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International Co-op Students Challenges and Opportunities. Darlene O’Neill, Manager, Career, Co-op and CES Fanshawe College Lori Elliott, Associate Dean, Faculty of Business Sheridan College. Opportunities. Fresh perspectives for employer and the institution

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international co op students challenges and opportunities

International Co-op StudentsChallenges and Opportunities

Darlene O’Neill, Manager, Career, Co-op and CES Fanshawe College

Lori Elliott, Associate Dean, Faculty of Business

Sheridan College

opportunities
Opportunities

Fresh perspectives for employer and the institution

Very high levels of engagement and commitment to finding co-op opportunities

Fun to work with

challenge cultural competency
Challenge: Cultural Competency
  • Run specialized programming: bootcamps, extra prep course
  • Bring in speakers/coaches from their native culture
  • One on one coaching
  • Specialized workshops
  • Junior student buddy/mentors
challenge cultural competency1
Challenge: Cultural Competency
  • Partner with community immigrant services and have them do a session(s) with staff
  • Specialized PD for staff (cultural EQ)
  • Student mentors (same culture)
  • Providing a mentor from country of origin
  • Peer connections
  • Learning from Canadian peers
challenge cultural competency2
Challenge: Cultural Competency
  • Discussion of importance of educating employees
  • Canadian “politeness” versus being directional, straight forward with consequences
  • PD sessions on Canadian norms and Canadian values and expectations
  • Workplace culture and professionalism in workplace – in development
  • Employers on campus – weekend sessions, specific information sessions for each group
  • Mentor
challenge cultural competency3
Challenge: Cultural Competency
  • One on one - time consuming
  • International centre
  • Booklet - handbook on ‘how to’
  • Senior student/buddy – country of origin
  • Information session for ethnic groups with specific details
  • Mentors
challenge language
Challenge: Language

Pre-entry testing and interviewing

Use work study students/Peer Mentors to provide extensive 1:1 mock interviews

Use on line tools such as Interview Stream

challenge language1
Challenge: Language
  • Social mandatory discussion classes (minimum five classes, 90 minutes in English)
  • Writing centre (students helping international students)
  • Encourage volunteer to practice English
  • One on one guidance
  • Partnering with employer who hire specific international students
  • Video tape students and give feedback
challenge language2
Challenge: Language
  • UBC sets language requirements
  • PD sessions partnered with local students – practice
  • Intake interview process – take language course
  • Collaboration with Career Services (resumes and cover letters)
  • Use work study/mentors – mock interviews
challenge language3
Challenge: Language
  • Pre-entry testing and interviewing needs to be more stringent
  • Language centre to work with students to meet higher criteria
  • Minimum five sessions of ninety minutes by ESL as part of the requirement from co-op. Some students keep going for up to ten sessions (even 15+). Sessions are about talking in English with others – get them to practice
challenge no drivers license
Challenge: No drivers license
  • Tough one
  • Encourage car pooling
  • Encourage local on bus route job searches
  • Positions with staff bussing available
  • Scooter and bicycle
  • International license pre coming to Canada (in English
challenge no drivers license1
Challenge: No drivers license
  • Recruiters
    • Reality of program and job requirements
    • Standard information so students know what to expect
  • Meeting with co-op team to engage and make sure all students are aware of requirements and expectations
  • Campus hiring shuttle drivers
  • Ask employers participation to offer rides and such
challenge lack of work experience canadian or other
Challenge: Lack of work experience (Canadian or other)
  • Encourage on-campus involvement such as volunteer or co-curricular experiences
  • Encourage campus partners to hire for work experiences
  • Volunteer
  • Social
  • Competitions
  • Non-related
  • Work experience is valuable
challenge lack of work experience canadian or other1
Challenge: Lack of work experience (Canadian or other)
  • Focus on mining skill statements and recognitions from existing experiences
  • Applied education activities within programs
  • Encourage off-campus volunteer
  • Community encouragement, partner with multi-cultural association
  • Fundraising events, volunteering with organization. Focus on culture coaching
challenge lack of work experience canadian or other2
Challenge: Lack of work experience (Canadian or other)
  • Create volunteer fair (Niagara College)
  • UBC Career Services = Work experience on campus
    • Work to learn/work study jobs. Career Services subsidies
    • Work 10 hours per week
  • Encourage students to participate in cultural associations
  • Join professional association as student to gain skills and focus
  • Change name to Canadian name
challenge lack of work experience canadian or other3
Challenge: Lack of work experience (Canadian or other)
  • On campus volunteer events
  • Campus/faculty campus partners to hire for work experience
  • Focus on skills and how to transfer to workplace
  • Within the resume, students write a summary on who they are, some of their skills, etc.
challenge lack of work experience canadian or other4
Challenge: Lack of work experience (Canadian or other)

Fraud – Fake co-op opportunities. Indian students going to Indian employers and will work for free on non-approved co-op terms. Huge need to audit and follow-up in order to approve

challenge mismatch of expectations
Challenge: Mismatch of expectations

Communicate, communicate, communicate – Pre-admission sessions

Build strong relationships with International Office

Provide recruiters with clear Co-op communiques

challenge mismatch of expectations1
Challenge: Mismatch of expectations
  • Not using words like guarantee “placements”
  • Special circumstances ‘rules changed’
  • Information to recruiters
  • International department needs to understand and duplicate standards
  • Communication, information, policy enforcement
  • Information sessions
challenge focus on graduate employment
Challenge: Focus on graduate employment

Try to manage expectations

Policy

Create increased accountability for their own job search

If possible have satellite EO office on site for job development

challenge focus on graduate employment1
Challenge: Focus on graduate employment
  • Task force to establish policy
  • Create increased accountability for their own job search
  • Engagement is protected by using a contract signed by the student
challenge more preparation time and demands
Challenge: More preparation time and demands

Customized programs and classes for International students

Small group advising

On line workshops available for review, review

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