Food Systems Internships

Food Systems Internships


LFS 496 For-Credit Career Development Food Systems Internship

The LFS Career Development Internship (LFS 496) prepares UBC students professionally and academically for future careers through a mentored learning experience with a real food business or organization. Students apply the theory they gain from class through on-the-ground food system-related work and through reflections and course assignments that support their practical learning. The positions are unpaid, for-credit internships.

Current Postings:

For Current & Prospective Students

Current LFS 496 Course Material is Available Here.

UBC students from all Faculties are eligible. There are no pre-requisites to LFS 496.

It’s a foot in the door

Finally get your hands dirty, contribute to the success of an organization working in the food system, and learn from someone on the ground.

Choose the skills you want

Choose from a range of opportunities: community garden development, food literacy communication, sustainable food business practices, etc.

It’s structured

The program ensures your internship is a legitimate and fair learning opportunity. The parameters are clearly set with the workplace so that you work and train there in return for UBC credits.

See a sample of the LFS 496 Syllabus. LFS 496 Internships are for-credit, unpaid internships.

Watch for internship opportunities

In February, July and November, make sure to peruse the UBC Farm e-newsletter and UBC Farm website for internship opportunities.

Determine your interests and eligibility

Make sure you meet the internship’s eligibility criteria. Internships start in May, September, and January.

Time commitment is generally: (A) 3 months, 9h/week, (B) 6months, 9h/week, (C) 3 months, 18h/week.

Submit an application!

Follow instructions found on the posting and make sure to include all required information in your application, go through the interview process, and if selected, complete the course registration form.

For Current & Prospective Hosts

To be eligible to host an intern, your organization must have been operational for at least one year. Once you have determined your organization is eligible, make sure your internship opportunity idea meets the following requirements:

  • The student will be provided with an on-site workspace supervisor;
  • The student will receive an orientation session, including safety procedures, from your workplace;
  • The workplace supervisor will complete a mid-way and final feedback form to communicate student progress and learning.

The unpaid, for-credit, internship model ensures you are providing a legitimate and fair learning opportunity for the student while also benefiting your organization. The student works and trains at your organization or company, and will receive academic credit from the University of British Columbia.

It’s rewarding

For you and for them! Students signing up for LFS Career Development Internships are bright and focused. More importantly, they are highly motivated to get their hands dirty and contribute to the success of your organization. Supervising interns can take up staff time and resources, but what you get in return—the creativity of new perspectives and the injection of energy—can be worth it.

It’s personalized

You choose the student according to your needs and specificities. Do you have projects on the backburner that require a special set of skills or an extra set of hands? You can incorporate these requirements in the application form. Then you can interview your top choices and connect with potential candidates. There is also flexibility as to how many hours and for how many months you work with the intern.

It’s structured

The unpaid, for-credit, internship model ensures you are providing a legitimate and fair learning opportunity for the student while also benefitting your organization. The student works and trains at your organization or company, and will receive academic credit from the University of British Columbia.

Complete a Career Development Internship posting

This form will help you describe the project and related tasks that you would like the intern to complete, as well as the timing of the internship and desired intern qualifications. Internship start months are aligned with the start of each academic semester, that is May, September, and January. There is flexibility as to how many hours and for how you can host an intern.

Here are the options:

  • 3 months at 9 hours per week
  • 3 months at 18 hours per week
  • 6 months at 9 hours per week

Submit the posting by email to at least two months prior to the planned start of the internship (the earlier the better). Our team will be in touch to finalize the posting. For additional details on responsibilities, consult this Mentor Support Sheet. See a sample of the LFS 496 Syllabus.

I think a farm is a place of self-growth. You are learning about yourself but are also learning what you actually want to do. There are many opportunities for growing in ways you may not imagine.

Mel Sylvestre, Intern Supervisor

I worked on Feeding Growth, a learning program for sustainable packaged food companies in Vancouver and BC. Before this internship, I didn’t know where I belonged in the food system. My internship completely changed my perspective on how business can be a collaborative effort even if you are competitors. It led me to realize that I am interested in business development and entrepreneurship. It’s a lot of work and requires risk-taking but I think I’m someone who is willing to do that.

Sophie Draper, Feeding Growth Intern

The most interesting thing I encountered throughout my internship was the importance of developing relationships with the community. It takes time to develop trust and communication, but once you do, it is well worth the investment. As a public health student, my internship organizing sustainable living workshops gave me a new perspective on supporting the health of our community.

Carly Koenig, Food Skills Education Intern

One thing people should know about the UBC Farm is that it is strong from an academic perspective, as well as industrial. It has multiple research projects going on but at the same time it is a fully-working farm that makes money. I didn’t know about this until I spent time  learning about the UBC Farm. I also didn’t know how multi-disciplinary it is. There are more computer science students who would probably love to work on the UBC Farm application and would do it just for a chance to get experience.

Ian McLean, Farm Management Application Intern

The most surprising aspect of my internship was finding out how everyone came from different backgrounds. I first pictured the Farm as everyone being an expert farmer, but as I encountered many students, researchers, and other members of CSFS throughout my internship, I saw how they all had their own stories and came from different angles and different lenses.

Sigbrit Jaccard Søchting, Biodiversity and Perennial Crops Intern