inclusiveness and to ensure that underserved students have access to EL opportunities. Studies on the participation of students in university settings suggest that historically underserved students do not participate at rates equal to the majority population. These same studies indicate that students who begin university at lower achievement levels make the greatest gains in GPA and retention rates from experiential learning participation.

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

Interns are supervised by a professional who guides them through the observation, acquisition, or implementation of skills in a work setting.

In addition, an internship also includes specific learning objectives which are assessed by the person(s) designated by the university, in collaboration with the person providing supervision of the student during the internship.

BTO is an internship program for students in equity-seeking groups who would greatly benefit from a paid experience related to their program of study.

These students 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 opportunities made available to them.

Supporting the student internship experience from the initial application to the BTO program through completion of the internship requires more than offering a wide menu of student programs and services. 

The BTO coordinators are committed to working with each student individually to ensure they are aware of the relevant services at Concordia that will make the internship experience a great one. BTO coordinators will work with internship hosts on students’ behalf to secure workplace accommodations and adapt support strategies as required.

An internship is first and foremost a formative experience, which means that you are learning on the job. As an intern, you may need additional training to perform some tasks, and you will likely require more information, guidance and feedback than a regular employee would need.

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

Internships can start at 50 hours and go up to 500 hours, but the length will depend on three factors:

  1. Your needs.
  2. The needs of the partner employer and the time they can commit to supervising a student.
  3. The type of internship (observational, skills acquisition, and/or skills application).

Additional questions? Contact

Experiential learning
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