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Queen's University

QUIP - Queen's Undergraduate Internship Program

QUIP student working on circuit board

The Queen’s Undergraduate Internship Program (QUIP) offers Queen’s students a chance to gain competitively paid work experience related to their subject of study during 12 to 16-month work terms in technology, languages, business, and industry. Due to the longer work term (compared to a 4-month co-op), employers are highly motivated to maximize their time and investment. This means that Internship students are offered the opportunity to manage more extensive and significant projects. 

QUIP internships are paid, professionally supervised, career-related positions designed to offer second or third year students the opportunity to learn about current advances, practices and technologies in business and industry. In return, students bring to the workplace creativity and a fresh approach, a high level of enthusiasm and commitment, a drive to succeed and a pronounced willingness to learn. Our internship program has a proven track record, placing over 900 interns since 1989.


Queen’s students can participate in QUIP after either 2 nd or 3 rd year and must be returning to complete their final academic term after the internship.  The program is open to students in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (domestic and international), Faculty of Arts and Science (domestic only), School of Computing (domestic and international) and the School of Business (domestic only).  

International students require a Work Permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada to participate in QUIP. International students participating in QUIP must apply to extend their Study Permit to reflect the new completion date of their degree.  Please visit the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) to learn more about requirements for work and study permits.

Why is QUIP only offered to second and third year students? 

Students appreciate a long-term internship after their second or third year because they feel that they have more to contribute with two or three years of education behind them. Employers really appreciate the opportunity to train highly competent students, and for this reason some make it a point to hire only Queen’s interns. It is not offered to graduating students because, as an experiential learning program, there would be no opportunity for the students to return and build on their internship with another year of academic study.

What’s in it for you?

Internships can be extremely rewarding, giving you experience and an income while you build valuable references and skills. There are some downsides, but they are few! Its’ up to you to weigh the pros and cons and match them up with what’s important to you.

  • Test drive your career choice (and take a break from academia)

  • Earn and learn to reduce your debt; most scholarships can be deferred (check with Student Awards)

  • Learn the latest in business and pick up valuable technical know-how while you’re out of the classroom, but you might need self-discipline to return to classes and study after an extended time away

  • Former classmates may have graduated by the time you return to school, but you’ll make valuable business/ industry contacts to build your professional network

  • When you return to school, loans are again interest-free, but your higher earnings may preclude further loans

  • Learn what employers really want from new grads

  • Make ties with other interns, take a mentor role by sharing your experience with other students

  • Return to Queen’s with an impressive resume and have more experience to start your after-graduation job search

2014-15 Dates

Want to learn about QUIP?  
Attend one of the 2014-15 Information Sessions (register in MyCareer)

Fall 2014 Information Sessions

Tuesday, Sept. 16 – 5:30-7:00

Thursday, Sept. 18 – 5:30-7:00

Monday, Sept. 22 – 5:30-7:00

Wednesday, Sept. 24 – 5:30-7:00

Thursday, October 2 – 5:30-7:00

Winter 2015 Information Sessions

Wednesday, January 14 – 5:30-7:00

Thursday, January 22 – 5:30-7:00


Internship Start Dates

Suggested Student Registration Period*

Jobs Posted

(highest volume period)

Applications and Interviews

Interviews and Offers Extended

Fall (Sept-Dec)

January or May


Mid-September to October





Winter (Jan-April)

May or September

September – January/February







Summer (May-August)


September – May/June




  *Registration in QUIP is ongoing – we recommend registering as early as possible in order to maximize the time available for attending workshops, 1-1 advising and exploring internship opportunities.

Registration & Application

You register for the internship program by completing registration forms (available on this website and at Career Services Reception) and paying a fee of $35.00. Registration involves getting signed permission from your departmental Chair of Undergraduate Studies, which will ensure that you can return to Queen’s and finish your degree at the end of your placement. You must return to complete your undergraduate degree to qualify for the program. 

You cannot apply to a posting until you are registered with the Internship Program. But that’s easy! Just download the forms, get them signed, and you’re on your way. Once you pay the registration fee, you may apply to as many positions as interest you, and for which you believe you are qualified. 

The postings will appear on the Career Services online job posting board in MyCareer. Make careful note of the deadline dates. 

