Who are sponsors, what do sponsors do?
Sponsors play a key role in the education continuum as they provide the link for students between theoretical knowledge and practical application. Sponsors within our program feel that “while educating the interns in the ways of their organization (e.g., clients, policies, procedures etc), they are providing the intern with a positive and supportive learning environment and therefore providing the opportunity for the intern to judge and adapt their knowledge to specific situations.”
Sponsors are responsible for providing the practical experiences from their workplaces that are the links between theory and application. Sponsors provide the important guidance and evaluation that will determine if the dietetic intern has achieved entry-level professional dietetic competence. Sponsor support and commitment to the IEP is what allows for the program’s success!
Where are Internship Placements Located?
Our sponsors are both urban and rural. While the majority of the internship placements are located in the Atlantic Provinces, we do have sponsors across Canada. Placements may be in traditional locations such as hospitals and continuing care facilities; however, we are seeking opportunities that may be considered non-traditional or unique.
Some of our sponsors include:
• Adsum House (located in Halifax, NS);
• BC Dairy Foundation (located in Burnaby, BC);
• Cole Harbour Place (Dartmouth, NS);
• Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (located in Ottawa, ON),
• Diabetes Canada including Canadian Diabetes Camp (multiple locations across Canada);
• Nova Scotia Food Security Network;
• Digby Pines Golf Resort and Spa (located in Digby, NS);
• Shannex Healthcare Management (locations in NS);
• Aramark Canada (multiple locations in Atlantic Canada)
Why do we need more sponsors? Enrolment in all the programs at MSVU has grown significantly in recent years and is continuing to grow. As MSVU recognizes the importance of completing the internship for future careers it makes every effort to accommodate all eligible students in the IEP. As a result there are now over 45 interns in the IEP and over 100 sponsors in a wide variety of clinical, community and administrative settings throughout the Atlantic region and Ontario.
There does however continue to be a growing demand, in particular for clinical settings. Therefore, MSVU is responding to the demand for internships from students in the Dietetics and MScAHN programs by continuing to seek out more traditional and non-traditional sponsors.
What are the benefits to being a sponsor?
Our dietetic sponsors at MSVU have stated numerous benefits to both themselves and to their organizations from serving as a sponsor.
“I believe that I have grown both professionally and academically from what I have learned over the years through the dietetic interns that we have had at our organization”
“…The interns brings their own skill-set, literature updates, technology advances and professional network”
“…Our facility has benefited from gaining information/resources that I would not normally have time to source…”
“…They (interns) make us look at aspects of our own operation as well as our decision making criteria. It also helps to focus our thoughts and let them know which items we see critical in our operations”
“Projects or an activity that students complete is work that actually needs to be done. The research projects at the organization have been part of a bigger initiative and the interns contributed to that. If it was not for the students, some of these projects would not be completed due to time and funding constraints…Staff also benefit from the projects because the interns many times present the project work at lunch and learns”
“It keeps me up-to-date”
“…I spend more time thinking about how I come to decisions because I try to explain what I am doing as I go along so the intern has some insight and rationale. The benefit of having an intern is that you strengthen your own skills”