By Peter Raimondo
The Champlain College Transportation and Logistics program contains 17 credit courses. The final course is an Internship component that must be completed by students in order to obtain their certification. Internships provide on-the-job training, and it is the students’ responsibility to find internships with a firm in the transportation and logistics field. To date, every Champlain student has found an internship.
During this period, the student is expected to put into practice the knowledge that he or she has acquired at the College, under the guidance of professionals in this field. This way the student gains work experience, which will be helpful to finish the final period of study.
An internship experience (commonly referred to by the French term stage) has been made compulsory for all the students, so employers get inundated with applications.
Generally, the internship works as an exchange of services for experience between the student and his or her employer. Students exchange their labour (most interns are not remunerated) to gain experience. Many interns find permanent, paid employment with the companies in which they interned. Thus, employers also benefit as experienced interns need little or no training when they begin full-time regular employment.
Many employers in the transportation and logistics industry are and have been successfully taking advantage of the internship programs. There are many others, however, who are not organized to accept interns and find the process disruptive. That is unfortunate because having interns come in for brief periods of time offers employers inexpensive benefits in meeting their future hiring needs. Employers not only discover the interns’ aptitudes and abilities but will also learn whether the intern is comfortable with his or her chosen industry, and whether he or she potentially fits into the employer’s work environment, all of which mitigates the risk of making hiring choices that one might regret later.
The period of searching for internships for students is a very stressful time. I have witnessed many students near tears because they did not as yet find an internship. I would therefore encourage all transportation and logistics firms to consider accepting interns because it is an enriching experience for both parties, and is clearly a benefit to the industry that the students intend to join.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Champlain’s Internship Coordinator, Michael Loughman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter Raimondo is a logistics instructor at Champlain College in Montreal and a retired transportation industry executive.