ONCAT Summer 2019 Interns

Photo of interns - Danielle, Grigorii, Aidan
News Release

There are a few key points of transition in a student’s post-secondary life⁠—adjusting to a new school and environment, perhaps a transfer to a different school or program, and finally that bittersweet change from the world of academia into the launch of their careers. Internships can be a wonderful pathway to facilitate this next step. For the first time ever, ONCAT had the pleasure of bringing on three interns this summer, coming from three different and interesting fields.

For this blog post, we asked our interns a few questions to share their experiences during their time at ONCAT and to allow us to get to know a bit more about them.

Aidan Hayes

What is your role at ONCAT? Can you tell us about a particular project you’ve found interesting? 
I’m the Policy Analyst intern at ONCAT. I’ve been researching the internationalization of post-secondary education in Europe and how we can possibly adapt some of their methodologies here in Canada. 

Aidan Hayes: Policy Analyst Intern. Interests/Hobbies: Heavy-metal music. Summer Reading: A mountain of philosophy of science works that is required for the independent research part of my degree on ways for people in policy to distinguish genuine scientific expertise from fake science.

What has your academic journey looked like to-date? 
“A long and winding road” might be the best way to put it. I have a BA and MA in philosophy, after which I spent several years working as a contract teaching assistant and at a university writing centre. Eventually, I got tired of searching constantly for contracts to apply to, and so decided to go back to school. I’m now finishing up my MA in Public Policy and Administration, which I certainly hope will be my last degree!

What has been the most exciting part about your internship so far?
At university I’ve often found that, between the demands of balancing several classes and assignments, I haven’t had as much time as I’ve wanted to learn about the details of policy fields before having to move on to the next one. At ONCAT I have the opportunity to focus more; my attention isn’t spread around so many different issues, so I get to feel like I really understand what I’m working on. 

What’s a tip you would give to future interns? 
Learn about your colleagues’ work. It can give more insight on how you can work well together and it can also double as a great ice breaker for getting to know everyone around the office. 

What are you looking forward to after this internship? 
I don’t actually know where I’ll be living or working two months from now. That’s sort of exciting!

Grigorii Kniazev

Grigorii Kniazev: Research Analyst Intern. Interests/Hobbies: Sci-Fi movies and books, photography, reading random articles on Wikipedia, and cycling. Summer Reading: Just finished The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

What’s your role at ONCAT? Can you tell us about a particular project you’ve found interesting? I’m the Research Analyst Intern at ONCAT. My main project was the very interesting task of identifying college-to-university pathway agreements within ONCAT’s database. This was a great opportunity to apply and refine my knowledge in using Excel to solve complex data problems. 

What has your academic journey looked like to-date? 
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering (Metallurgy). This internship also concluded my Research Analyst postgraduate certificate program at Humber College. In the future, I may take a data/big data analyst course. 

What has been the most exciting part about your internship so far? 
My research project on 2+2 Pathway agreements, which are the agreements between colleges and universities that allow students who have graduated with a College diploma (2 year program) to continue further in a related program at a university to get a Bachelor’s degree (additional 2 years). It was exciting to learn about how transfer (done right) can save students time and money.

What’s a tip you would like to give to future interns? 
Always ask questions and pay attention to unexpected findings. This will help you understand your tasks better and work with your data sets with more focus. 

What are you looking forward to after this internship? 
To find an interesting job that I would be excited to do. I hope to find a position in the market research industry. 

Danielle Wong

Danielle Wong: Digital Marketing & Content Specialist Intern. Interest/Hobbies: Painting, photography, reading, and writing.  Summer Reading: Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

What is your role at ONCAT? Can you tell us about a particular project you’ve found interesting? 
I’m the Digital Marketing and Content Specialist Intern at ONCAT. This summer I’ve been working on the ONTransfer.ca Refresh project. Through this project I’ve been able to enhance some existing skills and learn new ones. 

What has your academic journey looked like to-date? 
I took a gap year after highschool, which turned into a gap year and a half until I decided to enroll at George Brown for Special Events Management. I graduated last year and am currently expanding my options into furthering my career in digital marketing. 

What has been the most exciting part of your internship so far? 
Personally, I enjoy projects and tasks that ask for creativity, whether that is visual or in writing. At ONCAT, I have been lucky enough to work on projects that involve visual graphics and content writing. Projects like graphics on the 2018/19 Annual Report, the ONTransfer.ca Summer Refresh, and the internship blog post you’re reading right now! 

What’s a tip you would give to future interns? 
It’s okay to have more than one internship—this internship is my second and it has really helped me with my career search. It can be useful to remember that your journey doesn’t have to be linear in order to be meaningful. 
Internships are a great way to window-shop for your career, they help you sort through what you don’t want to do and what you really want to do. Explore your options and expand your skills in as many ways as you can. You don’t necessarily have to get a job with your degree, but when you do find something you can see yourself doing, go with it, work hard, and never put it down. 

What are you looking forward to after this internship? 
With all interns, I think the scariest and most exciting thing about finishing an internship is moving forward with your career. Learning on your feet isn’t always easy, but at least it’s fun. I’m trying to squeeze myself into the workforce with a job that I will enjoy and that will stimulate my creativity. Currently, I’m actively looking for positions in the digital marketing field. Mostly, I’m just looking forward to the future, whatever that may hold for me. 

As summer comes to a close, we thank our interns for being sucha wonderful additions to the team, and we wish them well in all of their future endeavours.

ONCAT seeks to center and engage students in all the work that we do. If you’re a student looking to get involved, please check out some of the following opportunities: 

  • Policy Analyst Intern: https://oncat.ca/en/policy-analyst-intern

  • Student Transfer Expert Panel (STEP) volunteer: STEP members are current students or recent graduates that have transferred at least once in their academic journey in Ontario. As representatives of the community ONCAT serves, STEP provides valuable feedback on ONCAT activities, including but not limited to: ONTransfer.ca, research initiatives, committees, governance, projects, and granting. Learn more: https://oncat.ca/en/step 

If you would like to stay up-to-date about future internship opportunities, please follow us on Twitter @ONCAT and subscribe to our newsletter.