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917 - 470 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1V5
Canada

1.877.795.8403

Experience Education manages the coop, practicum, and internship programs for schools in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal.

Blog

Adult internships

Admin

If you're out of a job, or thinking about making a career change, have you ever considered an internship?

They're usually something high school or college students go after, but with the unemployment rate so high, more adults are trying to land internships.  Some are using them as a way to explore a new career.  Others are out of work and getting tired of waiting for the right job to come along.

Augustana College's Career Center Director Jeremy Reed says, "In this economy, people are finding that they have to be creative to make opportunities for themselves in this tough market."

Kim Saskowski, branch manager of Manpower in Moline, is also seeing clients get more creative.  "They just want to work and they're willing to try anything or do anything."  That's one reason she says non-traditional internships are more attractive.  Saskowski says an internship, paid or not, is a great way to market yourself.  "It's an opportunity to get their foot in the door and show their work ethic, their skills, their potential to an employer."

Reed says an internship can be especially helpful if you're considering a career change.  You might have the education, but not the experience in the field you're considering.  In that case, he says you should think of an internship as an interview.  "That's really what an internship is; an extended interview to make sure somebody is a good fit."

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That sounds great doesn't it?  No wonder we keep getting inquiries about adult internships.

Most of the time though, if someone over 30 asks us for an internship placement, we say 'no'.  We say no because BC labour law requires us to say no.  Here in BC, if you want to do an unpaid or stipend paid internship, you need to be a student.  If it's not a requirement of your studies than it's not permitted.  You can't dress it up as volunteering - that's a no go area as well (at least as far as private companies are concerned).

So here's how it works - if you are an adult and want to do an internship you need to take a class.  Your best bet as an adult is a career college.  There are hundreds of programs available to you in Metro Vancouver.  You can find a list of provincially accredited career college courses here - click on the school name and check the fine print on each program to see if they require an internship or practicum component (most do).  And if they do, then you're in business and then we can help you.