Work Experience

Work Experience

If students would like to explore a possible Careers or are unsure of what career to pursue after high school, they should consider WEX.  Students can earn up to 8 credits towards Graduation by enrolling in WEX.

The Work Experience Program provides experience in one of six focus areas. Application to the program occurs in grade 10. Work Experience and School District-Coordinated Job Placements occur in grade 11 and 12. In addition, two grade 11-level and two grade 12- level courses must be successfully completed in the particular focus area chosen by the student. The following FAQ may help with deciding:

Q. What is the Work Experience Program?

A. The GW Graham Work Experience program is an educational program that combines in-school course work with a minimum of 100 hours of work experience. It is designed to prepare students for entry into the workplace, or continued studies at the post-secondary level in a career area. Students must apply and be accepted by a specific WEX Coordinator to gain entry to the program.

Q. Why would I want to apply?

A.You get valuable outside-of-school work experience, a chance to see what a career area could be like, a better resume, practical employment skills, and four credits toward graduation! Work Experience Programs help you to focus on what they want to do after grade 12 graduation. It also helps you develop specific workplace skills.

Q. What courses do I need?

A. Naturally, it depends on which career area you are interested in. Usually two grade 11 and two grade 12 courses in the specific focus area are required in addition to 100 hours of work experience. Applicants should possess a minimum C+ average.

Q. How long does it take and when do I start?

A. This is a multiple- year program, beginning in grade 11 and ending in grade 12. You sign up with a work experience teacher as soon as possible at the beginning of the year. Usually, you go on work placement  a maximum  of  one  week  per  semester.  Work  experience  outside  of  school  time  is recommended. You are responsible for any missed course work during a work experience session.

Q. How do I sign up?

A. Currently, GW Graham offers seven areas of specialization:

  • Aboriginal Career Development – Coordinator: Mrs. Lumsden
  • Applied Skills Focus – Coordinator: Mr. Harder
  • Entrepreneurship Focus – Coordinator: Ms. Cho
  • Fine Arts, Design, and Media Focus – Coordinator:
  • Health, Fitness and Recreation Focus – Coordinator: Mr. Mouritzen, Ms Folka, Mr Mummery, Ms Etsell
  • Hospitality Focus – Coordinator: Ms. MacConnell
  • Human Services Focus – Coordinator: Ms. MacConnell
  • Science and Applied Science Focus – Coordinator: Mrs. Hagerman

If interested, please download and complete  the Application Form at the bottom of this page and submit it to Mr. Holford in room c183.  The following is a detailed description of the Work Experience courses offered:


WEX 12 - ABORIGINAL Career Development:  Coordinator: Mrs Lumsden

The  Aboriginal  Work  Experience  program  is  geared  towards  assisting  our  indigenous  students  in developing essential work skills with the understanding and sensitivity to the values, beliefs, and needs of indigenous communities and heritage  The program is designed to provide  students with knowledge, skills, and perspectives required for employment. Indigenous students are the largest growing demographic population and this is an opportunity to develop work skills and competencies that will empower them to make positive career choices.  A sample of possible career choices include:  Language Teacher; Cultural Guide; Aboriginal Support Worker; Museum Curator; Archivist;Government Worker; Communications Officer; Community Planner; Public Speaker Family Support Worker; Environmentalist; Aboriginal Leadership.

In addition to WEX 12 (Aboriginal Career Development), students may choose any of the following courses::  BC First Nations 12; Communications 12; English 12 First Peoples; Comparative Civilizations 12; or as additional studies for credit: in Independent Studies: Halq’emeylem Language. 


WEX12 - Applied Skills Focus:  Coordinator: Mr. Harder

The Applied Technology Career Preparation Program allows students to explore careers in the areas of trades and technology. These industries are growing at an excessive rate, and their importance to our communities is ever growing. Students can get a head start on planning for their futures by signing up for these growing industry fields. The following are some of the careers available in the area of Applied Technology:  Welders; Theater Technicians; Metal Fabrication; Machinist; Stage and Set Design; Carpenters; Construction; Engineering; Cabinet Making; Draftsmen; Architects; Tool & Die Maker; Electrician; Industrial Design; Technology Teacher; Plumbers; Interior Design; Forestry; Jeweler.  Students must also choose a minimum of two of the following courses at the grade 11 level,  and subsequent 12 level course from each of the following course offerings (total 4 courses):

Science & Technology 11; Metal Fabrication 11 & 12; Theater Tech 11 & 12; Drafting & Design 11 & 12; Carpentry Joinery 11 & 12;  Stage Craft 11 & 12


WEX12 - Entrepreneurship Focus:  Coordinator: Ms. Cho

Prerequisite: Students MUST be enrolled in Business 11/12 or have prior permission.  Build up your business knowledge and résumé with 100 hours of work experience. You will be placed entirely in local businesses and companies. Although an entrepreneurial placement will be top priority, various community settings are also a possibility depending on availability of positions and your areas of interest. If you volunteer to work in The Cave (GWG’s coffee shop) in second semester, you can earn up to 30 hours of work experience credit.  Students choosing to become an Entrepreneur are usually hard-working and creative. You should have (or be willing to develop) good communication skills, initiative and commitment. It also helps to be energetic, optimistic and flexible.  Students in this program may be interested in doing the following: Start a New Business; Buy a Franchise; Buy an Existing Business; Copy an Existing Business; Become a One Person Firm (Consultant); Start a Home Business.  Students may be interested in other related courses (optional):

