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Co-op students explore career opportunities on a mission to MaRS


Discovery was on the minds of 35 students in arts and science co-op programs at U of T Scarborough who were invited to tour the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research labs and the Structural Genomics Consortium at the MaRS Centre in Toronto on March 25.

Cell and molecular biology student Anuradha Dhar says that attending these tours enables students to get a real feel of the work environment. “It’s a wonderful learning experience and gives us the chance to see how what we learn in class is used in the real workplace,” says Dhar.

The MaRS Centre is home to dozens of companies from research laboratories, to small, medium and established global companies, professional service firms, community networking organizations and more. There are currently six U of T Scarborough co-op students on work terms at the MaRS labs and organizations. The goal of industry tours, according to co-op staff, is to expand the roster of top companies partnering with our co-op offices and to expose students to exciting professional opportunities while they develop their career path.

On the tour, the students saw first-hand the research that is taking place in these facilities. “The most interesting part for me was the cancer genomics department,” says Ayushi Dhinga, who is also in the cell and molecular biology program. “The researcher showed us the machines in the order that they would be used when extracting DNA, synthesizing a genome, making copies, and preserving the genome/DNA. He took all our questions and answered them to our satisfaction. The best part was the fact that we actually learned a lot of what he was talking about in our first year biology course. It was satisfying to make some of our own connections.”

The Arts & Science Co-op department scheduled the tour to coincide with National Co-operative Education Week held from March 22-26. U of T Scarborough is one of 83 member institutions of the Canadian Association For Cooperative Education (CAFCE). According to the CAFCE, there are more than 80,000 co-op students at institutions across the country. U of T Scarborough has been a regional leader in co-operative education for 35 years.

See photos of the tour.

Find out more about Co-op at U of T Scarborough.

© University of Toronto Scarborough