A “cheat sheet” to Waterloo’s co-op resources

I think we can agree that co-op is a wonderful opportunity that will provide you with life-changing experiences that can accelerate your growth and development.

However, I think most co-op students can also agree, finding a job is hard and doing so while juggling university is even harder.

Co-operative and Experiential Education (CEE) at Waterloo has many valuable resources that help guide you through the co-op process. In fact, there are SO MANY resources it can be overwhelming at times. Especially for new students who are trying to navigate one of the largest transitions in their lives - attending university.  

I have been reflecting on my last few years as a co-op student and was wishing someone gave me a  summary of some of the top resources other students found important to be successful in co-op.   

Lucky for you, I’ve done just that! I have compiled a cheat sheet with some of Waterloo’s co-op resources that you may not have known about before.

                                     Gif with a man saying the quote, " Finally we get that answer." This gif is provided by ABC LIVE.

1. Networking opportunities in WaterlooWorks

A lesser-known treasure of WaterlooWorks is the ‘Register For An Event’ section on your dashboard. This leads to calendars for:

Taking advantage of these events not only gives you insight right from employers on varying industries and jobs, but they also provide opportunities to network and spark your interests in possible co-op roles. The employers come to you! You can ask some questions while also making a good impression on the hiring manager. Looking for tips about networking? Check out the How to network like a BOSS blog.     

calendar with information about Additional Networking & Professional Events.

2. Where students work dashboard

The Where students work dashboard gives you the ability to look up a co-op and see what industry the student is working in and their job title. I am an Arts and Business (ARBUS) student, so I am able to find information about where students are working and decide if I want to follow the same path.

This dashboard uses the co-op employment data from WaterlooWorks and shows you real co-op jobs students have had in the past.

The best part is that it’s organized by faculty, program and work term level. This not only helps you brainstorm your co-op path but if you see a industry you like, you know the employer is already affiliated with the co-op program and you can reach out to try to arrange your own co-op opportunity.

                                     Gif of man saying "Easy Peasy" while nodding his head. Gif from YouTube.

3. #MyCo-opExperience blog

My personal favorite resource is the MyCo-opExperience blogs (not biased at all). These are written by students, for students, and provide an inside look on what real life co-op jobs are like from an authentic perspective. They are personable, truthful and inspiring stories full of advice and sample  co-op experiences to get you thinking about what you want to pursue next.

If you think your co-op story will help others, reach out to help write a blog! I also recommend following @uwaterloocoop_cee on Instagram for up-to-date releases and interactive live student takeovers. Personally, hearing students’ life-changing international co-op experiences has sparked my interest in travel and has given me the confidence to pursue international options in the future.

                                        Gif of two men saying " That's a great idea. Yeah that's a great plan." Gif provided by Netflix.

4. Career planning and job search resources

The Centre for Career Action is a great resource for career development. One of my favorites is the Career Planning & Job Search page. This page is an ABSOLUTE must because it's your one stop shop for the following important job search resources:

In addition to these resources, The Center for Career Action website also has one-on-one supports with live chat options, virtual meeting options and even same-day consults for first work term co-op students. They also have online drop-ins where they can help you build your résumé, write cover letters and practice your interview skills. I strongly recommend these sessions as every student I know has utilized them and received helpful feedback.  

5. WaterlooWorks help page  

Every co-op student knows what WaterlooWorks is... but it is more than just the Hire Waterloo co-op job board. There are a few overlooked resources embedded in it that are worth exploring. I recommend reading the main WaterlooWorks help page. It will have the answers to almost every troubleshooting question you may have about using WaterlooWorks such as where you can search for jobs, how to filter your search results and how to view your job offers. They also have a very helpful legend for many, MANY acronyms you may find in WaterlooWorks.

                                       Gif of many minions nodding their heads and saying " Let's get started."

I hope my little cheat sheet helps you feel less overwhelmed and leads to all the professional success you desire. Don’t forget to share what you have learned with all your friends. Good luck on your co-op journey!

About the Author

Kaitlin Trendel, Digital Campaign Coordinator

Kaitlin is an Arts and Business co-op student majoring in Psychology at the University of Waterloo. She just completed her second co-op term as a Digital Campaign Coordinator for Co-operative and Experiential Education (CEE). Kaitlin was tasked with running the #MyCo-opExperiance campaign writing student experience blogs for the CEE blog page and promoting them through the @uwaterloocoop_cee social media. She loved her role writing creative blogs and sharing the amazing experiences of co-op students for other co-op students! Feel free to check out Kaitlin's LinkedIn.

Image of Kaitlin smiling.

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