Experiential Learning: Tailor-Made for Your Business

Written by: Julie Weir, Experiential Learning Coordinator, Halifax Partnership

Halifax has an expansive network of post-secondary institutions with six universities and three community college campuses. This unparalleled resource of young, innovative talent is the future of our city, the economy, and your business. These learners need direct, real world experience to increase their knowledge and develop skills so they can reach their full potential and contribute to the business community.

Experiential learning engages students in first-hand experiences in the workplace related to their educational program. For students, it develops knowledge, skills, and values beyond the classroom. For businesses, it is a low-risk way to access promising young talent and explore creative ways to solve workplace challenges. Experiential learning may be different for every student and employer, but any business or organization can participate.

The Halifax Partnership’s Experiential Learning Initiative team works with local employers to customize an experiential learning opportunity that will benefit your business and the student. Experiential learning goes beyond traditional co-op placements, and has become a vital factor in building a highly skilled labour force. We are continually expanding the landscape of experiential learning and vary with the business community to coordinate and foster new and emerging opportunities.

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*Post-secondary students from across Nova Scotia participated in a day of job shadowing at Lindsay Construction

Emerging Types of Experiential Learning :
  • Hackathon - Short events (typically one weekend) focused on developing a single workable solution or prototype in response to a specific challenge or goal.
  • Job Shadowing - Can range from an hour-long visit with one employee to a week-long stay, allowing observation of a variety of activities and exposing students to different career options.
  • Bootcamp - Courses of varying lengths (usually over several weeks) with intensive hands-on practice of skills supplemented by classroom content.
  • Micro-placements - Short-term project-based placements lasting from several days to several weeks. Students complete the project within the given time period.
  • Online projects or placements - Students work remotely, using technology to perform tasks or complete a project.

Experiential learning placements can be multi-disciplinary and flexible in length, location and renumeration. They can be community or entrepreneurial focused. As a business with unique challenges and needs, each and every experiential learning opportunity can be tailored to meet your needs. Whether you have a busy season, projects sitting uncompleted or are looking for new ways to recruit, The Experiential Learning Initiative can help you!

To learn more or get involved, contact Julie at halifaxpartnership.com.