Cooperative education, commonly referred to as Co-op, combines your academic studies with practical learning through a paid work term. With Co-op, you can explore industries that best suit your interest. Additionally, you will gain valuable experience while earning your degree.
Further, having practical experience will add value to your degree, making you a desirable candidate to employers. Additionally, you would have better self-awareness to identify the industry that best suits your interest and understand your shortcomings.
How does Co-op work?
You will work in organizations related to the field of your study. Generally, schools partner with organizations to offer coop placements to students. In addition, they maintain a list of authorized organizations with whom they may have had a history of successful collaborations.
Your schools will provide you with a list of potential employers. However, those are not your only option. Alternatively, your school may allow you to find co-op employment on your own as long as it meets the course requirements.
How can the Co-op program help find a job?
You will earn paid, full-time experience in your field. Use this as an opportunity to build your professional network and make valuable connections. In addition, you may be able to find a mentor who can advise you on how to navigate the industry. This experience will also help you discover your potential career in the field and build your resume.
Further, the co-op will give you a break from the classroom. This break would allow you to experience the industry in which you want to build your career. Moreover, you’ll learn job search skills such as creating resumes, cover letters, and interview skills.
In addition, gaining experience in the industry will help develop soft skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, time management and communication.
Who is eligible for coop?
The government of Canada allows international students to participate in Co-op as long as students:
- have a valid student permit
- are enrolled in a study program that requires them to complete a work term/co-op
- need to have a letter from school the that confirms all students need to complete work placements to get their degrees, and
- the co-op placement or internship totals 50% or less of your study program