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Breaking the 'no experience - no job cycle': RBC launches new internship for recent college and university graduates

TORONTO, October 8, 2013 —With almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of recent post-secondary graduates surveyed saying a lack of experience is a barrier to securing their first job, RBC today announced the RBC Career Launch Program™, a multi-year investment in providing recent college and university graduates with career experience to help strengthen their future employability.

A one-year internship for recent college and university graduates aged 24 and under, the RBC Career Launch Program combines formal learning, mentorship and professional networking opportunities with practical hands-on business and community experience that will equip participants with the necessary ingredients to help them build their resume and launch their career.

“Starting your career with a degree or diploma in hand, but without experience, is like trying to unlock a door with a key that doesn’t fit,” says Zabeen Hirji, Chief Human Resources Officer, RBC. “This program is designed to equip youth with the critical workplace skills and practical hands-on experience employers are looking for. In addition, it fosters the growth and guidance they need through learning, mentorship and networking that prepares them for this new stage of life.”

The new national survey of recent college and university graduates, commissioned by RBC and conducted by Ipsos Reid, revealed that among those who graduated within the last year, four-in-ten (40 per cent) are still looking for a job. In addition, almost half (44 per cent) of youth who graduated in the past five years who have found jobs, do not consider the jobs to be a career. This reinforces the importance of providing recent graduates with opportunities to gain the skills and experience needed to bridge the gap between school and career-life. The survey also found that nearly half (48 per cent) of recent Canadian graduates say applicable job experience helped them start their career.

"Many students struggle to demonstrate their potential value to employers after graduating from university or college,” says Lauren Friese, the founder of, Canada’s leading job site and online career resource for students and recent graduates. “Recent grads can’t get a job without experience and they can’t get experience without a job.”

On January 27, 2014, the first 100 RBC Career Launch Associates from across Canada will take part in this year-long experience that is divided into three rotations and complemented with learning and mentorship:

  • First rotation will focus on customer service and sales within retail banking branches;
  • Second rotation is a secondment to an RBC community partner to learn about the not-for-profit sector and build broader citizenship engagement
  • Third rotation will provide experience working in specialist areas such as finance, marketing, Human Resources, or technology and operations.

“One of Canada’s greatest resources is the potential of our young people,” says Hirji. “The RBC Career Launch Program is part of our broader commitment to Canadian youth and a stronger Canada.”

The RBC Career Launch Program is part of RBC’s five-year $100 million Believe in Kids Pledge to support a wide range of programs for developing well-rounded kids and youth in Canada. Each year, RBC already hires more than 2,400 youth into permanent positions. This new program extends our commitment to the next level.

From October 8 to 22, 2013, RBC will be accepting applications for the first 100 Career Launch Program Associates, who will begin the program in January 2014. Interested candidates are encouraged to visit to learn more and apply.

To address questions from interested candidates first-hand, RBC will host a series of interactive live chats with the RBC Career Launch team. The first live chat is scheduled for October 17, 2013. Visit for more details.

About RBC
RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2012, we contributed more than $95 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $64 million and $31 million in sponsorships. In 2013, the company announced a five-year, $100 million commitment to helping one million kids.

RBC employs approximately 80,000 full and part-time people who serve more than 15 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 49 other countries. RBC is one of Canada’s 2013 Best Workplaces, one of the Best Employers for New Canadians and one of Canada’s Greenest Employers. For more information, please visit (opens new window).

TalentEgg is Canada's most popular job board and online career resource for students and recent graduates. Through employer profiles, meaningful job opportunities and original content, helps students and recent graduates navigate the school to-work transition, and helps employers effectively attract, target and recruit top Gen Y talent.

Ipsos Reid Survey Methodology
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between August 23 and 28, 2013, on behalf of RBC. For this survey, a sample of 516 Canadians aged 28 or younger who are recent university or college graduates (within the past five years) was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±five percentage points had all recent graduates been polled.

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For more information, please contact:
Leanne Bull, 416-642-7919,

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