At a glance
Celebrating its fifth year since launching in 2018, our Internship Program continues to play a crucial role in training and connecting post-secondary students to hands-on work experiences at startups and SMEs across Canada.
To boost student engagement, we gamified our virtual entrepreneurial training. Top-scoring students earned an invitation to the inaugural Internship Summit—an in-person pilot event for VFC interns taking place at Platform Calgary.
- What: The summit featured 3 days of Design Thinking workshops, exploring effective problem definition, product development, and ideation.
- How: Interns collaborated in teams of 5, following the sprint process to present a 5-minute pitch to a panel of 4 judges.
- Impact: Over 80% of students expressed high satisfaction with the event and showed eagerness to participate in similar future events.
- Skill development: All students reported significant enhancements in critical thinking, teamwork and collaboration, creativity and innovation, as well as communication skills.
“This internship has been such a great growth experience. I’m not only learning to trust in my own abilities, but also in the fact that young people have fresh, valuable perspectives to offer, which companies are starting to actually take that into consideration. Skills like taking initiative and being flexible are vital to dealing with ambiguity. Growing up and entering the workforce can be a daunting feat, because it always feels like there’s more problems than answers.
But I truly believe that given the opportunity to grow ourselves and develop our skills, my generation will be a generation of problem solvers. Just look at our passion! These skills are not only important to the workplace, but also in sparking real and lasting change. However, while we have big dreams to change the world, we have to start somewhere. It can be really helpful to have a bit of guidance - I’m really lucky to be doing this internship through Venture for Canada, because the training library has been that safety net when I’m feeling confused or overwhelmed.
Being able to search for a webinar on a specific topic like time management or leading projects provides that extra bit of guidance while I’m figuring out how to take initiative. Entrepreneurial skills really help to shape us as young people - we have so much to offer, and by investing in opportunities like this, companies are assisting us in realizing our full potential so we can contribute to building a better tomorrow for generations to come.”
“If you're thinking it's another co-op placement, it's not. These are small businesses in Canada who want to utilize the minds of the next Canadian entrepreneurs. VFC makes it so that you cannot stay at the status quo. You must always be learning and pushing yourself beyond what you thought possible. Appealing to the competitive spirit in all entrepreneurs, training points are awarded through a range of courses that can help with soft or technical skills that may not be part of a degree.”