News Story

Carleton University Partners with Shopify to Introduce First-in-Canada Multi-Year Student Internships

Re-imagining experiential learning

Learning by doing drives the classroom message home. And earning while learning? Hard to beat.

Carleton University and Shopify, the leading cloud-based, multichannel commerce platform designed for small- and medium-sized businesses, are introducing a new model of learning that embeds students in an industrial environment.

This fall, 11 Carleton students are splitting their time between the university’s campus and Shopify’s downtown Ottawa headquarters. Students will learn some course concepts at Shopify by joining teams and contributing to projects, with the freedom to take as much or as little time as needed for deep understanding of concepts, in addition to taking theoretical courses and electives at Carleton.

The model is unique in that students receive the support and rigour of a university degree as well as long-term, continuous experience with at-scale software development alongside industry-leading developers. Students obtain a Bachelor of Computer Science (BCS) degree, and Shopify provides a salary in addition to covering tuition, helping to relieve graduates from their debt burden.

The partnership brings theory and practice together, with Carleton faculty evaluating the students and overseeing curriculum and exams. Students have access to all the academic and student services at Carleton while working at Shopify throughout their degrees. Under a mentor, they will apply concepts mapped to Carleton’s curriculum and develop marketable experience on Shopify industrial software projects.

It’s a long-term collaboration that is changing the way we think about experiential learning – the kind of integrated learning that arms students with a network of mentors and contacts before graduation and the satisfaction of working on a major project over the long term. Registration will open in October for students wanting to start in September 2017.