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UofGH welcomes Field Placement and Internship Partners for Standing Ovation

A large banner in UofGH's art gallery reading Thanks

The University of Guelph-Humber recently invited its valued field placement and internship partners to campus for Standing Ovation, the annual event in which UofGH shows its appreciation to the people and companies who help more than 1,600 University of Guelph-Humber students each year gain crucial real-world work experience, mentorship opportunities, and career insights.

Over a bountiful breakfast buffet – with an espresso station crafting gourmet lattes and cappuccinos – representatives from partner organizations including the City of Brampton, York Regional Police, University Health Network and the Canadian Human Rights International Organization came to UofGH to hear first-hand how the opportunities they provide make a transformative difference in the lives of UofGH students.

“This event is a celebration of you and the mentorship and opportunities you provide for our students,” said Susan Thomas, Manager of Career & Placement Services, as she welcomed the guests.

“In Student Services, we work with students on all sorts of issues, but it’s most rewarding when we get to help students find their purpose. Our team all gets very excited when a student comes in and tells us they landed their dream opportunity or that they get to work on a really cool project as part of their placement. That makes our day.

“To see the shift in students as they become confident, competent professionals is extraordinary. For this, we thank you, our field placement and internship partners. You spark excitement in our students’ careers and help them to see they have something valuable to offer.”

Making a difference

During the event, guests had the opportunity to network and mingle, while also taking in campus tours. Other attending organizations included Kids Help Phone, Seva Foodbank, Penske Truck Leasing, Rock Star Brokerage Inc., JEZFI Inc., and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Melissa Dodaro

Guests also heard from two members of the UofGH community about the immense impact their internship experiences had on their careers and lives.

Melissa Dodaro, who is set to graduate from the Early Childhood Studies program, talked about her placement experience at Ronald McDonald House Charities Toronto. There, she completed a placement in Child Life and she was mentored by a Child Life Specialist. Dodaro had the opportunity during her placement to create and implement play-based activities, to provide evidence-based interventions, and to create workshops on the psychosocial impact on families with seriously ill children. After completing her field placement, Dodaro was hired as a staff member over the summer.

In fact, Dodaro was so moved by her field placement, she applied and was accepted into McMaster University’s Master’s Degree program in Child Life & Pediatric Psychosocial Care to begin study in the fall.

“My experience at Ronald McDonald House Charities Toronto is one I will never forget,” Dodaro said. “Well-rounded placement environments like Ronald McDonald Charities House Toronto provide students with the opportunity to explore, take risks, make mistakes, have fun, and learn at the same time.

“Ronald McDonald House provided me with a safe space to learn, grow and thrive. I got the chance to stretch beyond my limits and make positive changes within the House. This placement opportunity enabled me to get new skills, network with professionals in the field, create lasting relationships and memories, and ultimately develop a deeper passion for Child Life.”

Benefits extending beyond graduation

Standing Ovation attendees also heard from Media Studies alumnus Aaron Rabinovitz, who is now Digital Program Manager at Mosaic Communications.

Rabinovitz shared that when he began his tenure at UofGH, he felt strongly that his future would be in front of the camera – until he had his first field placement as a communications intern with the Toronto Argonauts.

His life would not be the same.

“My entire career shifted,” recalled Rabinovitz, who wound up working for the Argonauts throughout his studies at UofGH. “I was truly able for the first time to realize what it was within the media space I loved to do, and I was able to combine it with what I was good at. That exposure came through my internship.

“I’m a huge advocate for the University of Guelph-Humber, but what I learned in my internship you can’t learn in a classroom no matter how strong the education is – and that’s how to be a professional.”

Dr. George Bragues

Students in all programs at the University of Guelph-Humber complete at least 100 hours of placement work and up to 850 hours in some programs.

In his remarks, UofGH Vice-Provost and Business Program Head Dr. George Bragues echoed Rabinovitz in pointing out that the real-world, experiential learning that happens through these placement opportunities offers lessons that cannot be duplicated in the classroom.

“UofGH is committed to a philosophy of education that combines theory and practice,” Dr. Bragues said. “Our students do not simply absorb and grapple with ideas and concepts, they apply those ideas and concepts putting them into action in a way that is conducive to the public good.

“All of you who agree to take on our students at placements further the school in a way that none of us who work here could fully replicate in a classroom. Because of the opportunities you provide, our students acquire an intimate familiarity with your industries’ practices and norms. Our students also develop virtues that will help them flourish in the workplace, traits such as industriousness, conscientiousness, resolution, honesty, good sense, judiciousness, and cooperativeness.

“Not only that, they build contacts and relationships they can use to pursue their career aspirations.”

Guests mingle at Standing OvationUofGH staff welcome a guestBarista makes latteTwo guests chat on a couchStanding Ovation guests pictured from overheadAaron RabinovitchSusan Thomas and the Career Services teamA guest smilesUofGH student leads a campus tour