MFRE Project Partnerships

What is a Project Partner?

Each summer between May and August, MFRE students undertake a Graduating Project in which they work with an organization, hereby referred to as Project Partners, towards a predefined goal. Graduating projects can take many forms, ranging from consultancy to academic research to formal internships in the Vancouver area, across Canada or anywhere in the world.

The MFRE is unique in its approach to projects by providing all the support students need for success. From the moment they start developing their proposal to the end of the project, students receive ongoing direct coaching and advice from a UBC Faculty Supervisor, a peer-reviewed working group led by a mentor, and from the Project Partner through a Site Supervisor.

At the end of the project, students typically submit a set of deliverables to the Project Partner. Depending on the nature of the project, these deliverables can take the form of a formal report, guide, or manual.

What is a Project Partner?

Each summer between May and August, MFRE students undertake a Graduating Project in which they work with an organization, hereby referred to as Project Partners, towards a predefined goal. Graduating projects can take many forms, ranging from consultancy to academic research to formal internships in the Vancouver area, across Canada or anywhere in the world.

The MFRE is unique in its approach to projects by providing all the support students need for success. From the moment they start developing their proposal to the end of the project, students receive ongoing direct coaching and advise from: a UBC Faculty Supervisor, a peer-reviewed working group led by a mentor, and from the Project Partner through a Site Supervisor.

At the end of the project, students typically submit a set of deliverables to the Project Partner. Depending on the nature of the project, these deliverables can take the form of a formal report, guide, or manual. Each student also provides a performance report, documenting key achievements and lessons learned.

75

Project Partners and Counting

184

Graduating Projects Completed

17

Major Industries to Which MFRE
Students Have Contributed

Why become a Project Partner?

A student can benefit a Project Partner in several ways such as conducting research on specific questions, evaluating performance of certain practices, or performing specific tasks in an internship-like way. Through this symbiotic relationship Project Partners benefit from the work of students, while they obtain valuable professional experience. In many cases students and partners have formed a permanent work relationship once the project is done, either through employment or consulting schemes.

Benefits for Project Partners
  • Opportunity to work alongside students with a portfolio of practical problem-solving skills
  • Access to valuable networks, project experience and industry expertise
  • Project supervision and mentorship by UBC faculty members
  • Potential employees from a growing network of highly trained alumni
  • Potential ongoing partnerships such as year-to-year projects

Project Partnership Quick Facts

Location: Canada or abroad (Remote or at the worksite)

Full/Part time: Full-time (Part-time also possible)

Period: Early May to late August

Advisory: Each project is overseen by a Site Supervisor (Project Partner) and a Faculty Supervisor (UBC).

Approach: We strive for win-win outcomes and ensure proper alignment of student and Project Partner goals.

Confidentiality: Faculty Supervisors and students are generally agreeable to signing standard non-disclosure agreements to protect the Project Partner’s confidentiality.

Compensation: Compensation for the student is encouraged but not mandatory and can be negotiated. Every year students work on a mixture of paid or unpaid projects. However, projects that offer compensation tend to be the most sought after and are typically better fitted.

Role of the Project Partner

Even though students receive most of the support they need from UBC Faculty Supervisors and mentors, Project Partners are required to undertake the following via a Site Supervisor:

  • Assist in Project Proposal Development: Site Supervisors are asked to provide feedback on the project proposal developed by the student and Faculty Supervisor, to ensure goals alignment.
  • Meet Regularly with the Student: Site Supervisors are asked to schedule regular meetings throughout the duration of the project to provide feedback on its quality and progress.
  • Support Student Professional Development: Students are supported by MFRE through workshops that aid in the efficient completion of their project. Students will require flexibility to attend these mandatory events.
  • Communicate with MFRE program: Site Supervisors are asked to communicate with the Faculty Supervisor regarding the student’s project/performance at the beginning and end of the project.

“The research and data analytic skills of the students were a great match with the risk management accountabilities of our unit. They built relevant models that generated actionable insights and practical information.”

J.P. Gervais

Chief Economist | Farm Credit Canada

How to become a Project Partner

Step 1:

Evaluate Potential Fit

How can our students help your organization? Our students have worked on a vast range of projects, browse examples on our showcase below. No specific project idea? Contact us anyway, we’ll help you define one.

Step 2:

Project Approval

If your project is a good match, our team will contact you to formalize it. We’ll then do our best to find a student with matching interests and skills.

Step 3:

Apply to be a Project Partner

Please fill out the application form below if you would like to submit a project idea. We’ll contact you if more details are needed.

Step 4:

Meet the MFRE team

If your project is selected, our team will work with you (in-person or virtually) to define the project specifics.

Apply to Become a Project Partner

Interested in having an MFRE student work for your organization? Follow the link below to submit your application.

Apply Now

Sean Bing

Agricultural Services Associate

TD Canada

Visit our grad project showcase for fantastic project examples.

MFRE candidates have spent their summer at top research institutions, think tanks, investment banks, provincial and federal government agencies, community organizations, international NGOs, startups and small businesses and large companies in various industries.

View Showcase

As mentioned above, projects in the areas of finance, cost-benefit, business development, data analysis, market feasibility and policy within the context of environment, resources, food and agriculture all fit. Visit our Graduating Project Showcase for project examples. The MFRE program staff & faculty are happy to chat with you to develop a project idea that fits your needs.

Please fill out the application form above by clicking on the Apply Now button. Our team will contact you if more details are needed.

Students have the ongoing direct support of a faculty supervisor and MFRE working group when developing the proposal for the project and throughout the summer. We do this to ensure that agencies, firms and students all get what they want from the project. In this model, students are the drivers of the project, but firms/agencies also get the expertise of the MFRE faculty and staff.

Students are from a range of backgrounds, countries and work experience. In a typical year, approximately 1/3 of the students are Canadian, and 2/3 international and 1/3 have work experience. For details regarding the current year students, review our website:

Current Students: Bios and Contacts: https://mfre.landfood.ubc.ca/people/current-students/

  • Mid- February: Deadline for project partners should to provide project details.
  • Feb - March: Period for students to choose projects.
  • Late March: Vetting and Decision made by MFRE program with candidates provided to Project Partners
  • End of March: Project Partners provide their decision to MFRE program
  • May: Students, together with the Project Partner and MFRE program, develop a formal proposal for project
  • May to mid-August: Project undertaken and completed.

A second round of postings and applications will most certainly occur in March/April. You are welcome to post a new position during this time. However, some students will have already accepted other positions making the MFRE student pool smaller for the positions posted later in the spring.

Many of our projects are paid positions, but some are unpaid. The goal of the MFRE Graduating Projects is to provide students with the opportunity to practical application of course work and skills development in a professional setting. Thus, there are obvious trade-offs for students between gaining experience and compensation. In cases where the Project Partners are unable to provide salaried positions, we strongly encourage them to provide a summer stipend but acknowledge this may not be possible in all cases. Thus, we are happy to post unpaid work-experience positions.

Students have taken on and completed projects located in towns across British Columbia such as Kelowna, Golden, Kamloops and Langley; or elsewhere in Canada or abroad by utilizing communication tools such as Skype and video conferencing, or temporarily relocating to these locations.

Students generally take on projects that are full-time, but other options could be considered as well. As for workspace, it is helpful for the students to come into the site location on an occasional basis. However, many of our students work from UBC and communicate with their site on a regular basis via on-site, phone, skype and email exchanges.