A Student Perspective on Working at ICUBE

Between class time and assignments, it can be difficult for some students to even consider taking on a part-time job. However, for certain students, factors such as paying back OSAP or gaining work experience before graduation is an added pressure, and thus, they often find themselves facing the common problem of balancing work with school. The myth associated with working while studying is that students who do it miss opportunities to enhance their education. However, your work experiences can actually enable your learning in many ways.

Whether it be a position in retail or a job in a corporate environment, all work experiences bring something to the table. Mohammad Tahvili, a second-year University of Toronto Mississauga student, sat down with us to discuss his work-study position as ICUBE’s Marketing and WordPress Associate.

Tahvili, originally from Iran, moved to Canada in 2015 and is currently working to get into his Computer Science Major. He states he always knew he wanted to study computer science, and prior to university, had the opportunity to be a part of the Information, Communication, Technology SHSM program in his high school, where he ended up learning valuable skills related to the field and was even granted a scholarship.

As soon as Tahvili came to UTM, he immediately wanted to get involved. He wanted to work somewhere that was related to his field where he would be able to make connections with other students, and even industry professionals. In addition, being an aspiring entrepreneur himself, he wanted to find a position that could give him insight on what starting a company entails, and how to move ahead in the process and gain support from investors. Mainly, he states he just wanted to be able to understand what the process was like and assess whether or not it would be a good fit for him.

That’s when he found ICUBE, UTM’s own startup incubator. Tahvili is enrolled as a summer student and is taking two courses towards his program, qualifying him to be a part-time work-study student. Currently, he is under contract for two months and is going through a major redesign of ICUBE’s website. Thus far, Tahvili has also been able to meet some of the ICUBE coaches and mentors by assisting them during advisory board meetings, and through this interaction, was able to speak with them, get some advice and even connect with them via LinkedIn. He was also able to meet some of the startups working with ICUBE.

As a result of his position at the startup incubator, Tahvili states that he has greatly improved his skills related to WordPress and has also had the opportunity to build upon his time management and communication skills. He has also learned a lot about what ICUBE does, what they offer and the benefits he can obtain from working with them.

When being asked whether or not he would recommend that students get work-study positions on campus, Tahvili stated, “There are so many benefits to it that it would be foolish not to give it a shot. I have gained such valuable skills at ICUBE, and they’re very understanding of my schedule. I get the experience, make the connections, and get paid without ever having to leave the campus. Especially for students, like me, who have limited work backgrounds, this could be a great start.”

Some points about working for ICUBE that Tahvili wanted to emphasize are:

  • Very friendly environment, informal
  • Work in a shared space with students and entrepreneurs
  • Make meaningful connections by meeting/working with startups and mentors
  • Gain experience in your related field that you can include in your resume
  • Get paid (with 4% vacation pay)
  • Very flexible hours
  • Exposure to ICUBE’s services with regards to entrepreneurship and technology
  • CCR eligible

For more information on UTM work-study positions, click here

For all ICUBE work-study postings or jobs with startups, click here

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Indigenous business training program created by RedBird Circle Inc. in partnership with UofT Libraries, ICUBE UTM and The Bridge at UTSC

An experiential learning program that follows the school 3 semesters schedule, for anyone with a great idea who wants to make it happen.

A boutique-style remote program to support your business development and help you grow through one-on-one support. This program is open all year.

A student-led creative studio with intends to serve the prototyping and design needs of our ventures and small businesses in our community.

This 2-day retreat is designed to help you reflect on your journey, what drives you, all the hats you wear and what is next for you and your social enterprise.