Professional Experience Year[edit | edit source]
The Professional Experience Year, otherwise known as PEY, is an optional co-op program in which current undergraduate students can undertake a 12 to 16 month work term after their 2nd or 3rd year of their education. For the duration of this period, students are working as full-time employees and earning salaries, while gaining valuable experience in the field. While working, students are able to retain full-time student status at the university, and can apply to retain interest-free status on student loans if they have any. The Engineering Career Centre manages the program and is the point of contact between students/employers and the university.
Engineering Students[edit | edit source]
Many engineers choose to go on PEY for the salary and the experience that they gain; however, they are not considered active students during that year. As such, they must have their graduating year pushed forward according to the length of their work term. Students on PEY can add '+ PEY' to the end of their discipline and year; this is a widespread practice to signify which students will graduate a year late.
Many local and international companies offer jobs to UofT students for PEY. Well-known brands include Apple, Tesla, Proctor & Gamble, IBM, BMW, Shell, and Microsoft.
The Great Impeachment of 2020 or PEYGate[edit | edit source]
In 2020, the engineering faculty decided to introduce a new PEY and ESIP program that will increase fees, expand the Engineering Career Centre (ECC), and have more required modules. Many students were opposed to these changes as they had already seen the ECC as a poorly run organization and did not want to pay more fees to expand a poorly functioning organization. The EngSoc President, Christopher Kousinioris, was elected in the spring of 2020 with a promise to fight these changes as much as possible.
In late October of the same year, Kousinioris notified the Skule community via a Facebook post in the Skule Facebook page that he had voted in favour of the new changes. This caused much outrage among the students who had felt blindsided by this late announcement. Some students, started a social media campaign to recall the president for his actions in the upcoming regularly scheduled "Officers Accountability Meeting." A vote for recall (informally known as impeachment) requires a two-thirds majority according to EngSoc bylaws.
During the meeting, which was held online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, hundreds of current students and alumni were present. After several hours of students asking question to Kousinioris, a vote for recall was performed. The first vote had a result of 65% of students voting to recall; just shy of the required two-thirds. However, this vote did not have proxy votes properly counted so a revote occured. During this second vote with proxy votes properly counting, 63% voted to recall; still short of the required number for a recall. After this vote, one student commented, "Nixon had a higher approval rating." Some criticism materialized as a few students already left after the results of the first vote were announced and were not aware that a second vote would occur. During the rest of the meeting, no other officers were recalled; all had safer voting margins than the president received.
To many students learning online during the pandemic, this was the most excitement and drama they experienced during the fall semester of 2020.