MaRS and Canadian gov’t want to give students experience in STEM companies


MaRS Studio Y and Employment and Social Development Canada launched the Student Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Fellowship to give students work experience in tech companies.

“Canadian students are our future pace-setters, and will determine the success of our country,” said Lekan Olawoye, lead executive of Studio Y. “Targeting all students enrolled in post-secondary education, the program will place particular attention on engaging and supporting women in STEM, recent immigrants, indigenous youth and first-year students to foster diverse workplaces thereby increasing Canada’s competitive advantage.”

MaRS will be focusing on four key areas, including health, energy, the environment, finance and commerce, and the future of work and learning.

“Thanks to the support of ESDC, MaRS Studio Y programming, and our high-growth ventures, Canada’s emerging talent will gain the experience, hands-on skills and mindsets necessary to successfully compete in the innovation economy,” Olawoye continued.

The three-year long WIL Fellowship program plans to provide 400 students with skills necessary to work in STEM. It also aims to support ventures in MaRS’ network to scale by introducing them to talent.

Nanoleaf, ecobee, Top Hat, and Wealthsimple are among the ventures contributing to the fellowship.  All students currently enrolled in post-secondary education in Canada are eligible to apply for the program.

“This program will build stronger partnerships between government, post-secondary institutions and employers and will help young Canadians gain the experience they need to get jobs that encourage them to become the innovative leaders of tomorrow,” said Kristy Duncan, Minister of Science.

MaRS will be focusing on four key areas, including health, energy, the environment, finance and commerce, and the future of work and learning. Students who are part of the fellowship will get a chance to work in these sectors, specifically in STEM and sales and marketing.

The program has made a commitment to attracting students from under-represented groups, including women, recent immigrants, indigenous youth, and first-year students. Participating students will be able to access Studio Y’s curriculum.

Four cohorts have participated in the MaRS Studio Y’s skills and leadership training fellowship since its launch in 2013. The post-secondary institutions and participating companies will be revealed in the next few months.

Photo via Unsplash

Aeman Ansari

Aeman Ansari

Aeman Ansari is a freelance writer who has been published in many Toronto-based publications, including Hazlitt and Torontoist. When she’s not re-watching Hitchcock movies, she’s working on her collection of short fiction inspired by stories from her grandmother, one of the few women in India to receive post-secondary education in English literature at the time.