On-boarding and orientation for a WIL, Co-op or Internship student

Engage your organization

  • Inform your team about the student’s work term and expectations for the placement.
  • Develop a communications strategy to promote the work term internally and externally.
  • Encourage employees to welcome and engage with the student. Be available to answer questions.
  • Engage your employees/colleagues in discussing the benefits and responsibilities of hiring a work term student.
  • Be ready to connect your work term student with employees outside of his or her direct mentor or supervisor.
  • Schedule team-building exercises that will include the student and offer networking opportunities.

On-boarding and orientation

  • Set up a welcoming workspace dedicated to your work term student. If your student is working remotely, have all the necessary technical tools set up beforehand.
  • The student’s mentor or supervisor can lead the orientation and introductions. Encourage the supervisor to schedule regular check-in meetings with the student, particularly at the start of the work term.
  • Provide the student with an orientation to the workplace, policies, and procedures, being cognizant the student may not have other work experience to draw on.
  • Discuss expectations regarding breaks, work hours, sick day policies, standards of performance, confidentiality, social media and cell- phone use policies, and human resources. If the work is remote, address your expectations around that arrangement.
  • Introduce concepts of your company culture, including preferred methods of communication and chain of command. Discuss standards for attire and grooming.
  • Encourage the student to approach you at any time with questions and concerns.
  • Work with the student and supervisor/mentor to set achievable and measurable goals for the work placement.
  • Outline performance assessment timelines and procedures.
  • Discuss the student’s specific role and provide any project background information required. Introduce key team players and their functions.
  • Encourage a two-sided conversation about expectations for the work term.