You’ve been accepted into the Co-op program. What’s next? Review the steps below for tips on how to make the best of your co-op experience.
The Co-op Student
During your job search, you are responsible for:
- Initiating a job search at least one term prior to the Co-op placement.
- Proactively applying to as many jobs as possible through C3 and/or independently.
- Inquiring through your network for job opportunities. If you receive an offer that is not shown on C3, it must be approved by your Co-op instructor.
- Keeping in touch with your Co-op instructor and scheduling meetings as necessary.
- Contacting your Co-op instructor prior to an interview, if needed, to better understand how to prepare.
- Accepting the first job you are offered.
- Ensuring you have a valid work permit before the work term begins if you are an international student.
During your work term, you are responsible for:
- Updating placement information on Langara C3 (first assignment).
- Arranging a site visit with your Co-op instructor and employer.
- Maintaining confidentiality of information unless stated otherwise by the employer.
- Following and complying with all the conditions and rules of the organization such as working hours.
- Completing all Co-op assignments on Brightspace.
- Ensuring that your employer completes an evaluation of your performance via C3.
After your work term, you are responsible for:
- Returning to school to complete a full-time academic term.
- Completing a presentation to peers as part of the work-term evaluation process when you return to school.
The Co-op Instructor
Your Co-op instructor is the liaison between you and your employer, and will work closely with you throughout your work term placement. They are in charge of promoting the Co-op and Career Development Centre to prospective employers, providing you with appropriate pre-employment training, conducting site visits to assist you and your employer, marking your submitted assignments, ensuring you receive fair treatment while on your work term, and addressing challenges if any are presented.
The Co-op Employer
Your employer is in charge of providing you with challenging tasks that will help you grow as a professional and develop new skills. They will supervise you during your Co-op, evaluate your work, advise you of confidentiality matters, adhere to BC Employment Standards, and participate in a site visit with you and your Co-op instructor.
- Apply to as many jobs as possible.
- Submit your resume and additional documents (e.g., cover letter, unofficial transcript, writing sample, etc.) by the job posting deadline; apply through C3 or as indicated on the job posting.
- Note: Each job posting will specify which additional documents are required.
- Applications are stored in your C3 account. In some cases, you may be required to apply on the company website with the link provided in the posting. In this case, we ask that you also put a copy of the application in your C3 account.
- You may choose to apply to any of the posted positions in your area of study. If successful, you must be willing to work wherever the job requires, and at the offered rate of pay.
- Co-op instructors are available to meet with you to review your application before they go out to an employer.
- Remember to check email regularly for updates from potential employers and your Co-op instructor.
- Don’t contact the company directly or the person named on the job posting unless the employer has left a message for you.
- Co-op instructors are available to help with interview skills prior to your interview with a potential Co-op employer.
- Remain in contact with your Co-op instructor, update them on your job search, interview details, etc.
- You are expected to check your email and voicemail frequently to see if an organization has requested an interview, as interview scheduling can take place with very short notice. You may receive an interview invitation from the employer directly or through the Co-op and Career Development Centre on behalf of the employer.
- If you are successful in your job interview, the employer will make a job offer. You will be notified by the Co-op and Career Development Centre or directly by the employer.
- In a self-directed job search, where you search for your own Co-op position, the role must be approved by a Co-op instructor to qualify for a Co-op work term.
- After being offered a job, make sure to fulfil all other company requirements. Examples include: background check, criminal record check, medical exam, etc.
- You can ask your employer questions regarding job details such as salary, hours of work, benefits, etc. Once you have signed your offer letter, confirm the start date, start time, location, dress code, and any other information relevant to your position.
- Remember to mail or email the signed offer letter to your employer and copy your instructor.
- If you are offered an extension of your existing Co-op work term from four to eight months, contact your Co-op instructor to enrol in the appropriate course and pay the tuition.
- Comply with all conditions and rules that apply to employees in the organization.
- Exercise ethical workplace conduct.
- Set goals for learning.
- Take the initiative to enhance professional, academic, and personal skills.
- Maintain workplace confidentiality.
- Accept feedback and suggestions for improvement in a positive manner.
- Coordinate and participate in work-site visits.
- Resolve problems or issues that may arise in a prompt and professional manner.
- Advise your employer and Co-op instructor of any concerns or problems with your work assignment or environment.
- Be aware of work term course requirements and assignment deadlines and complete accordingly.
- While taking additional courses during a Co-op semester is not restricted, you must seek approval from your Co-op instructor and work supervisor prior to registering. The Co-op work term takes precedence over other courses. If you plan on taking additional courses, evening and online sections are preferred.
- Stay in contact with your Co-op instructor as much as possible. They can provide feedback and guidance while you are in the Co-op Program. This is a unique opportunity to have a personal career coach and you should utilize this scenario to make the most of your Co-op term.
- Reply to emails within 24 hours and frequently update your Co-op instructor on your application process and work-term activities.
- A site visit must be arranged in order to discuss your work progress. The meeting should be set at a time that works for you, your employer, and your Co-op instructor. The meeting will typically be held at the workplace, six-to-ten weeks into each four-month work term. Site visits for out-of-town placements may be done by phone, electronically, or by video conferencing.
- Site visits provide you with an opportunity to:
- Talk about the benefits and challenges of your position.
- Explore solutions to particular issues.
- Examine how to incorporate new skills when returning to academic studies.
- Receive feedback from your employer and Co-op instructor.
- How the site visit works:
- The employer and Co-op instructor will meet to review your progress.
- The Co-op instructor will then meet with you to go over your progress.
- Each meeting takes approximately 30 minutes.
- Co-op extensions may occur only if you are offered a four-month extension with the same employer in your original placement. Some restrictions apply for international students (see instructor for details).
- You may only extend your work term or register for the second level Co-op term (back-to-back Co-op terms) with the permission of your Co-op instructor.
- You will be assigned a “Fail” grade in the Co-op course if you:
- Fail to report at the location of the specified employer.
- End a work term placement prior to completion without permission from your Co-op instructor and employer.
- Are terminated from your position by the employer for any reason.
- Fail to complete the required assignments for the Co-op term.
- If you are in a two-year Co-op designated program, generally diplomas and associate degrees, you need to complete one Co-op term to earn the Co-op designation on your diploma or associate degree. However, you may take up to two Co-op terms.
- You must finish your diploma or degree on a full-time academic term (nine credits).
- If you are in a four-year co-op-designated program, you must complete a minimum of three Co-op terms to earn the “Co-op designation” on your degree. You may complete a maximum of four Co-op terms.
- If you do not complete three Co-op work terms for the degree, you will still have the completed work terms listed on your transcript. However, it will not be listed as you having the “Co-op Designation” on your graduation parchment.
- You must finish your diploma or degree on a full-time academic term (nine credits).
- You may, at any time, request a meeting with your Co-op instructor to discuss concerns over your academic standing or other issues regarding participation in the Co-op Program.