- Verify your job status
- Contact your employer
- Find location-specific information and accommodations
- Complete pre-work term preparation
- Develop your learning objectives
- Self-assessment on how you fit into the work place
- After you’re matched with a job, a link to your work-term record will appear on your WaterlooWorks dashboard
- Click to view your work-term record to view details of your work term
Note: This section doesn’t apply to Pharmacy students
- Contact your employer to verify your employment arrangements now that you’re matched with the job.
- You can find your employer’s contact information on your work-term record in WaterlooWorks
When matched with a job, we recommend that you prepare a letter of acceptance to acknowledge your employment match and send it to your employer in an email.
- Send your employer an e-mail asking about the following:
- starting date and time and end date
- hours of employment
- to whom to report
- any pre-work term things you should do
If you already know this information, send an email asking your employer to verify the arrangements.
If you have any other concerns, be sure you voice them before you begin your term.
- Co-operative Education doesn’t arrange work term housing for you.
- Please refer to Off-Campus Housing to find housing and accommodation information for the location of your work term.
- Off-Campus Housing has listings for not only accommodations in Kitchener-Waterloo, but also out-of-town and international locations frequented by Waterloo co-op students.
- They also have a classified section to help you find someone with whom to share a place to live.
- If you will have a job outside Waterloo Region, please view the location-specific information and accommodations for helpful resources for finding accommodations, transportation, and other things of interest.
- GO Transit offers fare discounts for co-op students. (order through Quest for full-time students)
- Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) offers a fair discount for the metropass
- Via Rail 1-800-561-8630
- Air Canada 1-800-361-8071 (hearing impaired line 1-888-247-2262)
- West Jet Airlines
- Greyhound Bus Services
Determine your student advisor
The best way to connect with your advisor is by using the 'Send A Message' button that appears on the top of your WaterlooWorks dashboard. The system knows to send your message to the right person based on the category and sub category you select.
Once you're matched with a job, a new section outlining your work-term details will appear on your dashboard. Within that section, a new button will appear where you can send a message to the advisor who will assist you on your upcoming work term. If you have any questions specific to your new work term, use that button.
Your advisor's phone number will also appear on your dashboard.
You will receive an introductory message from your student advisor within the first few weeks of your work term. The message will provide information about the work term consultation you can expect to receive during your employment this term.
Please do not hesitate to contact your student advisor anytime if you have an urgent matter to discuss
Create learning objectives
Prior to entering your co-op job, or during the first week of your job, you should develop a list of learning objectives.
Learning objectives can help you develop skills and get the most out of your co-op job.
Your learning objectives will be more general when creating them prior to entering your co-op job, and will become more specific as you revise them throughout the progression of your co-op job.
When creating learning objectives, remember to:
- keep the number of objectives to a minimum
- be specific (i.e., “I want to save $100/month”, as opposed to “I want to save money for my tuition”)
- make them measurable
- keep in mind your personal and career goals
- focus on what new skills, habits, and attitudes you’d like to achieve
Your student advisor will discuss your learning objectives during your work term consultation. As you assess your success, you may wish to discuss your goals further with your student advisor.
The learning objectives you set should clarify your career path and help create a greater understanding of your chosen field.
Remember: every job is different and some of the questions will not have any relation to your job.
Give an outline of the company
- What products, activities and/or services does it provide?
- Who are its customers?
- How many people are employed in various capacities?
- What are the company's assets, facilities, and equipment?
- What technologies does it rely on?
- What is the company's primary marketplace and source of profit?
- Is the market local or abroad?
- What was the share price variance during the last year?
Give an outline of the departmental structure
- How does each department function?
- How are they organized?
- What kind of projects are each department responsible for?
What did you learn about?
- production processes, raw materials, and equipment used by the employer?
- energy requirements?
- specialized processes?
- design, research, testing, marketing, and production?
- buying, budgetary control, and cost analysis?
- critical path analysis?
- management by objectives and project management control?
- quality control and service standards?
- customer service and human resources?
- interdependence of departments?
- personnel, employment problems, and organization of employees?
How can you improve?
- your discipline's skills?
- communication and productivity?
- the competitiveness or effectiveness of your employer?
- standards of quality or service?
Some people like to take complex situations and analyse them; others like to take a general view of events and fit them together. Some are comfortable doing either. Where do you fit in?
How do you tackle problems? Are you tenacious, creative, or a combination of the two? What kind of problems do you like to solve?
Many people think they want creative jobs. What does "creative" mean to you? Does creative relate to objects, designs, ideas, people, relationships, techniques, or systems? How creative does your job need to be?
This section deals with you. The questions help you determine where and how in general you fit into work places, how you can enhance the learning process in the future, and how to plan a career.
Working with people on your work term
Every job requires you to work with people. Do you prefer to work alone or in a group? With the public? On a one to one basis or in a group?
- Are you competitive?
- Do you need competition or are you happier in a less stressful environment?
Tension and stress
Common examples of stressful situations include exams, delivering speeches, and meeting deadlines. How do you handle stress?
- Do you fall apart or thrive?
- Do you procrastinate or plan ahead?
No one likes to be criticized. What is your typical reaction to criticism? Are you defensive or aggressive? How does your reaction change when the criticism is from superiors, peers, or subordinates?
- How much feedback do you need?
- How much praise do you need?
- How frequently and quickly do you need praise?
Doing vs. thinking
Some people have great ideas, but tend to be intimidated by implementation. Others are very good at implementing ideas, but cannot generate them. Where do you fit in?
- When challenged, what is your reaction?
- How much challenge do you need? How much variety?
- At what point does a challenge become a hassle?
- How important is status to you?
- Do you have to have ownership of an idea or project, or are you happy contributing?
Some people enjoy persuading others. Others consider persuasion to be aggressive and intrusive. Where do you fit in?
- How do you make decisions? Do you have to have every fact, or do you trust intuition?
- Do you decide quickly or at length?
- Do you take full responsibility for your decisions or do you prefer sharing decisions?
What did you learn from?
- project work?
- specialized work?
- daily work?
- repetitive work?
How did your work relate to your?
- previous work experiences?
- academic knowledge?