Joining the Co-op Program: Tips for Success

  • Start thinking about the career you aspire to, and identifying what types of skills and knowledge you're interested in developing during Co-op. Try to answer for yourself: What do I want to do? Why do I want to do it? Why will I be great at it?
  • If you haven't already, take the steps necessary to obtain a driver's license (if you are able). Many co-op positions require students to be able to drive, so having your driver's license and a clean driver's abstract is going to ensure that you have the greatest chance at successfully landing a position.
  • Co-op is both an investment in, and commitment to, your future. When you are admitted to the program you will be assigned to a set "sequence" which means you will know what the next four years of your degree will look like! This also means that things like long vacations are typically not possible during your degree, so be sure to set your expectations accordingly. But…
  • Adventure is encouraged!!! Although about half of co-op work terms are located in the Edmonton area, some of the most interesting and successful work experiences are located elsewhere. Have you always wanted to try living in Vancouver or up north? We have Co-op opportunities all across Canada! Want to spend time living internationally? There are lots of incredible programs for doing a work term abroad! Be ready to take risks and move outside your comfort zone.
  • Most students have an open summer before they enter co-op - this is an excellent time to gain valuable technical and transferable skills to help set you apart when you start looking for your first work term! Come chat with a co-op coordinator for hints on the types of experience that really stand out.
  • Your time in the co-op program is great for developing your professional network. So why not start working on your LinkedIn profile? Engineering Career Connections has some useful materials in the Resource Vault to help get you on your way.

Last Update: May 18, 2022