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MBA Student Participants

VIU recognizes that the COVID 19 crisis has affected everyone in our community. Organizations are facing extraordinary challenges while continuing to operate. This semester our students adapted by completing their studies online. The Graduate Business Programs Office and the Centre for Experiential Learning (CEL) recognized early on that students completing their MBA studies would be faced with having to look for internships with organizations that were experiencing extraordinary hardships.  To support both our students and our business community we have partnered with the Mitacs Business Strategy Internship Program and created the Vancouver Island Economic Resiliency Initiative (VI ERI). The initiative is designed to make it easier for our MBA students to be matched with organizations for their internships, while at the same providing up to a 75% subsidy to eligible participating organizations for remuneration to interns.

  • Provide students with the opportunity to apply business concepts and theories to real-world decision-making  
  • Build students’ skills (communication, problem solving, innovation, resilience, managing complexity, navigating change, business continuity planning, etc.) and apply their education through an experiential learning opportunity 
  • Provide new and broadened training and career opportunities for students by expanding their network with faculty, businesses, and community 

Early Summer 2020 - Invitation to Participate

The MBA Internship team will accept submissions of challenges or opportunities from the local and regional business community via the BSI Challenge/Opportunity submission form provided below.  Submissions will be reviewed using the following criteria:

  • Benefit to the student: Is there potential benefit to the student by participating in the project with regards to skills development or new career opportunities?
  • Development of new skills and knowledge: Is the proposal tied to new skills development for the student?
  • Project design and rationale: Is the project clearly outlined? Are the project activities clearly articulated and reasonable for the time frame specified?
  • Project significance and impact:  Are the planned activities and final deliverables clearly linked to company needs? 
  • Interaction and final deliverable: Are the interactions with organization supervisor clearly articulated and appropriate? Are the final deliverables and the potential for the utility of this project beyond the project term clearly explained?

Following this period, VIU will undertake a review of the submitted challenges/opportunities to check for eligibility, completeness, and project quality.

Deadline for January Internship challenge/opportunity submissions: October 23, 2020 at 4PM

Successful organizations will be advised of acceptance and their challenges/opportunities will be posted on VIU's online MBA Opportunity posting board for students to review and apply.

Students who wish to bring forward an employer submission for consideration must do so by the deadline specified above.

October 2020 - December 2020 - Application and Selection Process

VIU MBA students will review the submitted challenges/opportunities and will create an internship proposal application package for submission to the MBA Internship team via CareerVIU.

The MBA Internship team will screen, select and approve submission finalists and will forward selected applicants to posting organizations. The team will also host a Zoom Q&A session to build student awareness of the opportunities, process and requirements for applying.

Organizations will interview and select an intern and notify the MBA Internship team of their selection.

The MBA Internship team will assign an academic supervisor to each intern to support them before and during the internship.

Organizations must submit their completed BSI challenge/opportunity three weeks before the start of their internship. If you have a more urgent need, please contact Cynthia Lange at Cynthia.Lange@viu.ca.

January - April 2021

Students fulfill the terms of their internship according to the VIU MBA Internship Program requirements.

Students: leaders of the project

The student is responsible for:
  • Reviewing Mitacs BSI challenge/opportunity proposals in CareeVIU and submitting applications as directed in the posting
  • Designing a 16-week strategic analysis project proposal in collaboration with the partner company
  • Submitting a Work Term Record and all required documents in CareerVIU
  • Arranging an online mid-point assessment with the mentor and academic supervisor
  • Completing an exit survey and a final report outlining their project experience

Partner organizations: guidance and mentorship

The partner organization is responsible for:
  • Providing $2.500 in funding to contribute to the student stipend
  • Submission of a completed BSI Challenge/Opportunity submission form
  • Working with the student to develop the BSI Internship Proposal for submission to to Mitacs
  • Signing the VIU MBA Work Term Agreement
  • Telephone meeting with the academic supervisor prior to hiring process commencement
  • Registration in Mitacs online program poral
  • Meeting (online/phone) with the intern and academic supervisor for a mid-point assessment
  • Completing an employer final evaluation in CareerVIU
  • Completing the Mitacs exit survey following completion of the project

Mitacs will contribute $5000, partner organizations will contribute $2,500 and the academic institution will contribute $2,500 for a total award of $10,000, to be used for a student stipend.

Projects will be submitted to the academic institution and reviewed and approved by the institution prior to submission to Mitacs. The approved projects will be reviewed by Mitacs to confirm eligibility for funding

Upon review and approval, Mitacs releases an outcome letter to participants and invoices organization partner. Once payment is received, Mitacs releases funding in the amount of $10,000 for each approved project to the academic institution as a grant. The academic institution will then be responsible for releasing the funds to the student.

In order to be eligible to participate in the initiative:

Students must:

  • Be a registered MBA graduate student at Vancouver Island University
  • Not be an active participant in another Mitacs program, or their current program must be on hold
  • Submit a Work Term Record in the VIU CareerVIU portal that meets all MBA Internship Program requirements

Partner organizations must:

  • Be a small to mid-sized Canadian organization with less than 500 full-time employees
  • Be a not-for-profit organization with less than 500 full-time employees
  • Provide $2,500 in funding to contribute to the student stipend
  • Submit a completed BSI Challenge/Opportunity submission form
  • Work with the intern to develop an internship proposal that responds to the challenge/opportunity as outlined in the organization's submission
  • Designate a mentor for the student who will complete the VIU Internship Work Term Agreement
  • Participate in an online mid-point visit with the academic supervisor and complete an online final evaluation of the intern
  • Complete the Mitacs exit survey following completion of the project

Who can I contact for assistance with participating in the initiative?

Students can contact their VIU Work-Integrated Learning faculty member.

Where can I see the approved challenges/opportunities submitted by participating organizations?

Participating organizations will post their challenges/opportunities on the VIU CareerVIU MBA opportunity board.  Once approved students who are scheduled to complete an internship within the program time frame will be able to view the postings.

How do I apply?

Students will apply through the VIU MBA CareerVIU portal.

What documents do I need to submit to apply?

Students will be required to submit a resume and cover letter to the employer.

How will I get paid?

Students will receive their pay through Vancouver Island University.

Is this program only for businesses on Vancouver Island?

While the initiative is focused on Vancouver Island any Canadian business can take part in the program.  International businesses may also take part as long as they have an official office located within Canada.

How will I be supervised by my academic supervisor?

The student will check-in with the academic supervisor on a bi-weekly basis via an online scrum update with feedback given by the academic supervisor. The student will submit reflection assignments at week 4 and week 12 of the internship and have a meeting between the academic supervisor, student and employer/mentor at week 8 of the internship. At the conclusion of the internship, the student will deliver (remotely) a final internship presentation to the academic supervisor. Students will have access to all available university resources and can connect with the academic supervisor and/or other Faculty members for additional support on an as needed basis.

Mitacs Business Strategy Internship Proposal

Instructions for submission of the BSI Proposal form will be sent to successful students.  Please do not complete the form until you have been advised to do so by your VI ERI academic supervisor.

How to Write a Successful Mitacs Business Strategy Internship Proposal

Mitacs BSI-OSRCA Expectations and Guide

This helpful guide was provided by the VIU Office of Scholarly Research and Creative Activity to assist MBA VI ERI internship students with completion of the Mitacs Business Strategy Internship proposal form.

VI ERI Process Checklist for Students

This checklist outlines the VI ERI /Mitacs BSI program processes.  Each cohort of participating students will receive a version of this checklist with attached dates and deadlines specific to their cohort via email.

Mitacs BSI Participant Toolkit