News and Events
College and community collaborate to support regional vitality
June 24, 2021
Committed to combining academic theory and practical application to give learners a leg up in the labour market, Medicine Hat College (MHC) thrives on collaborating with community partners to prepare students for the future of work, building skills, knowledge, and opportunities that matter to our region.
An ongoing partnership between MHC’s Entrepreneur Development Centre (EDC) and the RBC Foundation gives MHC graduates the chance to kick start their career and gain real-world work experience through an entrepreneurial internship program. A series of internships valued at $7,500 each are funded by the RBC Foundation and provide both the graduates and organizations with impactful learning and professional opportunities, while keeping talent in the region and supporting our local workforce.
For Dr. Ryan Comeau, co-founder and CEO of Kinetisense, a Medicine Hat-based health technology company specializing in the use of 3D sensors to evaluate human movement, the opportunity to integrate a recent graduate into his team through the internship program resulted in a wide array of both expected and unexpected benefits to his organization.
“In the last three years, our business has been growing and scaling worldwide and we needed to find talent to support us in those efforts. Having already hired five MHC alumni, we believe in the quality of graduates coming out of the college and are fortunate to have a highly skilled workforce available to us here in Medicine Hat, where it’s advantageous to have everyone on our team in close proximity to our headquarters.”
Kinetisense brought on a graduate of MHC’s Art and Design program who has now transitioned from intern to full-time employee. The access to funding through the EDC softened the costs of onboarding and removed the barriers to a new hire, while filling an unrecognized gap in their operations.
“We absolutely loved what the student was able to provide us and they’ve been a phenomenal addition to our team. They obtained the skillset to dramatically improve the design of our product which has been a game changer for us. I truly believe that without the internship program, we would still be floundering in that area of our business – probably wouldn’t have made a hire in that area,” says Comeau.
From a graduate’s perspective, the internship program provided opportunity and support throughout her transition from student to workplace professional.
Ali Mullins was required to complete two work terms to fulfill the requirements of MHC’s Visual Communications program, now known as Art & Design. She became involved with Prairie Rose Public Schools (PRPS) through collaboration between the internship program and her work-integrated learning requirement.
“I gained valuable experience in learning how to conduct myself professionally in the workplace including collaborating with colleagues, internal and external communication, workplace practices, attending meetings and much more. I was able to smoothly transition from that mindset of being a student to being a professional.”
Mullins is now employed with PRPS on a part-time basis supporting Eagle Butte High School students with Badlands Cre8tions, an online store focusing on developing entrepreneurial skills and hands-on learning opportunities in operating a business and product creation.
“Having coworkers that looked at me as a professional instead of a student and being in that supportive, open, and friendly workspace helped me find my way. Even if I wasn’t 100% confident in myself all of the time, the people around me believed in me, encouraged me, and supported me through. I knew I had the skills, I just needed the confidence to apply what I had learned to the workplace.”
To learn more about the EDC, visit www.mhc.ab.ca/Services/EntrepreneurDevelopmentCentre.