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A mutually beneficial partnership

[Leigh Cameron]
Through the Queen’s University Internship Program (QUIP), Leigh Cameron (Artsic'18) has gained work experience at the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research). (University Communications) 

The Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) has benefitted this year from an extra set of capable hands — namely those of Leigh Cameron (Artsci’18).

“The team I work with has been very supportive and has taught me so much about the research enterprise here at Queen’s,” Ms. Cameron says.

Her role in the office is a paid position through the Queen’s University Internship Program (QUIP). The program provides second- and third-year students with a 12-16 month paid work experience at a partner employer. In this case, the employer is right here on campus.

Kelly Blair-Matuk, Associate Director in the OVPR, explains that their internship position provides students an opportunity to participate in many of the OVPR’s core activities, while also furthering their knowledge and skills that will enhance their understanding of Queen’s, the job market, and of themselves.  

The internships are beneficial for employers as well, she adds.

“A QUIP intern provides us a student perspective on our day-to-day activities that enhances our outcomes and efficiencies, and the youthful energy gives our team a refreshing boost,” Dr. Blair-Matuk says. “Moreover, our own strategic research imperatives encourage the involvement of students, and this doesn’t only mean having more students in labs. It also means including students on the administrative side of the equation.” 

It’s not just the OVPR that’s benefitting from QUIP Interns. 

“This year there are six departments at Queen’s with a QUIP intern on staff. We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from them regarding the initiative, enthusiasm, and ability to learn exhibited by the interns,” says Internship Coordinator Kristen Eppel. “We are also thrilled to have several more departments that are in the process of hiring interns for the 2017-18 academic year.”

For her part, Ms. Cameron says she became involved in QUIP because she wanted to take the skills she had learned in the classroom and apply them in a workplace setting.

“I have been able to take on some of my own projects and improve my communications and interpersonal skills,” she says. “My experiences in this position have also helped me decide what type of career I want to enter after I graduate.”

The program provides a diverse set of candidates for campus employers and is open to students in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of Arts and Science, and School of Computing. 

To learn more about the program or becoming a QUIP employer, visit the Career Services website or contact quip@queensu.ca.