CityLAB provides unique experiential learning opportunities that benefit students and community
Since CityLAB began in fall 2017, over 1,000 Mohawk students have contributed more than 13,000 hours on 32 projects with the City, ranging from renovating CityHousing units, to conducting environmental assessments, to enhancing digital access for all. Under the instruction of 28 faculty members, and with the support and collaboration from city staff, CityLAB projects have provided unique experiential learning opportunities across several programs.
In fall 2020, Business Analysis students at Mohawk had the opportunity to work with the Hamilton Public Library (HPL) staff to analyze the free Wi-Fi offered across all 22 branches and recommend ways to improve the experience for users.
“For Business Analysis post-graduate students, the experiential learning opportunity with the Hamilton Public Library allowed students to connect the dots between in-class theory and curriculum with a real-world client and business problem,” explains Mohawk Business Analysis instructor Lisa Pegg, who had 39 students participate in the CityLAB project.
Business Analysis student Ogochukwu Assams described the project as an integral part of her Mohawk experience. “The Hamilton Public Library Wi-Fi project was a major milestone for me as the biggest project I have worked on,” she explains. “It was a great learning experience and a platform for me to showcase my skills and abilities as a Business Analyst.”
Amna Sadiq, who also worked on the HPL project is in her final semester of the Business Analysis program, agrees. “Significant benefits were getting exposure to the real-time project, getting to know how a Business Analyst engages stakeholders, and learning multiple techniques and tools used in the project.” She noted that this type of project, working directly with stakeholders, has powerful add-on value towards career growth.
That sentiment of an impactful learning experience that intersects with positive impact in the community stands out to the Hamilton Public Library. “We love working with CityLAB students because it provides the opportunity for students to get real world experience and at the same time HPL staff get exposed to new thinking and expertise. The Mohawk College students that worked on the HPL Wi-Fi project brought a lot energy, enthusiasm and new insights. We look forward to more successful projects with Mohawk and CityLAB in the future,” says Paul Takala, Chief Librarian/CEO, Hamilton Public Library.
Image: Business Analyst students Amna Sadiq (left) and Ogochukwu Assams (right)