EduTutor runs small group and private online tutoring sessions for K-12 students.
Through the Level UP remote internship program, EduTutor’s founder, Chris Ujimoto, partnered with Aika Tsoi to conduct education research and eventually offered her a position tutoring for his program.
As a mathematics student at the University of Waterloo, Aika researched an educational report on how EduTutor’s platform could be improved for students.
During the educational research project, the most valuable skills Aika learned were analysis, teamwork, and communication.
“I learned teamwork skills since I had to work with many other participants. We had to clearly communicate if we had any issues and set up Zoom calls with the employer for things we couldn’t solve ourselves,” Aika shared
Aika thinks that communication was the key to the success of this project.
“I hadn’t done a lot of teamwork this way. Learning how to express myself and ask questions was valued a lot on this project.”
Trust is vital to keeping connections strong. Chris trusted Aika enough after the Riipen project to offer her a tutoring math position, which she accepted.
Chris likes to focus on soft skills with his team members, like teamwork and communication, because of his background as a teacher. He sees his role as more than just a business owner and manager but as a mentor to the Level UP students.
“So, as an employer, I know my skill set and my strengths, and I know that the Level UP program allowed me to fill those gaps and reward students with the Level UP grant. But they were also able to get a mentor. I think it's essential that we mentor these students,” Chris explained.
He likewise believes in showing Level UP students that they are making a real difference in his business.
“It can’t just be theoretical. We want to make sure that the students can use their skills and that they can see that they’re making a difference.”
With this experience, Aika can now explain complex concepts to her peers, which is helpful when working in team and group situations.
“Teaching younger kids has helped me when it comes to my own school experience. I have classmates who might not understand things, and now it’s easier for me to know how to explain certain things.”
Chris went above and beyond to ensure students like Aika were ready to work in the business world. But caring more than most was also a great strategy.
“For students, working with an employer who cares about them and their development can be an amazing experience, 100%.”
Chris is just so grateful for the Level UP help.
“I think it's important to know that this is beneficial to small employers such as myself. Everything I've done so far would've taken years before I could achieve these goals. So we were able to expedite the process, and without a doubt, I wouldn't have that social venture right now. As a sole founder, as the only person running this business, it's been fantastic. It's been great working with Level UP and Riipen.”
Aika valued how much time she was able to spend at EduTutor. The project’s remote nature and flexibility made it work for her as a college student. And, she felt it was a great way to conduct career exploration.
“80 hours is plenty of time to get a good feel for a project and see if that industry is the right fit. It’s also enough time to develop new skills. I would definitely recommend this way of learning to others.”
Thank you to Aika Tsoi for sharing her experience on Riipen. To learn more about how you can get started with the Level UP remote internship program as a student or employer, visit the website here. Stay updated with the latest in higher education, experiential learning, and the future of work, and subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter, The Riipen Report.
Riipen Level UP program is funded by the Government of Canada's Innovative Work-Integrated Learning (I-WIL) Initiatives program. The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.