Grad co-op and arranging your own jobs

Arranging your own co-op job

If you are a graduate student enrolled in a co-op program without access to the co-op job board on WaterlooWorks, you will be arranging your own co-op position. 

Note: Graduate students in co-op programs supported by the Department of Co-opeartive Education, with access to WaterlooWorks co-op job boards, can also arrange their own co-op jobs.

Arranging your own co-op job may seem daunting at first and may require creative thinking, networking skills and even some "cold calling." However, the University of Waterloo has a number of resources available to support you in your job search.


Your contact: CCA Career Advisor

For: Job search support

WaterlooWorks contains a number of job boards, a few of which are targeted to non co-op students.

There are positions posted to these boards that are targeted to graduate students that are excellent co-operative education opportunities, and employers looking to hire co-op students from programs that the Co-operative Education department does not support are encouraged to post to these boards. The main difference between jobs posted to these boards and the co-op job boards is that Co-operative Education does not facilitate the application and interview processes. Students wishing to apply to positions on these boards must apply directly to the company and coordinate interviews directly with them (which is more likely to involve off-campus travel).

You'll be competing with peers who may have had relevant work experience during their undergrad. You'll also be competing with current undergraduate students who may already have several work terms under their belt. This can sometimes leave graduate students feeling frustrated. You will have access to support from The Centre for Career Action (see below) and your department to navigate through the various challenges of co-op.

The Centre for Career Action

Your contact: CCA Career Advisor

For: Skills development, job search support

At the graduate level, you may have already built up a network that could help you find a co-op job. Leveraging your network can be helpful if you are seeking a specific type of opportunity and/or one within a particular geographic area, given that many co-op opportunities posted in WaterlooWorks may require relocation.

The Centre for Career Action (CCA) offers numerous resources and services to support you in arranging your co-op job while taking into account your education, interests, skills, preferred environments, values and personal factors.


CareerHub is an online portal designed to support you in your skill development, finding work, creating strong applications, career planning and more!

Use CareerHub's "Find Work" tab to better understand what employers are looking for and gain an edge in the job hunt.

Career Advising

The Centre for Career Action has dedicated graduate career advisors. You can book an appointment to meet with one of them in person, over Skype or by telephone. Career advisors support students with work search; résumé, cover letter and CV writing; mock interviews and other forms of academic and non-academic career development.

Events and Workshops

Attend events and workshops aimed at developing skills for the job hunt. See the "For Graduate Students" tab on the workshops calendar.

Your faculty/department

Your contact: Departmental graduate coordinator/officer/administrator

For: Questions about academic/co-op sequencing, fees assessed, work reports

Speak to the graduate coordinator in your department for more information on faculty/departmental co-op supports available to you.