Work-Integrated Learning (WIL)
What Is WIL?
By definition, WIL is an educational practice that intentionally integrates academic study in the workplace or a simulated work environment. Students reinforce their learning outcomes and academic theories through practical applications that are relevant to industry or community partners' needs.
How Does WIL Work?
- WIL is all about innovation. Students work with project partners to develop new solutions to emerging problems that impact industry and/or community stakeholders. Under faculty supervision, the student-driven ideas are presented to the project collaborators with the possibility of implementation. Read what our partners are saying.
- Students explore different aspects of business through a variety of WIL projects beginning in the first year of study, to further solidify areas of interest while exploring a variety of industries and career opportunities. This allows for the learning to be scaffolded so that the required skills are developed intentionally to facilitate more robust project work in the third and fourth years of study.
WIL allows U of T Scarborough BBA students to graduate with an internationally recognized degree combined with practical experience that develops highly sought-after transferable skills to meet the demands of today's knowledge-based economy.
Academic Courses with WIL Components
- Advancing Your Career Exploration (AYCE)
- Principles of Marketing
- Management Communications
- New Venture Creation and Planning
- Consumer Behaviour
- Management Information Systems
- Corporate Governance and Strategy: A CPA Perspective
- Consulting and Contracting: New Ways of Work
- Business Data Analytics
Co-curricular Opportunities (Outside of the Classroom) Available Year Round
Case competitions are a cornerstone of a business student’s education. Within the BBA program, we offer eight different academic specializations, each with a complementary student group that hosts an annual conference related to their field of study. The Department of Management works in collaboration with student groups, industry, and community partners to bring real-world cases to participants, who in turn offer innovative solutions to our industry partners’ current challenges, via:
- LIVE Competition
- STRIVE Conference
- Student Managed Fund
- Management Consulting Group
- Work Study offers paid, on-campus employment in a format that allows students to apply their classroom learning in a practical setting. The Department of Management hires a large complement of work study students (approximately 50-60) every year, who support campaigns and projects including the Management E-Store and the official Management Instagram channel.
From the conceptual and ideas phase of the SDI project to executing the launch of the platform, the project could not have been done without the creativity, theoretical knowledge, and strong leadership skills of the UTSC students. Beginning with access to an ideas bank like the CSC 101 student body was invaluable in solving a community-based problem with the use of technology. From this group we had access to strong, enthusiastic students who transitioned smoothly into full-time co-op team members. Both semesters the co-op students were engaged and integral in moving the project forward and on time.
– Hope Nestor, Research Partnership Lead, Toronto East Quadrant Local Immigration Partnership, Catholic Crosscultural Services
It was a really successful project. [My team] and I messaged one another immediately after the presentation as we were amazed at the quality of information. Many thanks for connecting us with Professor Radhakrishnan.
– Lina Wang, HR Business Partner and Talent Acquisition, HP Canada (Course Integration: Introduction to Industrial Relations)
The majority of the presentations were outstanding, and have certainly given us a lot to think about. If you would like to use OMERS again for any future student assessments, we would love to be included.
– Gillian Macgregor-Spurr, Manager, Leadership & Digital Learning, OMERS (Course Integration: Management Skills)
WIL Resources for Employers
Types of Work-Integrated Learning (WIL)
Co-operative Education (Co-op)
Co-op consists of paid work terms that alternate between academic terms. Work terms provide experience in a workplace setting related to the student’s field of study. The number of required work terms varies by program; however, the time spent in work terms must be at least 30% of the time spent in academic study.
Mentorship, space, and/or funding is provided to engage students in the earily-stage development of business start-ups either for academic credit or through our co-curricular New Venture Program. Developmental formation is self-directed with strong foundational business theory to set students up for success as entrepreneurs or corporate innovators. See also: The BRIDGE.
Applied Research Projects
Student research that addresses specific needs of an external partner organization, often taking place in the field. Characteristics include: student-generated research questions, methodologies, conceptual frameworks, and project management plans under academic supervision. Students analyze the collected information or data to reinforce their understanding of how research outcomes relate to the concepts from their academic curriculum. Projects often focus on consulting, design, market research and analysis, data analytics, and community-focused initiatives.
Field Placement / Externship
Short-term, practical activities outside of the classroom in a setting relevant to the student’s academic discipline offering intensive practical skills development. Students may investigate similarities and differences amongst multiple environments, or focus on a specific outcome. These experiences prepare students for professional fields where there might not be formal certification.
Competitions and Co-curricular Engagement
Competitive events such as case competitions and hackathons in which teams work on industry-provided projects over a short period of time, such as a weekend or a week. These events are often sponsored and judged by industry representatives who work with U of T staff, faculty, and students to co-develop a case based on a present-day industry challenge. Long-term engagements include the Student Managed Fund, where students gain experience by managing simulated investment portfolios on the actual market, and the Management Consulting Group.