What is a practicum and why would you do one?

IMG_2807A practicum or internship is intended to supplement education; it is meant to familiarize and acculturate a student to operational business practices in a relevant organizational setting. Practicums are designed to give students the chance to get real-world, hands-on, career-relevant, specialized experience in their industry.

The quality of a given practicum will depend on a number of factors, including: university requirements, industry sector, relevant experience/education, the time of year and duration, not to mention the specific conditions of the host organization. Done correctly, practicums are the best possible way to put theory learned in school into practice and to broaden ones business network. Most practicums are composed of unremunerated participation in an operational business environment or occupation in order to gain a functional insight into the industry sector and business processes. In some cases candidates may be paid a stipend or basic salary though this should not be the main consideration when organizing a placement; if you an afford it, you should focus on he content of the placement rather than whether or not you get paid… Practicums should be primarily for the benefit of the student and designed to give candidates the chance to both observe and participate in operational activities in order to better understand the hosts industry sector and work environment.

Practicum students and hosts should be absolutely clear that a practicum is not a job. Practicum students should have the chance to participate in and explore different aspects of the host organizations operations and different roles with in the organization. Activities and tasks should mostly be project-related but can include some operational day-to-day tasks as well. These may not always exciting but are a necessary part of any practicum, however these sorts of tasks should not comprise more than 20% of practicum activities; it should not be about making coffee any buying donuts. Practicums should be non-supervisory in nature though candidates are given some real responsibility and accountability for the tasks they undertake. Placements are designed for the benefit of the candidates but are in real, functioning organizations and due care, an understanding or processes, limitations and protocols as well as a professional attitude are critical. Ultimately a practicum requires a lot of flexibility and a participant that can adapt to the style, culture, processes and environment of a host organization.

Have a look here for the specific requirements employers need to meet to host a practicum or internship student in the USA

Internship possibilities for Canadians in the US

Las Vegas Nights

INTERNeX now provides Canadians with J1 visa support for internships in the USA

The United States of America; a land of contrasts, of wild diversity and never-ending possibilities.

From Hollywood to New York, Route 66 and Vegas to Yellowstone and New Orleans… everything your have seen and heard about a thousand times in movies and on television is here… at your doorstep.

From practicums in major, well known cities like Los Angeles and New York to more industrially or technologically focussed regions, you have a nearly unlimited choice of industry sectors, activities and companies. From large multi-nationals to small, dynamic startups you have nearly every conceivable placement option.

Of course it isn’t all about work; the US has a unique mystery all its own. From the Great American Road trip to southern-BBQ, Venice Beach and the first Starbucks you have a nearly unlimited landscape and culture to explore. There are unimaginable experiences waiting to be had.

The United States is one of the most culturally diverse countries on earth and its population is comprised of German 16%, African 13%, Irish 11%, English 9%, Mexican 7%, Italian 6%, Scandinavian 4%, Polish 3%, French 3%, and Native American 3% and 25% of everything else.

This multi-ethnic background can be experienced in every aspect of their culture; in the music from Jazz to hip hop and Blues to Pop, from Ragtime to Soul and Rock.. and also wondrously in the local cuisine… no not only the amazing pizza, burgers and dogs, but Gumbo and Tex-Mex, New York Cheesecake and New England Clam Chowder and everything in between. The food, like the culture, music and landscape, enjoys the greatest diversity you can experience anywhere on earth.

So get out there and see it , feel it, hear it and take it all in… there is more to the USA than you could ever imagine.

For more info on what we offer and how to find your internship click HERE