Experience Building

How do you get on-the-job experience when most entry-level jobs call for at least a year of experience in a related role? We can connect you with experience-building opportunities that work for you, regardless of your current experience or skill level.

Check out our Guide to Work-Integrated Learning on Avenue to Learn

Discover what these experiences are all about, how you can prepare and ways you can make the most of them.

Guide to Work-Integrated Learning

Placements and programs

So, you want to build experience? Good news. You have options. Check out this section for diverse opportunities to gain experience through work placements, programs and more.

Career Treks are short-term opportunities to gain valuable workplace experience, receive mentorship and learn about a local industry. Many Career Treks with various time commitment requirements and work environments, including remote work are posted on  OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Volunteer & Experience Building >Postings.

Career Treks is a sample of the types of opportunities posted.

  • Marketing and communications
  • Market validation
  • Website redesign
  • Business strategy
  • Arts and creative
  • Market research
  • Data analysis
  • Production

Experience Ventures logo

Experience Ventures, powered by the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking at the University of Calgary, enables you to make an impact alongside real-world innovators through entrepreneurial thinking placements.

Experience Ventures is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s innovative work-integrated learning initiative.

How it works

  • Experience Ventures offers an entrepreneurial thinking placement with a McMaster-partnered company.
  • After acceptance, you complete an onboarding process before participating in the entrepreneurial thinking opportunity.
  • After completing the opportunity, you complete an evaluation.
  • Experience Ventures opportunities are structured and short-term experiences that complement your academic study and fit with your busy schedule.

Who is eligible?

Any student from any discipline and Faculty registered in a Canadian college or university who is…

  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person with refugee protection under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations
  • Enrolled in any full- or part-time program of post-secondary study

How much do these opportunities pay?

Compensation is in the form of an honorarium. The specific amount for each position is listed on its posting page on OSCARplus.

  • The Venture host or employer must verify that you completed the project.
  • You must complete all program requirements on Avenue to Learn (A2L).

Get started

Discover Experience Ventures on OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Volunteer & Experience Building > Postings. Then, filter by Experience Ventures.

MindSumo was created out of the Stanford Student Startup Accelerator, StartX, by three friends who wanted to change the way that creative thinkers and companies worked together. Today MindSumo has become the leading platform for Millennial & Gen Z problem solvers to apply their creativity and innovation by working on projects from top companies from around the world.

Our community represents over 700,000 problem solvers from six continents and over 3,000 universities. Participate in a challenge to apply your skills and get recognized, earn cash prizes, and make a difference!

Most of us have a mentor, whether they’re a family member, friend or professional connection. Mentors are the people in our lives who help us find direction and clarity. There are many reasons to seek guidance from a mentor. For example, a mentor can help you:

  • Gain personal and professional development.
  • Build your professional network.
  • Develop your skills.
  • Find connections between your skills and work.
  • Explore your career.
  • Receive encouragement and guidance.

Participate in our formal mentoring program to connect with career professionals. To browse current mentorship programs and opportunities, visit OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Mentorship & Career Conversations.

Formal mentoring programs

Careers in Mental Health and Counselling: Explore careers in mental health and counseling by engaging with recent alumni and established professionals in the field.
Diversity in Leadership: The Diversity in Leadership program is designed to offer young professionals at McMaster the unique chance to learn, seek guidance, and seek advice from individuals with similar lived experiences.
McMaster Mentorship: The McMaster Mentorship program aims to facilitate connections between McMaster students and employees, offering them a glimpse into the vibrant work environment at McMaster University.
MentorMatch: The Health Sciences MentorMatch program facilitates connections between BHSc (Honours) students and McMaster alumni and community partners.

Application deadline: October 13, 2023

Register on OSCARplus under Student Success Centre > Mentorship & Career Conversations.

Develop employment skills and move closer to your career goals with the Student Success Centre Peer Leader Program. Support your fellow students by providing guidance and leadership, sharing information on services, resources, events and activities, and serving as a support system through motivation and encouragement.

Explore positions and other volunteer opportunities on OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Volunteer & Experience Building > Postings.

New applications will open in Winter 2024.

Volunteering and community engagement

If you want to gain experience while making a difference, then volunteering might be right for you. Volunteering unites students and communities through a shared purpose. Get involved to gain valuable experience, develop transferrable skills, help organizations meet their goals and build better communities.

OSCARplus postings

Explore volunteer opportunities and postings on OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Volunteer & Experience Building > Postings. We post opportunities throughout the year, so it’s a good idea to check often.

Volunteer and work abroad

Do you want to take your volunteering and community engagement abroad? Browse our global opportunities — getting involved abroad may be easier than you think.

Are you in your first year?

Learn how to make the most of it through community engagement and volunteering. Watch this video for more information.

Community Engagement and Volunteer Fair

The Community Engagement and Volunteer Fair is an annual event that takes place in early September. Connect with organizations and explore opportunities to get involved, explore different career fields and develop meaningful connections while developing transferrable skills and gaining valuable experience.

Volunteer and Part-Time Job Fair

This fair takes place in the fall and spring each year.  Discover a range of volunteer opportunities, co-op positions and part-time and full-time jobs. Plus, connect in real time with organizations who want to hire McMaster students and recent alumni.

Guidance and support

If you want to gain experience, but you aren’t where to start, we can help. Check in with us through a one-on-one appointment to discuss your options and receive helpful advice. We can also help you make the most of OSCARplus to access valuable experience-building and mentorship opportunities.

Meet one-on-one with our experiential learning team to explore opportunities to gain experience, including job shadows, self-directed opportunities, placements, volunteering and mentorship. We can help you find an opportunity that suits your interests and goals. Book an appointment on OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Appointments > Experiential and Employment.

At our workshops, you we’ll support you and offer guidance on ways to gain experience, build confidence and develop skills that will impress employers. All of our workshops are hosted online through Zoom. To browse upcoming workshops and register, visit OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Events.