Army summer employment program produces great experiences

Article / March 29, 2019 / Project number: 19-0025

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By Jeremiah Hemens, Army Public Affairs

Ottawa, Ontario – Looking for summer employment that doesn’t involve a cash register or flipping burgers? The Canadian Army Reserve (ARes)’s Full-Time Summer Employment (FTSE) program is a great place to start.

FTSE is available to Reservists who are in their first four years of service and provides paid, full-time work opportunities between May 1 and August 31. It is ideal for students seeking reliable and predictable summer income to support their educational goals.

FTSE is not just for students, however: various instructor and support jobs are also available to any Reservists who joined the ARes in or after 2015.

The ARes offers good pay, a variety of benefits, and a number of professional development opportunities to Canadian citizens who qualify to become Army Reservists. Youth, students and anyone interested in exploring the many career options the Army offers may apply.

FTSE had a successful first year in 2018 exceeding initial expectations with over 7,200 participants.

Benefits of taking part in FTSE

Corporal Revital Riabinski is an Army Reservist with the Governor General’s Horse Guards, an armoured reconnaissance regiment based in Toronto, Ontario who took part in FTSE in 2018.

“I took part in FTSE because it meant I would have a steady paycheck for the four months I was away from my studies,” she said.

The program allowed her to gain valuable experience related to her education, earn money to pay her tuition and living expenses, and fully commit to her studies during the school year.

Cpl Riabinski, a multi-media designer by trade, said her FTSE experience was beneficial for her professional development.

“I was so lucky to get experience in the military for my civilian career. It’s hard for students to find a good job with good pay for only four months. I was lucky enough to work alongside professionals in Public Affairs.”

Private Dayton Bennett, an Army Reserve infantry soldier with the North Saskatchewan Regiment in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, joined the Reserve in March of 2018, inspired by fond memories of his grandfather’s stories about military service.

Pte Bennett said FTSE comes with the dual benefits of guaranteed employment during the summer with full-time pay and training that has enhanced his future employability as a Reservist.

Variety of jobs, tasks and activities

The ARes offers hundreds of job opportunities in a variety of different trades.

As part of FTSE, Cpl Riabinski has worked with vehicle technicians and served as a driver for senior officers. Eventually, she had the opportunity to work in her area of study doing digital design for the Public Affairs Office at 32 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters.

Although she already had a background in digital design, Cpl Riabinski said she has still learned from the experience.

“I benefited greatly from the skills I acquired from four months’ worth of creating digital media for them. Every day I was improving my graphic design, photography and videography skills.”

Pte Bennett was able to join Operation LENTUS (Op LENTUS) during his FTSE experience. Op LENTUS is the Canadian Armed Forces response to natural disasters in Canada, such as forest fires, floods, ice storms, or hurricanes.

He was one of approximately 200 soldiers deployed to British Columbia in the summer of 2018 to assist in fighting a serious outbreak of forest fires at the request of the provincial government.

They played a key role in putting out the fires and preventing their spread. “During my employment for Op LENTUS, I, along with my platoon, was tasked with extinguishing  ground fires that were still burning underneath the earth and any small surface fires burning on hot patches.”

Highlights of FTSE Experiences

Cpl Riabinski said her FTSE highlights from 2018 included, “working alongside experienced professionals who have a background in journalism and writing, taking beautiful photos of Combat Engineers training on Lake Ontario, and having the chance to photograph and film the Pride Parade in Toronto.”

Pte Bennett said his best moments were, “meeting new faces within the military, gaining experience from many different people of different ranks.”

These experiences are all unique to a career in the military and there are various opportunities that cannot be found anywhere else. The extensive learning experiences and professional development from FTSE are great opportunities to enhance resumes and develop skills that will transfer to civilian life and a civilian career.

FTSE has a bright future

The FTSE program produced great experiences in 2018 and it will hopefully continue to attract new recruits and continue to bring back past participants.

When asked if she would participate in FTSE again, Cpl Riabinski replied, “Of course I would take part again. It allows me to learn beneficial skills for my career while paying off my tuition and living expenses.”

“I definitely would take part in the FTSE Program again,” said Pte Bennett, adding that he looked forward to volunteering yet again for Op LENTUS duties.

“The Army Reserve has been a fantastic opportunity for me and for many other people I've met through the FTSE program,” he added.

“I suggest joining the Reserve to anyone not completely set on a career and who needs some kind of adventure in their life. You gain so many connections with people doing the same training as you and so many more experiences that make military life unique.”

How to take part in FTSE

Interested in joining the Army Reserve and taking part in FTSE? Talk to a recruiter from your local unit. To find your local recruiter, visit the following webpage:

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