Waterloo Experience (WE) Accelerate: An innovative option for your Fall 2022 work term

A group of young employees working together on their laptops

We're working with industry collaborators to offer an innovative work term option for undergraduate co-op students entering their first work term: our Waterloo Experience (WE) Accelerate program. This optional program will help you develop in-demand skills through content provided by industry collaborators and team-based project experiences – all while earning a flexible work term credit! 

“WE Accelerate was wonderful. You learned skills, you practiced them and went out to try it out in the real world. That is probably the most crystal clear idea I have had of work-integrated learning.”

- Julian Lucido, Faculty of Math student

How the WE Accelerate program can help:

WE Accelerate streams being offered in Fall 2022

Stream Industry collaborator(s) Enrollment cap Skill development
Microsoft Azure Artificial Intelligence

camera icon Microsoft overview

Microsoft Flexible • Introduction to AI and its application across industries
• Azure Fundamentals content and certification
• Azure AI Fundamentals content and certification
• Design Thinking
None 50 • Website design for desktop and mobile
• Search engine optimization (SEO)
• Content, email, and video marketing
• Office productivity software (optional)

Watch recordings from our Virtual Information Day sessions 

light bulb with gearsProject Component

Each stream will also have a project component where students will work in teams of five to practice what they learned by tackling real-life problems and projects provided by industry collaborators. Each project will take about 120 hours to complete, and industry collaborators will assess your approach to the project using a Project Evaluation Form with an Overall Rating that will show up on your work term record. 

arrows in a circle iconSynchronous time commitment

Each stream will have varying synchronous time commitments. It is STRONGLY recommended that you attend all live sessions. Some streams may include mandatory sessions or examinations.  Students will also need to find time each week to meet with their team lead and work together with their group members to complete several team-based activities. You’ll learn more about the synchronous commitments associated with your assigned stream before the opt-out deadline.

Timeline and what to expect

WE Accelerate opt-in/opt-out period 
WE Accelerate Virtual Info Day Wednesday, July 27
• Industry collaborators discuss their streams and former students discuss their experience during our WE Accelerate Virtual Information Day event.
• Opt-in form will go live in WaterlooWorks following the event.
Deadline to opt-in Friday, September 16 at 4:00 PM (EDT)
• Deadline to opt-in and indicate your streams of interest.
Streams assigned Monday, September 19
• After registration closes on Friday, September 16 at 4:00 PM (EDT), students will be sorted into streams based on preference (first-come, first-served) and enrollment caps. 
• We’ll ensure you know which stream you’re in before the opt-out deadline of Friday, September 23 at 9:00 AM (EDT).
Deadline to opt-out Friday, September 23 at 9:00 AM (EDT)
• After this, we expect you to commit to WE Accelerate as you would any other work term as there are limited spots available.
WE Accelerate work term begins
Career programming (part 1) September 26 - 30
• Complete onboarding and career curriculum (part 1).
• Approximately 25 hours during this first week, with approximately 10 additional hours of career programming to occur throughout.
• 1 hour of synchronous content daily, with all other content provided asynchronously.
Skill development programming Beginning October 3
• Complete skill development content provided by industry collaborator(s).
• Approximately 100 hours, with varying degrees of synchronous content depending on the stream.
Project experience October 31 - December 2 (exact timing will depend on the stream/project)
• Complete industry collaborator projects in teams and receive feedback.
• Approximately 120 hours of project work to be expected across 3-5 weeks (all projects to be completed by Dec. 2).
• Please note: the hours to complete your project work will be determined by the project provider, with the expectation you are available.
• Industry collaborators will complete a Project Evaluation Form and assign individual ratings OR an overall rating for each project team (up to the employers discretion).
Project evaluation form deadline (for employers): Friday, December 9, 2022.
Career programming (part 2) December 5-9
• Complete career curriculum (part 2) and final summative assignment (due December 9).
• Approximately 25 hours.

Next steps to sign up

Thank you to all those who attended our WE Accelerate Virtual Information Day event! In case you missed it, recordings of the sessions will soon be posted on our WE Accelerate webpage. Be sure to check out the FAQ section to address any questions that we didn't have time to answer during the sessions.   

Now that you’ve had a chance to hear from our industry partners, we invite you to sign-up for WE Accelerate by filling out our opt-in form on WaterlooWorks by Friday September 16 at 4:00 PM (EDT). In this form, you’ll indicate your interest in the skill streams, and we’ll use this information to assign students to streams on a first-come, first-served basis as each stream has different enrolment caps based on how many students each industry partner can accommodate.

Not sure if you want to commit? Even if you choose to opt-in to reserve your spot, you can opt-out of the program if you change your mind any time before Friday, September 23 at 9:00 AM (EDT).

Follow the steps below to opt-in by Friday, September 16 at 4:00 PM (EDT):

  • Login to WaterlooWorks and select “Submit a form."
  • Complete the form below:
    • Category: Waterloo Experience (WE) Accelerate Program
    • Sub-category: Opt-in – WE Accelerate (5026)
  • After completing the opt-in form, you’ll be assigned to a stream on a first-come, first-served basis depending on how you ranked your streams of interest. We’ll let you know which stream you’ve been assigned to sometime after the deadline to opt-in (Friday, September 16 at 4:00 PM EDT) but before the deadline to opt-out (Friday, September 23 at 9:00 AM EDT).
  • Please note: You do NOT need to complete an Arrange Own Job form or search for additional part-time work on top of WE Accelerate - just submitting the opt-in form and completing the components of your assigned stream is enough to get you co-op credit! 

If you change your mind, follow the steps below to opt-out by Friday, September 23 at 9:00 AM (EDT): 

  • Login to WaterlooWorks and select “Submit a form.”
  • Complete the form below:
    • Category: Waterloo Experience (WE) Accelerate Program
    • Sub-category: Opt-out – WE Accelerate (5027)
  • If we receive your opt-out form by the deadline of Friday, September 23 at 9:00 AM (EDT), we'll remove you from the program. 
  • After this deadline, we expect that you will be committed to fulfilling the requirements for your stream to earn your co-op credit. WE Accelerate is a work term credit, so withdrawing from it after the deadline is considered leaving a work term early and may involve consequences. Please contact your co-op advisor for more details. 

Frequently asked questions

Below, you’ll find answers to questions asked by students during our WE Accelerate Virtual Information Day sessions. We’ll add new questions and update answers as the program continues to evolve!

Have a question that isn’t answered? Reach out to your co-op advisor!

FAQs: About WE Accelerate

FAQs: Opting-in or Opting-out

FAQs: What to expect once you're enrolled