Everything you need to know about work experience
What is AWE?
Arts Work Experience (AWE) allows undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts to integrate paid, relevant, full-time work experience into their degree program. Students can complete four, eight, 12, or 16-months of work experience starting in September, January or May.
Am I eligible to apply to AWE?
You are eligible to apply for AWE if you have a minimum 2.3 GPA and between 30 - 105 credits. There are some eligibility differences for students intending to apply for the Discipline Specific Internship Programs. If you are unsure about your eligibility status, please contact AWE staff.
How do I apply for AWE?
You can submit your application here. Please note in the application you are asked to submit supporting documentation including a statement of interest, an unofficial transcript and a copy of your resume. More information about the application process can be found here.
When is the application deadline for AWE?
AWE has three application deadlines, September 30 for positions starting in January, January 31 for positions starting in May, and May 31 for positions starting in September. It is best practice to apply early, as employers often recruit 4-6 months in advance of the intended start date. For more details visit Application Deadlines.
What can I expect from AWE?
- You can expect to be supported through your job search. AWE staff are here to help you. Career education is very important to being competitive in the job search. The Advising Sessions, Career Coaching, and Workshops are tools that you should access to ensure that your applications and interview skills are up to industry standards.
- If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Work Experience Coordinator or stop by the HUB Career Centre (8917 HUB Mall).
- Being in AWE requires extra work. It is very important to dedicate a portion of each week to completing career education requirements, preparing for job applications and interviews. On average, students who received a work term offer spent 1-5 hours a week on their AWE job search, applications and interview preparation.
- The job search is competitive. There is no guarantee that you will get a position through AWE. However the more you participate in education and apply for positions, the more likely you are to secure a work term.
Can I apply for AWE after I graduate?
No, AWE is only open to current undergraduate students. In most cases you need to complete your degree on an academic term. We invite you to contact AWE staff to discuss the specifics of your situation.
There are other career education options and employer run internships that are open to recent graduates. Please visit the HUB Career Centre for more information.
Can graduate students (Masters and PhD) participate in AWE?
At this time, AWE is only open to undergraduate students who are registered in Faculty of Arts degree programs.
Do I need previous work experience before applying to AWE?
It is not required to have work experience prior to joining AWE, although it can be a competitive advantage in your work search. Through career education you will learn how to leverage and communicate your skill sets. Your Work Experience Coordinator can provide resources to help add experience to your resume to be competitive for certain industries and job opportunities.
What types of opportunities are available through AWE?
AWE offers a wide range of positions in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Arts degrees prepare students with transferable skills that are highly sought after in the job market and applicable to many different fields and industries. Some potential areas of employment are Communications and Marketing, Environment and Sustainability, Finance and economics, Human Services and Non-Profit, Oil & Gas, Public Administration, Technology and Creative fields, Museums and Parks, and Law. Visit the list of our current AWE employer partners.
Why is career education a part of AWE?
In partnership with the U of A's Career Centre, the Faculty of Arts has developed career education programming specifically for AWE students to guide and support you in applying and interviewing for positions; setting learning objectives and reflecting on your work experience; and planning next steps in your career. This career education is intended to help you gain the maximum benefit from your work experience and increase your employment related skills as you move forward in your career.
How do I find Work Experience Positions?
Once you are accepted into AWE, you will be eligible to apply for job postings listed on the AWE Job Board in campusBRIDGE. You will apply for positions of interest and employer(s) will contact you if you are successful in securing an interview. It is mandatory that you complete a Resume and Cover Letter Advising Session before applying for positions. Remember there is also the opportunity to organize your own work experience, if you are interested in this option ask AWE Staff for details.
Can I apply for more than one position?
Yes! We highly encourage students to apply for multiple positions to enhance your chances of securing a work term. It is important to not wait for outcomes of applications as you might miss out on other really great opportunities.
Can I do more than one work term?
Yes, students have the opportunity to complete up to a maximum of 16-months of work experience. This can be with one or multiple employers. Students who complete 12 months of work experience through AWE, meet all of their academic requirements for their Arts Degree Program and complete the associated career education will receive a 'Co-operative Education' notation on their degree parchment.
I have received a job offer, what next?
Congratulations! Please contact your Work Experience Coordinator right away to follow-up with next steps. It is important that you contact us as soon as possible so that we can register you in your work experience course for the term.
I have some questions or concerns about a job offer, what should I do?
Please contact AWE staff right away. It is important that we discuss your options with you prior to declining a work term offer.
Do I receive credit for my work term?
No, there is no credit weight assigned to work experience courses. They are pass/fail, or in the University of Alberta Calendar credit/no credit. Please see the U of A calendar entry for more information.
What supports will I have at my workplace?
You will have a supervisor/mentor at your workplace. You and your supervisor will set out learning objectives for your Work Experience at the beginning of your position. Once you are accepted into AWE you will receive more information about setting learning objectives.
What supports will I have on campus?
You will always have access to AWE staff who can provide information and guidance throughout your work search and employment.
I'm an international student, how will this program impact my work/study permits?
The Government of Canada has a special Co-op Work Permit to allow international students to participate in work experience, internship and co-op programs. If you are an international student and are interested in AWE, please contact AWE Staff for more information.
Who can I contact with questions?
firstname.lastname@example.org or 780-492-6022/780-492-1781
HUB Career Centre (8917 HUB Mall)