Prior to applying for an internship, you must attend a resume workshop. Follow the instructions on the job posting for application materials—usually resume, transcript (a photocopy from your Solus account) and cover letter. Keep track of all the jobs you apply to. Some employers request that you submit a CACEE form. You must also attend an interview workshop before your interviews. Check MyCareer for the workshop schedule. 

Employers review all applications submitted and send an interview list to the Internship Office.  Some employers will send interview requests via MyCareer directly to you, so please check MyCareer regularly, however, most interview requests will be sent to you via email directly from the QUIP Coordinator, so please check your Queen’s email account daily during interview periods.

When all interviews are completed, employers will rank the students interviewed and send job offers to the Internship Office. Every student with an offer will be personally contacted by the Internship Office and all offers will be presented at the same time. You must decided on your offer(s) within 48 hours or forfeit them to the next student.


Other Forms (once you’re enrolled) 


Timelines—from interviews to offers

When all interviews are completed, employers will rank the students interviewed and send job offers to the QUIP Coordinator. Every student with an offer will be contacted personally by the Internship Office and all offers will be presented at the same time. You must decide on your offer(s) within 48 hours or forfeit them to the next student. This is due to the fact that many times there are other Queen’s students ranked just behind you to whom offers will be extended just as soon as you and others turn down some of those offered to you. For information on when to expect an offer, see Dates & Deadlines.

Evaluating an offer

It is an excellent idea to think about the possibility of a job offer, even before you are at that point in the internship selection process. Once you are in the lucky position to be asked to consider an offer, you will not have a lot of time to consider your decision. Take time now to play the "what if" game. 

The internship program doesn’t give you a lot of time to evaluate offers before you are required to respond so as soon as you have completed all your interviews in a given round, start playing the "what if" game. Assume every interview will result in an offer. 

Pull out job descriptions and compare them on the basis of what is important to you. 
• technical emphasis of role 
• opportunities for learning new skills 
• geographic location of job 
Other factors might be: 
• opportunities to develop professional contacts 
• reputation of the employer 

Don’t forget to include your post-interview notes in this process. 

Now rank order your possible offers so that when the call comes, you can quickly add in any new information (e.g. salary), re-evaluate your pros and cons and quickly come to a conclusion on which offer to accept and which to decline.


Congratulate yourself! If you have received one or more offers, take a moment to pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You have made an excellent match and communicated it effectively in your resume and interview. Now it’s time to decide on the best match for you. 

If you accept a position either verbally or in writing, you are bound to this agreement. If for any reason you decide to renege on the offer, you will be removed from the program for the current year - and you won’t be eligible to participate in future years. You are also jeopardizing your reputation with employers, and Queen’s reputation. So, be sure to research your employer, think about your options, and ask questions important to you, well before the offers are presented!

No Offers

Reflect realistically on the experience If you have had an interview but don’t receive an offer, there can be a number of reasons. You may have "ranked" in the top few candidates on the employer’s list but someone ranked higher than you accepted the position. You may not have ranked in the top few candidates on the employer’s list, in which case, you may need to analyze your suitability for the work or your interview skills. Not getting an offer can be really disappointing but not unusual for most people over the course of their lifetime. 

Try, try again The reality is that most people do not get offers every time they go to an interview. Scrutinize your work search strategy to ensure that you are making a good match, project yourself authentically and with evidence during the application and interview stages and perseverance will work in your favour. Remember, there are almost as many students hired into an internship during second round as in first round. 

Seek help Sometimes de-briefing your experiences with someone familiar with interviewing can be very helpful. Consider making an appointment with Career Services staff if you are interested in this opportunity.


Credit for your work

Performance Evaluation 

As part of your participation in the Internship Program, your performance will be evaluated by your employer at quarterly intervals (at the end of 4, 8, 12, or 16 months). To view the nature of this evaluation see the Evaluation Form. Remember that your performance evaluation is intended to help you grow, both personally and professionally, so be prepared to take an active part in it. 

  When you accept a job offer through the Internship Office, you will be required to follow particular guidelines depending on your program: 
• Applied Science 
• School of Computing 
• Arts&Science 

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science students

As an Applied Science student, you will be enrolled in courses APSC 301, 302, 303 and 304 - Professional Internship, for which you will receive academic credit. The academic weight of these courses total 117 units, but they do not replace required courses. Courses 302 and 303 carry fee weights of 36 units and the tuition for them is due in August and January respectively. You are required to submit a work term report for evaluation at the end of your placement as well as successful employer evaluations at quarterly intervals - one after four, eight and twelve or sixteen months. Your diploma will read: Bachelor of Science, Engineering with Professional Internship. 

