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The Co-op Program: Tips & Tricks

Hey Guys!
April 29, 2016 

I've been really busy lately with my Co-op job. Right now, I'm doing extensive research on certain legislation regarding the institutional structure of Universities. It's been quite a while since I first started, and I feel like I've learnt a lot during this one month. Looking back, I feel like I was one of the luckier students. I happened to get a job related to my field, and also managed to get great co-workers to work with. Although I've already shared my application experience in another article, I feel that I should write another article giving new Co-op students advice and tips regarding the application and work process. In this article, I'll be covering topics such as my general opinion of the Co-op program, the application process, how to do well in interviews, and lastly tips on having the best experience during your co-op term!

My Opinion of the Co-op Program:

If I can sum my opinion of the Co-op program at the University down to one sentence, it would be this: It's not a perfect system but it's better than nothing. Why is it not a perfect system you ask? Here are some of my concerns and problems with the Co-op system. 

I'll be frank and admit that the University does tend to exaggerate the reputation of the Co-op program. They will post information such as our program having a 97% hire rate, or list only the best co-op jobs when showing prospective students samples of co-op opportunities. The truth is that the hire rate is much lower, especially for first work term students (the current first-term employment rate for the Spring 2016 term is 79%), and a significant proportion of the jobs are lower quality. Not that they're bad, but the University makes it seem like students commonly work at high-profile companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, or the Federal Government. Granted, our students do have an advantage when applying to these jobs than students from other Universities, but I feel like the University does tend to stretch the truth slightly. 

There are also some issues with the interview and hiring process, which I will discuss later in this article