The University of Waterloo is a global leader in co-operative education, providing one of the largest co-op programs in the world. Computing and Financial Management (CFM) is a mandatory co-op program earning its students up to two years of work experience before they graduate.

Co-op sequence

Throughout your studies, you will combine in-class learning with on-the-job experience after your first year of study with co-op. This will allow you to apply what you've learned in class to the working world and apply what you've learned in industry to your studies. By the time you graduate, you will have completed 5-6 work terms and gained up to two years of paid experience.

In CFM, you will automatically be put into the co-op sequence below. A sequence outlines your scheduled study and co-op terms. While you are on a study term, you will look for work for your next co-op opportunity. Your first experience in looking for co-op jobs will start in your 1B term (or second term of first year).

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
F W S F W S F W S F W S F W
1A 1B WT1 2A WT2 2B WT3 3A WT4 3B WT5 4A WT6 4B
F = Fall term (September - December); W = Winter term (January - April); S = Spring term (May - August);
WT = Work term

Preparing for co-op

The co-op program at Waterloo is designed to simulate the full-time employment experience. To do this, our students are actively involved in the job search process. Starting in your 1B term, you'll be required to participate in professional development (PD) courses to learn how to design a resume, apply to jobs using our Waterloo Works job database system, and participate in interviews. Through the CFM program, you'll be invited to attend our Co-op Prep Session #1 in the fall and Co-op Prep Session #2 in the winter to learn from our upper-year students about their success in finding work.

At Waterloo, you are the maker of your own success in finding a job so start working on your resume early by learning new programming languages, developing new projects/apps, finding volunteer or part-time positions and building your career networks. Growing your experience now will make it easier for you to find your first co-op opportunity.

You are welcome to find your own work outside of our Waterloo Works job search system but your position must be approved by the Centre for Co-operative and Experiential Education (CEE) once you're on campus.

6,700+

co-op employers partner with the University of Waterloo.

60+

countries offer co-op positions to students.

94%

co-op employment success rate for CFM students
(up to 100% depending on term).

$85K

average possible co-op earnings over 6 work terms (between $50 and $120K).

First year co-op positions

The benefit of the CFM program is that you can explore a variety of co-op positions in the computer science, finance, or business world as you'll have the relevant skills for these kinds of roles.

Review the Student and Graduate Employment Report 2018 to find CFM employment rates and hiring sectors.

Our first year students held the following positions in their first co-op opportunity (updated July 22, 2019):

  • Application Developer, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
  • Full Stack Engineering, Manulife Financial
  • Student Analyst, IT Operations Compliance, Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS)
  • Internal Audit, RBC Financial Group
  • Programmer Analyst, Toronto Transit Commission
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant - Factor Investing and Machine Learning, University of Waterloo

Enterprise Co-op (E-Co-op)

If you are interested in growing your own ideas and business, you can receive co-op credit while building your company through E-Coop offered by the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business. E-Co-op is open to all students with any type of business concept: no-tech, low-tech, high-tech, service, consulting and more.

The Computing and Financial Management students we’ve hired from the University of Waterloo provide a fantastic fit, a great blend of technical, analytical and business skills – ideal for driving the transformation to a mobile-first, cloud-first world at Microsoft Canada."
- National Azure Product Manager, Cloud and Enterprise, Microsoft Canada