Leadership 11 &12 ; Any Mathematics 11 &12


WEX12 - Fine Arts, Design, and Media Focus: Coordinator:

The Fine Arts Work Experience program encompasses all the disciplines within the Fine Arts: Art, Drama, Dance and Music. Students in this program may be interested in some of the following careers: Art; Professional Artist; Drama; Professional Actor; Dance; Professional Dancer; Music; Professional Musician; Art Critic; Theater Critic; Dance Critic; Music Critic; Advertising Illustrator; Director; Choreographer; Composer; Police Artist; Costume Designer; Dance Historian; Conductor; Art Historian; Talent Agent; Aerobics Instructor; Instrument Repair; Art Publisher; Make-up Artist; Athletic Trainer; Music Librarian; Billboard Designer; Stage Manager; Artistic Consultant; Church Musician; Ceramic Tile Artisan; Lighting Technician; Dance Writer; Recording Engineer; Fashion Designer; Pyrotechnician; Dance Notator; Sound Technician; Gallery Director; Sound Technician; Arts Manager; Music Technology; Photo Journalist; Technical Director; Rehearsal Director; Instrument Making.   Students must also choose a minimum of one Fine Arts 11 and subsequent 12 level course from each of the following course offerings:

 Art 11 & 12; Acting 11 & 12; Dance 11 & 12; Concert Band 11 & 12; Choir 11 & 12; Orchestra 11 & 12; Film and TV 11 & 12; Computer Animation 11 & 12; Vocal Jazz 11 & 12; Instrumental Survey 11 & 12; Jazz Band 11 & 12; Music Composition 11 & 12


WEX12 - Health, Fitness and Recreation Focus:  Coordinator: Mr. Mouritzen, Ms. Folka, Mr. Mummery, Ms. Etsell

The Health, Fitness and Recreation Work Experience Program will allow students to explore careers in the areas of Health, Fitness, and Recreation. These industries are continually growing and their importance in our society has never been greater. There is no better way to make a decision on your future career than by stepping right into the industry itself; Work experience allows you to do this!  Some of the careers available in the areas of Health, Fitness, and Recreation: Professional Athlete; Coach; Sports Official / Referee; Program Instructor; Outdoor Guide; Recreation Guide;Tour Guide; Travel Guide; Physiotherapist; Orthotics; Park Designer; Dietitian; Nutritionist; Chiropractor; Prosthetics; P.E Teacher; Biomechanical Engineer; Massage Therapist. Students must also choose a minimum of two of the following courses at the grade 11 level,  and subsequent 12 level course from each of the following course offerings (total 4 courses):

PE 11 & 12; PE Strength and Conditioning 11 &12; PE Leadership 11 & 12; PE Athletics 11 & 12; Biology 11 & 12;  Leadership 11 &12; Health and Fitness  11 & 12.


WEX12 - Human Services Focus:  Coordinator: Ms. MacConnell

The Human Services field is continually growing and allows for diverse employment opportunities. Students choosing a Human Services career enjoy working with people, building relationships and improving others’ quality of life. In almost all areas of human services, there is a focus on helping people find health, safety or success within their own lives. Students choosing a Human Services career could explore a variety of positions in recreation, residential care, correctional facilities, homeless shelters and food banks, substance abuse programs, organizations dedicated to children and families, poverty and employment services, child and elder care operation, and mental health agencies. Students in this program may be interested in some of the following careers: Tour Guide; Travel Guide; Corrections Officer; Psychologist; Family, Marriage, and other Related Counselor; Employment Counselors; Early Childhood Educators and Assistants; Educational Assistants; Attendants in Travel, Accommodation and Recreation; Social Worker; Community and Social Service Worker; Elementary and Secondary School Teacher; Instructors, Teachers, or Assistants of People with Developmental Disabilities Students must choose a minimum of three courses from the following list:

Family Studies 11 & 12 ; Health and Fitness 11 & 12; PE Leadership 11 & 12; Peer Tutoring 11 & 12; Leadership 11; Psychology 11 & 12


WEX12 - Science and Applied Science Focus: Coordinator: Mrs. Hagerman

There are hundreds of careers available in pure (theoretical, research-based) and applied (practical, service- based) science. Careers that use science vary greatly in both breadth (career interests – from archeology to zoology) and depth (work experience time – Certificate, Diploma, Degree and Doctorate levels). Here is just a small sample from A to Z of the many exciting and rewarding careers that await you: Animal Care Worker; Geologist; Physicist; Biologist; Immunologist; Pharmacist; Chemist; Lab Technician; Pharmacologist; Commercial Floristry; Marine Biologist; Paramedic; Chemical Engineer; Meteorologist; Soil Scientist; Doctor; Microbiologist; Textile Chemist; Environmental Engineer; Nurse; Toxicologist; Forester; Nursing Aide; Veterinarian; Forest Resource Technician; Nursery Worker; Water Technician; Food Technologist; Pet Groomer; Zoologist.  Science-based careers can involve combinations of Biology, Chemistry, Geology/Earth Science, Physics, Resource Sciences or Science and Technology. Science careers typically involve working with the structures, properties and the functioning of living and physical things and often applying this knowledge to help make the world a better place.  Applicants should possess a minimum C+ average and must either be taking or intend to take Math 11. Students must also choose a minimum of two of the following courses at the grade 11 level,  and subsequent 12 level course from each of the following course offerings (total 4 courses):

Biology 11 & 12;  Chemistry 11 & 12; Physics 11  & 12; Earth Science 11 & Geography 12


Pleas see  MRS. WISEMAN,  the WEX Coordinator, for more information.