Arts Work Experience Program


 Why take part in the Arts Work Experience (AWE) Program?

  • Apply the skills that you learn at University in a workplace setting
  • Gain invaluable experience and contacts in your future profession
  • Develop interpersonal and professional skills 
  • Explore and evaluate future employment opportunities
  • Earn an income
  • Bring a hands-on perspective to your final year of University
  • Maintain your full-time student status for scholarship and loan repayment

How do I apply for the AWE Program?

Application forms are available for pick up at the HUB Career Centre (8917 HUB Mall) or download an application here.

What can I expect from the AWE Program?

There are three phases to the Arts Work Experience Program: 
  1. First, complete the application form and meet with the Faculty  of Arts Career Development Officer (CDO). After you are accepted into the AWE Program, you will begin working with CAPS. CAPS will provide you with more information about how to search and apply for job opportunities and how to register for pre-work experience career education sessions on Career Advising, Writing your Resume & Cover Letter, and Interview Skills. You begin applying for positions. If selected, the employer will offer you a position directly and arrange an interview.
  2. The second phase is the actual work experience term. You will be supported throughout your work term, receive regular email contact, and a site visit from the Arts CDO. You will also complete the first of two e-classes called, Writing your Personal Learning Objectives.
  3. The final phase of the AWE Program includes personal and employer evaluations. You will also be asked to participate in the final mandatory career education session called Making Sense of your Work Experience.

Can I apply for the AWE Program after I graduate?
No, the AWE Program is only open to current, undergraduate students. For example if you are graduating in June, you can't apply to start a work experience position for the following September. However, it may be possible to delay your convocation and start a work term immediately following your last classes for a May 1st start. Contact the Arts Career Development Officer for details and clarification.

There are other career education options and employer run internships that are open to recent graduates. Please contact the HUB Career Centre for more information.

How do I find Work Experience Positions?
Once you are accepted into the Arts Work Experience Program, you will be eligible to apply for AWE Program job postings listed on the CAPS Job Bank at You will apply for positions of interest and the employer will contact you if you are successful in securing an interview. Remember there is also the opportunity to organize your own work experience, if you are interested in this option ask the Arts Career Development Officer for details. The Career Education Sessions on Resume & Cover Letter Writing and Interview Preparation are designed to assist you in this process. There is also an optional session on proposing your own work experience.

What types of opportunities are available? 
There are a wide range of non-profit, public and private sector positions available. Due to the versatility of an Arts education there are a wide range of employers who are interested in hiring Arts students. Visit the list of our AWE employer partners.

Do I receive credit for my work term?
No, there is no credit weight assigned to work experience courses. They are pass/fail, or in the University of Alberta Calendar credit/no credit. Please see the U of A calendar entry for more information.

Keep in mind that one of the benefits of participating in the AWE Program is the professional experience and network of contacts that you will gain for your resume, in addition to your degree.

Students who complete 12 months of work experience through the AWE Program, meet all of their academic requirements for their Bachelor of Arts and complete the two mandatory AWE career education sessions will receive the unique work experience designation on their parchment. 

What supports will I have at my workplace? 
You will have a supervisor/mentor at your workplace. You and your supervisor will set out learning objectives for your Work Experience at the beginning of your position. Once you are accepted into the AWE Program you will receive more information about setting learning objectives.

What supports will I have on campus? 
You will always have access to the Faculty of Arts Career Development Officer who can provide information and guidance throughout your work search and employment.

What is career education and why is it part of the AWE Program?

CAPS: Your U of A Career Centre has developed career education programming specifically for AWE students to guide and support you in applying and interviewing for positions; setting learning objectives and reflecting on your work experience; and planning next steps in your career. This career education is intended to help you gain the maximum benefit from your work experience and to increase your employability skills as you move forward in your career.

Once you are formally accepted into the program, you are strongly encouraged to complete the following one-hour consultations:

  • Career advising
  • Resume and cover letter critique
  • Mock interview

Once you have secured a work experience position, you are required to complete the following e-classes throughout and immediately following your work experience term.

  • Writing your personal learning objectives
  • Making sense of your work experience

I'm an international student, how will this program impact my work/study permits? 
The Government of Canada has a special work permit in place to allow international students to participate in work experience, internship and co-op programs. If you are an international student and are interested in the AWE Program, please contact the Arts CDO for more information.

Who can I contact with questions? 
Amber Nicholson,  Career Development Officer, Faculty of Arts or 780-492-6022
HUB Career Centre (8917 HUB Mall)