Oshawa's Durham College awarded grant to support 8 internships


Two local Durham College (DC) students made the best of an opportunity they were given to work as paid interns in April 2020.

“They basically knocked it out of the park,” said DC faculty researcher, Brent Clemens. “I really appreciate how much you can grow if given the opportunity. The world was their stage, they pounded through and put things together.”

DC is one of the first colleges to obtain access to two programs supported by a national not-for-profit organization, Mitacs.

Mitacs has designed research and training programs across Canada for 20 years supporting industrial and innovation. They gave DC, $120,000, which allowed for eight students to be involved in the two different applied research projects.

“The Mitacs Accelerate program is a unique funding model that brings researchers, students and businesses together to solve real-world challenges,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, the dean of DC's Office of Research Services of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

In the first project, Mitacs had set aside $30,000 where most of the money went to the two students, Clemens said.

The students Carly Warren and Manik Jandial, from DC’s Supply Chain and Operations Management – Business Administration program, worked on developing a unique inventory optimization model.

The students worked from the beginning to the end of an electronical manufacturing service to put different type of electronic pieces together, which are needed to support the customer needs and still following the Markham based-companies standards, Creation Technologies.

One big piece the students worked on was an Amazon robotic pick stations, said Clemens, so the students needed a big enough warehouse for the robotic assembly centres and how to understand to be able imbalance any costs that came their way.

Warren and Jandail worked under Maura Kirby, the Creation Technologies’ Supply Chain leader, and Clemens.

The students had a lot of independence, working from home, and were able to grow their maturity in the workplace.

At the end of their internship in September, the two students were hired part-time at Creation Technologies as they finish their last year at DC.

“Hands-on and real-world experience is a crucial part of a world-class post-secondary education. That’s why our Government is proud to support our colleges and universities through Mitacs to create more work-integrated learning opportunities for Ontario students,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities.

The second applied research project has not finished but in the first half of the program the other six DC students were from DC’s Artificial Intelligence Analysis, Design and Implementation and Data Analytics for Business Decision Making graduate certificate programs.

The students were brought into a start-up company, Reachout Inc. and were developing a two-way hybrid recommendation system to support employers and job seekers.

The system would rank the future applicants based from job descriptions which would help get better recommendations for employers and opportunities for the applicants.