Prepare for work

Students preparing

Quick links:

No matter how many co-op jobs you've had, preparing for your work term is always important.

  • Start the term off right.
  • Be prepared, organized, and eager to start the term.
  • First impressions are critical, so research your employer to learn background information about the company.
  • There are many resources provided through this section. Use them to help you prepare, be a successful employee, and make your employer want to hire from Waterloo again.

Your first term as a co-op student

You'll find the school term before your first work term very busy. Besides getting used to new academic and social environments, you’ll:

  • take your PD 1 course,
  • attend Career Development workshops,
  • and prepare for your first work term.

First co-op work-term experiences may slightly differ from the usual work-term requirements in that experiences that provide a foundation for future work terms will be considered for credit even if they do not align with the student's field of study. 

Foundational work terms offer the opportunity to learn about subjects and/or skills related to your field of study (e.g. opportunities to learn practical lessons about implementing skills related to your program or about your program-related work environments, teams, careers). 

Foundational work term jobs fall into these categories: production, administrative and labour. 

Co-operative Education staff must be able to contact you during both your on-campus academic terms and your work terms. Our primary means of communication will be through WaterlooWorks messages, so ensure you're checking WaterlooWorks often. 

  • Most of the time, you'll also get a notification to your Waterloo-assigned email address that you have a new message in WaterlooWorks
  • If you do not use the Waterloo-assigned email address, please go to WatIAM and provide the correct one

Be sure to also keep your mailing address up to date in QUEST.

Resources to help you prepare for work

Review these pages to help you prepare for your upcoming work term.

Career Development eManual

  • The CareerHub page created by the Centre for Career Development is an excellent reference when it comes to preparing for work.

Make Waterloo your home!