September 2016

Courtney Davison, Student Liaison, Co-operative Education

It can be a nerve-wracking time signing up for your first co-op professional development session, not knowing what to expect. This blog post will provide you with an overview on what to expect as you begin your co-op journey.

Step 1: Attend the Professional Development Sessions

These are key to your success in co-op! Through presentations and workshops the Co-op Team will help you prepare for co-op through a variety of PD sessions that will focus on an introduction to co-op, resumes and cover letter writing, interviews and understanding the workplace. These sessions will help you prepare for your co-op experience and build your confidence. The sessions are mandatory and a key component to your success so make sure you sign up and attend!

Step 2: Get your resume approved

The next step is getting your resume approved by a co-op staff member before applying for positions. You will meet with Kelly, Lisa or Scott one-on-one to review and edit your resume. This meeting will set you up for success. Following that meeting you will continue to email your coordinator with your completed edits until you have reached an approved resume. Once your resume is complete, you will be ready to apply for co-op positions.

Step 3: Start applying for positions

The Co-op Office will post positions through a secure online website. We try to include as much information as possible in the job description including, salary, start and end date, duties and information about the organization. You will be responsible for submitting your cover letter, resume, references and any other documentation required in-person to the Co-op Office, prior to the deadline. All positions close at 12noon, however the dates vary so it is important to be checking the website daily in order to maximize your opportunities.

Step 4: Ace the interview

If you are selected for an interview, the Co-op Office will contact you to come sign up for an interview time slot. We will email you and you will be required to come by the Co-op Office and sign up for a time slot. Interviews can be on-campus or off-campus so it is important to always review the details carefully, or to take a picture with your phone. The coordinators are always willing to help you prepare for an interview. Simply email the Co-op Office 48 hours prior to your interview and we can arrange a meeting.

Step 5: Accepting a job offer

If the employer is interested in hiring you, they will let the Co-op Office know. We will then call or email you and provide the details of the offer. You will have until 12 noon the next business day to provide us with your decision.

Step 6: Start working

Midway through your co-op work term a coordinator from the Co-op Office will come and visit you and talk with you and your employer. This Work Site Visit is a conversation about how things are going and what you have been working on. If you ever feel like you want to talk to a member of the Co-op Team while on your work term you can always call or send them an email. Our co-op students have great stories to share when they are back from their co-op. If you have a positive story to share, email and we can feature you on our Facebook page. We also love receiving pictures to post.

These six steps are a crucial part of the co-op process. Make sure you keep yourself involved and up to date on these items and things should run smoothly. Always remember that any member of the Co-op Team is here to help. We are here to chat with you about any concerns you may have.