School of Computing students 

Students from the School of Computing enrol in Professional Internship courses (a combination of COMP 390, 391*, 392*, and 393*); the number and order dependent on placement start date and duration. Employer evaluations are conducted at quarterly intervals. Following completion of the placement, you will be required to submit a written internship report. A passing grade on the written report allows you to receive credit (equivalent to the undergraduate project course) for the internship courses. Thus they replace the project course requirement - CISC 498 or 499* or COGS 499*. Your transcript and diploma are annotated to indicate a degree with a Professional Internship. 

Find an internship that’s tailor-made for you—when you start looking, we’ll help 

Each year Career Services approaches over 100 new employers seeking internship opportunities for Queen’s Students. Although the marketing effort covers a wide spectrum of employers, obviously there are many employers who are not contacted. 

Career Services would be happy to work with students who want to secure their own QUIP internship, and we can provide marketing material and a covering letter to support student efforts. Students, in turn, are required to present the list of employers they wish to target along with a copy of their marketing letter. 

It is Career Services’ expectation that any internship opportunity that results from such marketing efforts would be assigned to the student who carried out that solicitation. However, to qualify for a QUIP internship, both the job description and the proposed supervision must be approved by the appropriate officials at Queen’s University. 

Advantages to finding your own position include all the regular advantages of being an intern including: 
• gaining relevant professional work experience 
• boosting your pre-graduation resume 
• financing your education 
• maintaining your student status at Queen’s University 

What students say

“Career Services provided us with many internship postings very early on, and helped us develop skills necessary to succeed in an interview. I found internship postings on the website as early as last December so I had time to apply for many postings before the winter term became busy. On-campus job fairs were also a great opportunity to connect with potential employers. The interviewing skills and résumé writing workshops I attended were informative and interactive. I also had one-on-one coaching for more personal feedback”.

“Through my time here I gained confirmation that what I am learning in school, I learn for a reason. It’s not specific facts or equations; it’s a way of thinking. Through an internship, you essentially test yourself for an extended period of times, in periods of high and low motivation—this will tell you a lot about yourself. You should do an internship in order to find what you want to do in your career (that will provide you with satisfaction), as after all it will be the next 30, 40, 50 years of your life.”

“Things are going great!...the people in my group are amazing to work with, all of whom are very ready to help me whenever I have questions. My direct supervisor is very encouraging to me and wants me to learn. Even during training, he's getting me involved in meaningful projects instead of just doing trivial work. I'm working in the Process Engineering group with steam generation, sulphur recovery and utilities.”

“There is also a mentorship program where I meet up with a mentor from a different group once a month to talk about my progress and how things are going with people on my floor. At the end of my term, I will do a presentation to Campus Recruitment and they will evaluate my suitability for a full-time position.”

“I love the job and I love the people I work with…Since the first week, I have been paired up with a mentor in addition to having a supervisor. Both have been in the industry for more than 15 years. As well, I have access to a whole list of Process Engineers and Operations Engineers whom I can ask for help…I'm currently working on multiple, long term projects - projects that I wouldn't have been working on if I was only here for a summer, one of the many benefits of this internship experience.”

“During my internship year; I was given numerous challenging assignments. Of which the highlights were supervising a sand tank demolition and a kiln roller replacement. This field experience gave me the opportunity to work with numerous tradesmen, engineers, sales representatives and managers. This gave me the opportunity to develop my project management skills and technical abilities.”

“I chose to do an internship because I really want to gain some experience working in industry. Before graduation comes along, I would like a clearer picture of where I want to work in the future so this is my chance to test run a career. I chose a longer work term because I wanted to see full projects being completed before returning to school.” 


Search QUIP Jobs

Email QUIP Coordinator

QUIP at a glance

  • For Queen's undergraduate students after 2nd or 3rd year
  • Open to students in Engineering, Commerce and Arts & Science
  • 12 or 16-month PAID positions
  • A chance to test-drive your career choice, earn money, get experience
  • Got a company in mind that you'd like to do an internship with?  Download our Tips for Talking to Employer  (.pdf, 416 kB)


Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000