Nothing But the B.E.S.T.: Experiential Learning at Bishop’s

Bishop’s offers experiential learning opportunities for students who wish to learn outside the classroom walls. One such opportunity is the B.E.S.T. Project Fund. This unique fund is intended to assist students to determine their career paths and realize their ambitions. 2018 B.E.S.T recipient Duncan Crabtree shares his experience in the constituency office of a federal Member of Parliament in Toronto with us and tells us about the value of experiential learning.

Over nine weeks this past summer, I had an unforgettable and perspective-changing experience. Before coming to Bishop’s, I wasn’t sure if such a small school could offer me the chance to take part in a professional extra-curricular experience that would stand out from what ofter schools could offer. Now I can share with you that by thinking big and going after this opportunity, I really opened some doors – both within myself and next summer, I’m hoping, at other employers.

With the support of the B.E.S.T. (Bishop’s Exceptional Student Talent) Project Fund, I took on an engaging role in a political office that helped me grow both personally and professionally. As a student of Politics at Bishop’s, I was craving the opportunity to have a hands-on experience in the sphere of Canadian politics. I sought out the opportunity to take on an internship in the constituency office of a federal Member of Parliament in Toronto.

While in the MP’s office this past summer, I wrote almost every day on political issues that matter to Canadians by drafting communication pieces sent out to thousands of residents in the riding. This was an invaluable experience for me as I was able to write to a real political audience for the first time and learned much more about the political issues that matter to Canadians and the policies our government develops in response. Also, while profiling the MP’s work in criminal justice system reform, I discovered one way a legal career can be put to use in politics. This was of personal interest to me as I would like to do my graduate studies in law. Finally, I even earned some unexpected project management experience when I took on the responsibility of planning all aspects of a large community business event hosted by the MP that was attended by over 500 people.

Overall, my B.E.S.T. project allowed me to participate extensively in several aspects of the field of politics and I gained a much better understanding of what could away me should I choose to pursue politics as a career. Speaking more broadly, what the B.E.S.T. fund offers is the flexibility and appropriate financial support to allow Bishop’s students to take advantage of a variety of learning opportunities. You can think of a learning experience in just about any field that would further your studies, enrich your degree or advance your future career prospects anywhere in the world. Once you apply to receive funding, the B.E.S.T. Project Fund will consider the value of your proposal. Students use the funds they receive for their B.E.S.T. projects to support the expenses that incur while participating in their experience. This can include travel expenses, accommodation, workshop fees, equipment costs, etc.

Like my experience, it’s possible for you to create a project that would be truly valuable to you. This is something quite unique at Bishop’s, so think about taking advantage of it. Your B.E.S.T. project is yours to design and yours to benefit from. How you will you develop the B.E.S.T. version of yourself?

Learn more about the B.E.S.T. Project Fund on our website: https://www.ubishops.ca/best

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