The Professional Anthropologist Work-Study Placement is a year-long course that gives you the ability to conduct research and/or volunteer with a range of host organizations such as NGOs, hospitals, immigration agencies, homeless shelters, corporations and other service organizations approved by the department of Anthropology.
You will engage in experiential learning and community-engaged research under the guidance of a course director. You are required to identify issues you intend to explore during your placement before starting the experiential learning opportunity.
The placement must include:
- At least 176 hours of work over the 8 months.
- An assessment consisting of a weekly communication via the blog site (shared journaling); a research paper; a final community report
Registration for this course requires the permission of the instructor and an approved placement site. Spots will be reserved for students enrolled in the Advocacy and Public Engagement Minor or Certificate program. An open interview will be conducted before Fall online registration begins. This course is restricted to third and fourth-year Anthropology students who have completed ANTH 3110 6.0.
The Professional Anthropologist placement program helped pair me with an organization that taught me to trust my skills, my previous work experience, and my academic knowledge. Furthermore, it helped teach more how to apply my skills and knowledge in an environment where I felt like I was allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. Thanks to those at Green Neighbours Network, Green13 Toronto, and Parkdale High Park 4 Climate Action, I feel more sure of myself in a non-academic environment and look forward to building my career after graduation. This course should be on everyone's course list to encourage individuals to learn and succeed outside of the bubble of University.
— Apryl MacFarlane
4th Year, Honours Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology & Certificate in Advocacy and Public Engagement Training
Anthropology 4130 was an amazing experience that I feel grateful to have been able to have! As a fourth year Anthropology student I got the opportunity to work with SCAN! (Seniors Climate Action Now!) and it gave me lots of new insights into the field and what it is like working in a non-profit NGO. The placement offered flexible hours to fit around my other courses and the supervisors were a pleasure to work with. I learned so much more about the climate change sphere and what is being done to help, both locally and globally. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who was interested in seeing all the different paths you can take within Anthropology!
— Erek Kuhn
4th Year, Honours Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology
I had a great experience with the ANTH 4130 placement course. I feel the need to share my experience in this amazing course, which has not only been a great opportunity for me to improve my knowledge of ethnographic fieldwork, but it also has provided other benefits such as refining my actual interests in Anthropological fields; gaining new experience in the Canadian work place; improving my communication skills, and dealing with different cultural issues. I feel responsible to promote this amazing course as well as to appreciate the course directors Dr. Shubra Gururani and Dr. Karl Schmid in the hope that more students can benefit from this course.
— Jila Mosapournegari
4th Year, Honours Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology
I have been given the opportunity through the ANTH 4130 placement course to work with a project called Earth to Tables Legacies. It is a collaborative effort of individuals who are passionate about promoting food justice, food sovereignty, Indigenous ways of knowing, and Indigenous-settler dialogue. These important initiatives and stories from collaborators of multiple countries, backgrounds, and walks of life are shared via their website and used as educational material for others to expand their own knowledge about relationships with food. I have been working on organizing online events, maximizing the material for the website, and utilizing social media to promote these materials. It has been a practical and immersive experience, even through navigating this socially distanced world they continue to innovate and expand how interconnected relationships with food are to social issues both locally and globally.
— Colleen Boggs
Alumna, Honours Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology & Advocacy and Public Engagement Training
ANTH 4130 placement course provided me with the opportunity to work with an organization called Earth to Tables Legacies (ETTL), which focuses on using food as a lens for reflecting on the rapidly changing state of the Earth and our relations with it. In ETTL, I worked translating communications, documents and live meetings, researching grants and funding opportunities as well as crafting the proposals along with the team, and formatting and updating the website and social media. This experience taught me that niche subjects, such as food, have an impactful effect on communities and serve as a catalyst for many movements, research, and empowerment. In addition, it expanded my understanding of how to apply my degree in an NGO setting by allowing me to use anthropological skills and methods such as ethnographic fieldwork and participant observation in ways I had never thought of before. Now I know that opportunities outside the academy can lead to academic recognition while simultaneously having a professional position and a community impact. Ultimately, this placement was an incredibly innovative experience where I developed a passion for participatory action research and food-related issues that impact my community, which at the end of the day, is where I want to apply my degree and generate change.
— Maria Cappelletti Alexander
Alumna, Honours Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology & Environmental Studies
The placement organized with TD Bank was one of the most formative experiences of my undergraduate career. Through ANTH 4130 I had the opportunity to apply everything that I had learned in my anthropology classes in a professional setting, all under the supervision of two anthropologists! I was able to design and conduct an individual research project that pushed me to make use of my ethnographic skills. I met constantly with my amazing supervisors and formed relationships with other members of the design research team as well. I would suggest to any anthropology student to take this placement during the last years of your degree, as it puts you into the shoes of an anthropologist in a non-academic work setting and enables you to gain tons of professional experience.
— Lorenzo Serravalle
Alumna, Honours Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology
What is a placement?
You will apply for a position within an organization, where you’ll practise and develop the skills learned in your course.
Will I be paid?
No. You’ll receive course credit because each placement experience is tied to a particular course.
Will I be graded?
Yes. You’ll be assigned a supervisor who will guide you through the experience and evaluate your performance.
How long is the placement?
You will work part-time so you can continue your studies. The length varies by course.
How do I apply?
You’ll get a job description that outlines the application process, which usually involves a resumé and cover letter, interview and references.
Will I be insured while on placement?
Students who are on an unpaid placement are fully insured by York University.