OpenText and Lakehead University announced a new program that will create internship opportunities for Indigenous students enrolled at the University.
New summer internship program
As part of the new partnership between OpenText and Lakehead University, up to 25 full-time summer internships will be created for Indigenous students studying at Lakehead’s Thunder Bay and Orillia campuses through the OpenText Indigenous Internship Program.
The four-month internships will allow students to intern remotely at OpenText in the software engineering, marketing, finance, information technology, and human resources departments, where they will gain valuable soft and technical skills, confidence and knowledge that will better prepare them to enter the workforce.
These internships will include in-depth onboarding activities, engagement with OpenText leadership, mentorships with established OpenText affinity groups, and career planning and financial planning training sessions.
Removing barriers for Indigenous students
“OpenText believes a critical action Corporate Canada must take in removing barriers for Indigenous students, is to create jobs,” said Mark J. Barrenechea, CEO & CTO, OpenText. “Through this exciting partnership with Lakehead University, OpenText will create a next-generation internship program for Indigenous students that offers a compelling pathway to digital jobs. I look forward to welcoming these students, creating digital skills, and learning from them.”
Lakehead has over a thousand self-identified Indigenous students enrolled in 2020, which represents 12 per cent of the University’s domestic student population – one of the highest enrolments of self-identified Indigenous students among Ontario universities.
Lakehead President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Moira McPherson is excited about the significance of this partnership.
“We understand the barriers that Indigenous students face when looking for ways to start and nurture careers,” she stated. “Partnerships like this one with OpenText will contribute greatly to our students’ futures by providing experiences to work hand-in-hand with professionals in their field, apply skills and knowledge they gained at Lakehead University, and share their culture and history with others.”
Creating new opportunities
The addition of the OpenText Indigenous Internship Program will expand the innovative experiential learning opportunities offered to students on Lakehead’s campuses and demonstrates the University’s commitment to helping Indigenous students further their educational aspirations.
Both OpenText and Lakehead University acknowledge the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, including the call for businesses to build respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples, ensure equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector.
Internships beginning this summer
The first recruitment for the OpenText Indigenous Internship Program will take place this fall, with the placements occurring during the summer of 2022.
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