Redeemer’s School of Business is benefiting from $12,000 in funding from the Government of Canada’s and CEWIL Canada to support work integrated learning (WiL) opportunities for students. The iHUB program grant will see 10 brand management students develop a branding strategy for start-up organization LawVo, an online legal platform. The funds from this first-of-its-kind grant will be used to cover the costs of hardware, software and operational expenses.
“This work-integrated learning research project is built around a real-world client,” says Dr. Vahagn Asatryan, associate professor of business. “This is profoundly influential for the students as they will produce a tangible outcome. The hallmark of the program is coaching sessions with Executives in Residence – community experts, activists, stakeholders – who provide valuable insight into real-life experiences in various fields of business and advise students on course projects.”
The students also obtain technical skills (e.g., social media analytics), training in technologies (e.g., Geographic Information Systems mapping), and industry research skills (e.g., EnvironicsTM data analysis and interpretation). The program culminates in a presentation of the findings to the client and a feedback session.
“Not only am I learning in class, but I am working with a real client to produce a brand that is a comprehensive outcome based on both textbook and experiential approaches.”
“It has been an absolute blessing to be a part of this work-integrated learning experience in brand management,” says business student Abigail Hoogstra. “Not only am I learning in class, but I am working with a real client to produce a brand that is a comprehensive outcome based on both textbook and experiential approaches. Working with a team on this has given me the opportunity to grow in communication, collaboration, and effectiveness. As a team, we have been able to conduct efficient client meetings, glean understanding from business professionals, purchase resources, and come together to create a vision for our project. Altogether, this has certainly been a worthwhile experience.”
LawVo is contributing expertise, project-based information and guidance to the students in a consulting arrangement model. The industry partner has also offered a monetary prize to the group in the branding class with the most effective project plan and presentation. The students will present their recommendations in front of the industry partners and benefit from additional feedback from the executives.
“Work-integrated learning like this is what 94 per cent of employers look for in a student’s background when hiring grads,” says Bruce Wilson, director of the Centre for Experiential Learning and Careers at Redeemer. “Working with LawVo, we’ve gone beyond our Co-operative Education and internship offerings to bring tangible opportunities into the classroom. Our aim is to give each student a foundation in experiential learning with a grant from CEWIL Canada and the Government of Canada.”