By Quinn Huynh

As the weather kicks into summer, students in our IMC392 summer internship course gathered for their first class at the Best Institute.

Unlike other work-integrated learning programs, our startup internships combine classroom learning and hands-on learning in a fast-paced startup environment.

“IMC392 is an entrepreneurial work-integrated learning program,” said Alon Eisenstein, the Impact Centre’s lead experiential learning educator. “It means we work specifically with early-stage startups. Through that, we encourage and motivate students to explore broader roles and duties outside their program of study.”

With workshops planned throughout the summer, the students are able to learn important concepts about entrepreneurship and apply them back into their placement.

Our class

This year class has 18 students, coming from a wide range of background – life science, computer science, economics, commerce, and humanities (although enough students profess their love of movies to create a film club).

As with any first class, there was nervousness and excitement around the room. When asked about their feelings going into the internship many expressed feeling of uncertainty combined with excitmet for the adventure, wealth of untapped resources, and potential to learn in a startup environment.

Where are they working?

The 18 students are working at 12 startups, nine of which are returning companies – Adrenalease, ARnocular, BreqLabs, Comfable, Iamsick, iMerciv, Peersway, Pueblo Science, and Xcit Club.

With the addition of Micharity, Turalt, and Renyu Technology Inc., Impact Centre has formed more than 50 partnerships through the internship program.

An exciting addition

There is one student who could not be there with us, Kelly, as she is doing her internship overseas.

This summer, Kelly is working with Reyun Technology Inc., a Bejing start-up focusing on Human-Computer Interaction technology. A U of T international student, Kelly has secured the placement by herself, so that she can go back home for the summer and still gain internship experience through our program.

This remote-learning is an exciting addition to our program. Through this, IMC392 is reaching to accommodate and create invaluable learning experience for students in a startup environment on the international scale.

As the first class came to an end, the students went back to their placements with more confidence and knowledge about how to make the most out of this invaluable learning experience.

“This internship is about you,” Ensenstein told the eager students. “At the end of all this, I want you to be able to demonstrate your skills and accomplishments to your employers. Show, don’t tell.”

Quinn Huynh is a Communications Intern at the Impact Centre.