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 ubcfarm.academic@ubc.ca 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.

1. Interview applicants – we recommend interviewing a maximum of 5 students.

2. Contact CSFS’s LFS 496 team to receive the LFS 496 Registration Form and inquire about the deadline to complete the form.

3. Email your preferred student candidate(s) with the following information:

  • A deadline by which to tell you if they accept (we recommend a maximum of one week)
  • Email the student/s the LFS 496 Registration Form
  • Include this link to all LFS 496 Course Material, which includes an example of a completed LFS 496 Registration Form as well as the course syllabus
  • And let them know the deadline by which that registration form needs to be completed

4. It is the responsibility of the selected intern(s) to complete the Registration Form and get the necessary signatures. This being said, it is your responsibility to assist them in filling out and providing feedback on the form.

5. Internships start the first day of the semester and end on the last day of exams. Consult UBC’s Calendar for exact dates.

6. The student will track hours on a time log that will be shared with you. The expectations on number of hours worked per semester are indicated below. The number of hours per week is flexible as long as the total number of hours is completed by the end of the semester.

  • 3 credits/semester – 9h/week, which totals 120 hours/semester
  • 6 credits/semester – 18h/week, which totals 240 hours/semester

7. Once the internship starts, meet with your student(s) as needed, complete the student evaluation form the LFS 496 team will send you, and do not hesitate to get in touch with the team if you have any questions.

It was interesting to learn about the dynamic position the Farm is in - straddling both the student and the institutional side, as it offers food for the UBC Campus community but also serves as a living laboratory for students. There are no other University farms like it in North America.

Meryn Corkery, Communications Intern & Academic Assistant

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