Thinking Differently About Gaining Experience While In School
Learn by doing—that’s the BCIT way! The Career Services team agrees that hands-on learning is the best way to prepare for industry. Employers tell us they want candidates to be able to demonstrate their skills and essentially answer the question—what have you done? You’ll get a generous helping of experiential learning in your BCIT program, but you might be looking for more. It can seem like there are limited options for gaining experience when you’re a student. Employers are interested to see diverse types of experience besides internships and co-ops, so don’t be afraid to think outside-the-box to discover experiential learning beyond the classroom. To expand your options, Career Services is creating innovative opportunities for experiential learning for BCIT students this year.
BCIT and BCITSA have partnered with Riipen, a platform that connects companies, post-secondary schools, and students with experiential learning opportunities. Right now, there are two live challenges for students that offer two very different ways to practice in-demand skills: The Pitch Challenge and e-Newsletter Feature Design Challenge.
Build up your creative portfolio and have your work published in our monthly e-Newsletter and website with our Feature Design Challenge. Students from any BCIT program are welcome to submit, so don’t think you have to be a graphic designer to come up with a great concept. The winning feature title and image that will highlight our new e-Newsletter and blog segment will receive a gift bag and feedback from our Marketing & Communications team, not to mention real-world experience to add to your resume.
Increase your chances of getting noticed by employers at the Oct 1st Tech Industry Days Career Fair and practice your soft skills at the same time. Students can demonstrate their communication skills and creativity by participating in the Pitch Challenge, which allows companies attending the career fair to view student submissions before the event. The real challenge is determining what your exceptional strengths are and expressing those in a unique way. You could use visual appeal, such as a comic strip/ book, a magazine layout, or an infographic. Create a video demo of a project or skill, an audio presentation, or heck, write a song about why you’re an awesome candidate! Whatever you come up with, you’ll be practicing communicating your value and exercising those essential soft skills that employers seek.
Stay tuned as we introduce more opportunities for experiential learning at BCIT. In the meantime, use our handy digital resource, Developing Experience While at BCIT. Explore these alternative ways to further your learning and build up valuable experience points and plan to beat the lack-of-experience trap. Rest assured that these opportunities will catch the eye of employers on your resume and make for excellent answers to the question— what have you done?