In May 2023, the Faculty of Engineering , which aims to introduce students to opportunities in the auto sector and help them develop the skills they need to secure jobs in their field after graduation.
Ontario’s auto manufacturing sector is expanding, and its future workforce must meet the growing demands of this industry in the coming years. Through this OVIN program, students can participate in internships in which they can build connections and gain experience in the auto sector, giving them a chance to explore different career opportunities.
“The fact that I had the OVIN grant meant I could put more time into Supermileage than I might otherwise have done,” said Simon Jonathan Tremblay, a master’s student and manager of the Supermileage team, a competitive engineering team that builds electric cars.
“The fact that I had the OVIN grant meant I could put more time into Supermileage.”
Simon Jonathan Tremblay
— Master’s student and manager of the Supermileage team
Simon had been balancing his Supermileage efforts with his studies and work for the past few years, but thanks to the OVIN-funded internship, he spent the summer focusing on building the team’s electric car, which will surely give the team a competitive edge during the upcoming season.
And the importance of experiential learning isn’t limited to university students: high school students also work with the Supermileage team, which encourages them to consider a future in engineering and in the automotive sector. Helping younger learners see themselves in potential careers and maintaining their motivation to continue in this field are equally important.
For other students, like software engineering student Isabelle Choi, the internship introduced avenues that would not have otherwise been considered. “I was just in my first year of computer science,” said Isabelle, “but the type of programming that I was exposed to [in class] wasn't as extensive as what is used in industry [...]. The educational side of computer science is very different from actual industry applications. I was able to use a variety of different tools that I had never been introduced to before.”
“The educational side of computer science is very different from actual industry applications. I was able to use a variety of different tools that I had never been introduced to before.”
— First year student, software engineering
The summer internship she secured confirmed her academic and career path, and allowed her to acquire soft skills in project management, communication and teamwork that will help her land more internships and jobs in the future.
Had it not been for the Regional Future Workforce program, Isabelle Choi would not have thought of seeking out an internship in the automotive field as a software engineer. These kinds of programs help us empower students by allowing them to pursue passions and explore new fields. “I think that you have your theoretical knowledge, but what really reconciles theory and practical knowledge is experience,” said Isabelle.
Hands-on experience is crucial to a student’s journey. As the job market evolves, programs like the OVIN’s Regional Future Workforce (RFW) program enable students to explore new fields and pursue their passions with the confidence that they will find jobs in the sector after graduation.