The MScAC degree is a unique two-year program that pairs graduate students with information technology companies for internships, following eight months of advanced courses in computer science. Caroline jumped at the opportunity to apply her skills in a business environment through a Mitacs Accelerate internship, a research grant awarded for students in the program.
But the Tsawwassen First Nation lacked systematic information about their people such as their socio-economic status, education, health, and desires for a better community — information vital to guide the self-governance process. They reached out to University of British Columbia professor Ralph Matthews from the Department of Sociology to help conduct a detailed survey on all aspects of well-being of the population.
“I thought I might benefit from learning a little bit more about the business environment, but I didn’t have very high expectations about the workshops themselves,” El Saadany says. It turned out his expectations were to be exceeded by far. In the end, El Saadany took part in half a dozen different Mitacs Step skills development workshops.
What sets the Step workshops apart, El Saadany thinks, is first and foremost the quality and professionalism of the presenters. However, the content has also proven very useful to him.