What does it mean to prepare students to enter the workforce? How are universities responding to changes in labour market? This discussion brings together experts across Concordia University who are creating, supporting, and studying experiential learning (EL) activities where students get to learn by doing. While the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated social and economic changes in the labour market, post-secondary institutions are providing even more opportunities for students to gain practical experience that will prepare them for life after graduation and to navigate a more digital landscape.
Sara Baptiste-Brown is the Manager of the Institute for Co-operative Education, overseeing the professional development and internship hiring process for approximately 4000 students across all faculties at Concordia. In addition to being the home of Concordia's flagship 3-internship Co-op program, the Institute has several offerings such as the mentorship-augmented internship program Women in Engineering – Career Launch Experience (WIE-CLE), Accelerated Career Experience (ACE) which offers a one-time intensive 12-16 month internship, Graduate Co-op for masters students, as well as the flexible four-month internship program for undergraduates, C.Edge.
Alice Isac is the Lead, Experiential Learning in the Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic Affairs at Concordia University. She creates new experiential learning (EL) opportunities for students and coordinates and supports the development and implementation of EL across the university. She recently designed and developed the Beat the Odds (BTO) Internship Program, a flexible work-integrated learning experience for students in equity-seeking groups.
Mai-Gee Hum is Director of Career Management Services and Corporate Partnerships at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business. She works closely with employers to fulfill their campus recruitment needs and leads career development programming to promote John Molson student/alumni talent in the job market. Mai-Gee is also responsible for building alliances in the business community to foster opportunities for partnerships and collaboration.
Arman Sadreddin is an Assistant Professor, Business Technology Management at the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University (Canada). His research interests focus on digital entrepreneurship, digital innovation, technology-enabled organizational capabilities, and entrepreneurial ecosystems. His academic background reflects his interest in combining theory with practice. Arman holds a Ph.D. and an MSc in Management Information Systems from Smith School of Business at Queen’s University in Canada, MASc in Quality Systems Engineering from Concordia University, and a BSc in Industrial Engineering from the Isfahan University of Technology, Iran.
When she’s not spending time with her family enjoying nature’s treasures or practicing yoga, Isabel Dunnigan, Associate Vice-president Lifelong learning, is totally engaged in making Concordia a leading destination for everyone wanting to adapt their skills and competencies to meet their objectives. With her teams, she is continuously observing the needs of both individuals and the workplace ecosystem, designing new programs and services, creating innovative opportunities for people to enjoy a lifelong journey of learnings. Isabel’s vision is to build a space at Concordia where everyone is welcome to meet, collaborate, learn, experiment, and create, regardless of their educational background and goals.
"What we know today is not the most important thing. What is critical is our ability to continuously learn, adapt and evolve. It is an attitude, a talent to put together our curiosity, strengths, experiences and network to meet the new challenges of our fascinating and changing world. Lifelong learning is the key. It is my passion."