Students, WLU need to work towards new partnerships

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Despite Wilfrid Laurier University’s notoriety for its co-op program, non-business students are severely limited in their co-op options. Work experience and career connections are just as important to students in other faculties, and for students in the arts program especially, a work placement could compliment a degree that is not always enough to get a job.

There is a thriving start-up community in Kitchener-Waterloo in addition to think tanks, research groups and non-profit organizations, which would provide excellent experience for students across faculty lines. As K-W develops, Laurier’s relationship with organizations and businesses should develop concurrently.

New partnerships need to be made so students have the ability to capitalize on their university’s relationships with neighbouring institutions and organizations.

For the options that are available, there needs to be publicity brought to them so students know they exist but also so community members and professors are aware. Calls for interns and research assistant opportunities are often only circulated once and with minimal effectiveness.

There are internships and other opportunities open to students in all programs but they are often severely under-circulated among students. Students should not be missing out because they overlook an important email or do not have enough information about the opportunities available. When the university fights for students, especially in regards to career development, students are more likely to be engaged in the classroom and with their faculty.

University, for better or worse, is not just an institution for higher learning and intellectual stimulation, but also a place individuals attend with hopes of getting a job. The transition into that reality is going to a slow process. Similarly, the university building relationships will be a drawn out process, but nonetheless needs to be a priority.

Much is dependent on the economic climate, job market and government funding available for academic programs, student work programs and the like, but it is important that universities are at the very least providing students with the opportunities that do exist.

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