Co-op student at the Tatham Centre talking to CECA staff

The co-op process

Co-op alternates academic terms with work terms creating study/work sequences. Study/work sequences vary between programs and year of admission.

Snapshot of the process:

  • Prepare a concise and professional résumé. Review the résumé section of CareerHub.

  • Take the online Professional Development (WatPD) course PD1, or if you’re in Engineering, Co-op Fundamentals for Engineering.

    • The course is taken prior to your first work term to help you understand the co-op employment process and how it fits with your career development.

  • Make an appointment with a career advisor to have your résumé critiqued. 

  • Read job postings in our job database, WaterlooWorks, and apply to those of interest.

  • Attend the interviews for which employers have selected you.

  • If you’re ranked, rank the interviews you had in order of preference. 

  • Continue the application and interview process if you’re not matched, until you find employment.

  • Complete your work term, during which you take part in a Professional Development (PD) online course, as well as write an analytical work report.

  • You’re required to work full time for the four consecutive months of your work term. If your work term begins late or ends early for reasons beyond your control, the minimum work term length must be not less than 12 weeks.

Have you ever wondered what advice a seasoned co-op student would tell you? Here is some advice from award-winning Waterloo co-op students about starting your first work term.