ISM Canada named Royal Roads internship employer of the year

February 7, 2019
ISM Canada's Ricardo Ramirez (left) and Marie Doherty

Royal Roads University has named ISM Canada the recipient of the university’s second annual Internship Employer of the Year Award.

The award, created to recognize outstanding internship employers for the valuable learning experience they provide, was presented at the university’s sixth annual Career Development Conference Feb. 7.

With more than 40 years in the industry, ISM Canada is an information technology (IT) strategy company that offers IT advice and solutions to clients throughout Canada.

Master of Global Management student Ricardo Ramirez completed a five-month internship at ISM Canada in 2018.

“ISM Canada provided an exemplary internship experience that not only gave relevant academic and professional learning to Ricardo, but directly affected his human resources career in Canada,” says Natasha Dilay, manager of Career Learning and Development for Royal Roads. “Ricardo continues to work for ISM in a perfect example of how work-integrated learning can benefit students and employers.”

Marie Doherty, manager of people and culture for ISM Canada, says she was looking for a short-term employee rather than an intern when she interviewed Ramirez. But she says his initiative and “quiet confidence” convinced her to offer him the job.

 “I think employers need to look past traditional metrics like years of experience and look rather at what an employee brings with them and what the employer can teach,” Doherty says. “I can’t teach attitude or motivation or initiative. That’s what I found in Ricardo, and that’s what I think employers should be looking for.”

Ramirez says he’s grateful to ISM Canada for its support and involvement in his work and his learning. He says taking a broader view of what an internship can be can lead to great opportunities for students and employers.

“Many internships are for entry-level positions and companies may be reluctant to hire a graduate student with previous experience for those roles,” Ramirez says. “The key is to apply for other positions that we want instead and to be confident in ourselves. As master’s students we have experiences we can bring to the companies. We just require the opportunity to do it.”