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Where there’s WIL there’s a way

April 2, 2009

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Work Integrated Learning (WIL), the one-stop shop for career and volunteer-related learning and development, is going green.

A new online co-op application system eliminates paper and is achieving impressive results, with applications increasing by 60 per cent since its implementation in 2007. And Wil Fraser, WIL’s official mascot, lives on-line and has no carbon footprint.

Paul DeGrace, SFU’s environment co-op coordinator, places approximately 100 students annually in environmentally related jobs. The opportunities are available to students studying geography, resource and environmental management, or environmental science. "We have great ‘green’ markets within the municipal and provincial governments, including Delta, Langley and Surrey," says DeGrace.

"Students are working in sustainable development, or water management/conservation, or are involved with stream and habitat rehabilitation projects." Employers are recognizing and encouraging student-led green workplace initiatives and embracing the creativity that SFU students offer. Despite the economic slow-down, DeGrace says job prospects are strong in this sector. SFU Surrey’s recent Open House attracted hundreds of potential new students, many of them expressing interest in the new Faculty of Environment.

A green theme at last year’s largest event, Career Days, encouraged employers to conserve paper. Rather than printing multiple brochures and marketing materials, many participants were showcasing their company via laptop computers and handing out environmentally friendly giveaways. A record number of employers (more than 100) and over 3,500 students participated in the event.

John Grant, WIL’s communication and marketing coordinator, says the response was fantastic. "Both students and employers were very receptive to the idea and students in particular were very appreciative of the lack of glossy brochures being presented at the event." WIL is hosting its second annual on-line green careers week in April—check it out at www.sfu.ca/career

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