With a break from classes, essays and exams, summers are a time to relax and often to learn experientially through a new role and workplace. “Through summer internships, students can connect to career possibilities,” says Sandy Ma, internship coordinator at Redeemer’s Centre for Experiential Learning and Careers, “and discover God’s plan and purpose for their lives.” International Studies student Sydney Sequillion ’18 chose to use some of her time o this past summer to complete an internship with Habitat for Humanity in her hometown of Kingston, Ont.
“I really liked the work that Habitat does,” she says. “My experience there this summer showed me that I really do have a passion for nonprofit work.” At Redeemer, internships are recognized as an important tool to accelerate learning by providing students with hands-on education in a workplace setting. Because of this, internships are offered in most programs, often as a requisite.
“I learned about what kinds of work I do not want to do in the future — which was beneficial to explore in a three-week internship as opposed to a lifetime career.”
With an increasingly competitive job market in Canada, Redeemer’s Centre for Experiential Learning and Careers (CELC) prioritizes assisting students like Sequillion in gaining practical experience. Sequillion views her internship as a complement to her education. “I was able to apply what I have learned about asset-based community development,” she says, “by providing helpful services sustainably that maintain each person’s sense of dignity.”
For Teresa Zhang, office manager at Habitat for Humanity Kingston, hiring a student intern like Sequillion was a great help. “Having only three individuals managing, operating and coordinating over 200 volunteers can be overwhelming,” she says. “Having an intern on the team who is eager to learn new skills and give back to their community helps us grow professionally, raise awareness and get the work done.” It was also the first year that Habitat for Humanity Kingston Limestone Region has brought on a Redeemer intern. “Their ethic and God-driven attitude,” Zhang reflects, “definitely sets them apart.”
Sequillion has some practical advice for students just beginning the internship search. She was slightly discouraged when her first choice fell through, “However, with Habitat, I was able to stay closer to home, which saved me money. I also learned about what kinds of work I do not want to do in the future — which was beneficial to explore in a three-week internship as opposed to a lifetime career.” With this invaluable experience, Sequillion can head back to the classroom in the fall with a clearer focus for her education.
For more information on internships at Redeemer, visit staging.redeemer.ca/internships.