Inclusivity Foundation Announces 25 Space Sector Interns

File photo: Zenith Fellows class of 2023. Image credit: Zenith Canada Pathways Foundation.

The Zenith Canada Pathways Foundation — a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in Canada’s space sector – has announced its third annual Class of Zenith Fellows.

“Our goal is to build a more inclusive space sector in Canada,” said Hira Nadeem, Zenith president and co-founder. “The Zenith Fellowship program accepts approximately 20 to 25 students and recent graduates across the country each year and matches them with internship opportunities as well as mentors, and provides them with a community of other fellows within the Canadian space sector to help them grow.”

The eight Canadian space companies/organizations who are supporting the Zenith Fellowship program are the Canadian Space Mining Corporation, Euroconsult, Mission Control, NordSpace, Sinclair Interplanetary (Rocket Lab), Stratotegic,, and Wyvern.

According to the Zenith, the Fellowship applicants from 24 institutions across North America underwent a rigorous selection process after applications closed on October 20th, 2023. Successful candidates were chosen for their outstanding commitment to community service, excellent leadership and technical skills, and passion for contributing to the Canadian space sector. 10 of these Zenith Fellows have been assigned to the host companies as four-month summer interns, while the remaining 15 are being mentored individually.

The third annual Class of Zenith Fellows. Image credit: Zenith Canada Pathways Foundation.
The third annual Class of Zenith Fellows. Image credit: Zenith Canada Pathways Foundation.

“A big part of our program each year is to provide those not selected for internships with the same benefits that the interns get, which is to get a mentor,” Nadeem said. “We have a mentor based in Europe who is currently a PhD student at Oxford. We have mentors based in the US. We have one at NASA JPL working on the Rover missions right now. So we give them all these executive level mentors that can help them on their career path. Then all 25 get invited to come to an annual summit in Montreal where they get to meet each other and build their community.”

Of course, what really matters is what happens to their Zenith Fellows after their internships/mentorships end. On this point, Nadeem said that some have gone back to their summer internship companies in the fall as full-time employees, “so they’ve secured sustaining careers that way. We’ve also seen people who learn from a mentor about a graduate school program that they could then start, and some of them have gone back to school to enhance their skills. Some of them have gone abroad from this program to continue to develop their skills. And we’ve also seen many of the mentees who were not selected for an internship through the program, learn about companies, and then after the fact actually go to those companies to pursue internships as well as full-time careers.”

The bottom line: The Zenith Fellowship program is an inclusivity initiative that delivers positive results for its participants and the companies/mentors who take the time to support them. But there’s always room for more space companies and industry people to take part. To do so, contact Zenith here.

About James Careless

James Careless is an award-winning satellite communications writer. He has covered the industry since the 1990s.

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