Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I guaranteed a work term?

Ultimately it is your responsibility to secure a work term placement and you are expected to conduct a thorough job search on your own. While the Office of Career Integrated Learning solicits work placements from our partner employers, placement is a competitive process where you will compete with others in your class and potentially, students from other schools.

We cannot guarantee a work placement for every student, however; every effort will be made to assist you in finding a placement.

Am I responsible for relocation?

While it may be ideal for some students to obtain a work term close to home, we cannot guarantee that these opportunities will be available to all students. You should be prepared to consider positions outside of the province and even outside of the country.

If you must be placed locally due to extenuating circumstances, please notify the Office of Career Integrated Learning as soon as possible.

Can I receive credit for previous course related experience?

Participation in a work term provides an opportunity to apply classroom learning in a work situation. Reflective learning is an integral and effective part of the work term experience and this reflective element may not have occurred in previous experiences.

Additionally, some programs require a work term component within the program structure in order to receive credit for Transport Canada exemptions.

Who decides if I get a job?

The Office of Career Integrated Learning makes every reasonable effort to assist you in obtaining a meaningful placement, but the prospective employer makes the final decision. If a student is not academically eligible for work term, the OCIL will notify the employer but the decision to maintain the employment agreement also remains with the employer.

Ultimately, your ability to market yourself and your career-related knowledge, skills and abilities will be a significant determining factor in your securing a placement.

What should I do if I have a problem on the job?

Please do not walk off the job as this is considered an automatic failure of your work term. If a problem situation arises while you are on work term and you feel uncomfortable discussing it with you supervisor, please contact the Placement Office immediately.

Just as we encourage you to respect your opportunity to learn, we want you to feel comfortable in your working environment and will make every effort to resolve disputes in a timely and professional manner. Only if disputes cannot be resolved do we consider the option of resignation.

Are work term position paid or unpaid?

Positions can be paid or unpaid. Attempts will be made to secure placements with payment where possible but students are expected to complete a work term as part of their educational program regardless of pay.

That said, the Office of Career Integrated Learning recognizes that in some circumstances, an unpaid placement may be financially unrealistic for some students - these students should discuss options with their placement officer. Salaries and benefits are offered at the discretion of the employer.

Can I refuse a job?

Only under extenuating circumstances, with prior approval of the Office of Career Integrated Learning, can you omit yourself from some competitions. However, if you refuse a position without a valid reason and do not find employment for work term, you will receive a failing grade.

Can I go to school during a work term semester if I do not obtain a work term?

You must be actively seeking employment until you receive exemption from the work term. You will be required to prove that you conducted a sufficient job search.

If you do register for a course you must also be actively looking for work and be willing to leave the course once a position is found. The course must not interfere with any aspect of the work term including job search.

What if I am sick?

If you are sick and will not be reporting to work that day, you must inform the employer immediately. Please do not email or text your absence and illness unless encouraged to do so by your employer.

Any more than three sick days during a work term must be reported to the Office of Career Integrated Learning. Failure to do so may initiate an investigation into the nature of the reasons for missing work.

If you do become ill for extended periods of time while on work term you are required to notify the OCIL. Medical documentation regarding the nature of the illness must be forwarded to the OCIL as soon as possible.

What if there is a strike?

Students are advised to contact their supervisor and the Office of Career Integrated Learning immediately if a strike occurs. Follow the direction given by your supervisor unless safety is an issue or if the student is uncomfortable with employer expectations.

Whether to cross or observe the picket line will remain the decision of the student. If you decide not to cross, the OCIL will not penalize you.

What if there are lay offs?

Students are advised to contact the Office of Career Integrated Learning immediately if laid off and every effort will be made to help the student secure another placement. If it is late in the semester this may not be a feasible option, in which case arrangements will be made to help the student complete requirements for a work term credit.

What if I am dismissed from work?

If dismissed, students must inform the Office of Career Integrated Learning immediately. A thorough investigation will be carried out. If the dismissal is found to be due to unjust reasons, no report will be made in the official record or on the student's transcript.

If the employer has legitimate grounds for dismissal, the student is deemed to have failed the work term and may be required to withdraw from the program.

What is the length of a work term?

This depends on the program's requirements and what the employer is able to offer. A student must work a minimum of the required number of consecutive hours/weeks as stated in the Marine Institute Calendar.

The employment must be productive and present an opportunity for reflective learning. Employers sometimes request an extension to the work term to allow a student to complete assigned tasks.

Permission for such an extension must be requested and verified through the Office of Career Integrated Learning. In addition, the student must contact other Marine Institute officials with reference to this request - these may include the program chair or the Registrar's Office.

An extension may result in a late registration penalty fee for students who return to classes following the work term.

What is considered a valid work term placement?

The work performed must be related to the student's program of study. The Office of Career Integrated Learning must approve the work term position as a suitable learning situation and the student must be engaged in productive work rather than merely observing.

What happens if I don't get a work term placement?

If by the deadline date for exemption requests, the student has not secured an offer of employment and is not actively negotiating a placement, permission to be exempted from the work term may be granted by the Office of Career Integrated Learning in consultation with the program chair. This can only be granted provided the student has not refused a job offer and every effort has been exhausted by that student trying to secure employment.

It is the student's responsibility to apply for an exemption with proper documentation. For programs in the School of Fisheries, exemptions may be granted if a work term cannot be secured.

However, the student will be required to complete a technical project and report under the supervision of an instructor before the end of the work term semester. If these requirements are met and an exemption has been granted, the student will be allowed to proceed to the next academic semester.

Is there a list of physicians I can access to update my Transport Canada medical?

A list of physicians is available from the Transport Canada website.

Still Have Questions?

Contact OCIL for more information.