Do you have a question about the Enterprise Co-op (E Co-op) program? You may find your answer here. If not, feel free to contact Tara Gingerich Hiebert. We will be happy to address any questions/concerns you may have.
Is there any funding provided during the work term?
Do I need to stay in Waterloo for the duration of my work term?
No. We recognize that because this is an unpaid work term, circumstances may dictate that you may need to be out of town/country, or you may need to stay at your permanent residence, wherever that may be. However, we strongly encourage you to be in Waterloo and take advantage of all of the resources available to you. When you are accepted into the program, you are part of an ecosystem that provides resources and assistance that is helpful to your success and development. You have access to expertise and resources at the Conrad Centre, Accelerator Centre, and the Communitech Hub. Most of the workshops and guest speakers that we provide are on location at the Conrad Centre, which makes being in the area very convenient.
Do I have to stay in Canada?
1) You are working in your home country or,
2) As a Canadian (Resident or Citizen) you have obtained the appropriate work visa prior to your work term.
- All documentation must be filed with the E Co-op coordinator and may be requested by your student advisor.
- Paperwork must be presented as valid no later than 3 weeks prior to your work term.
- All students who will be working outside of Waterloo must attend an orientation session prior to departure
- All students must provide an address where they will be working and living while staying outside of the country.
- Note: Enterprise Co-op cannot help you apply for this paperwork. As your own employer you are responsible for managing this process yourself.
Note that when on E Co-op work terms, you will be engaged in business activities, and therefore must possess the appropriate legal documents (permits etc.) to conduct the work you wish to undertake. The paperwork required is often much more complicated than what is required for travel or being sponsored to work for an employer outside of Canada. E Co-op terms outside of Canada are not recommended, as arranging the appropriate paperwork can take a great deal of time, usually on the order of months, and often cannot be accomplished within the time frame required to take advantage of an E Co-op opportunity.
Note that given the complexity of legal issues involved, Enterprise Co-op and Co-operative Education and Career Action cannot help you apply for this paperwork. As your own employer you are responsible for managing this process yourself and providing proof that you have the appropriate paperwork before credit can be granted.
What support will I receive if I am out of the Waterloo area?
We have a handful of students each term that are spending the work term out of the Waterloo area. Regardless of where you are, you will always be connected to our resources and support. The majority of the workshops and guest speakers that we host will be available via webinar or dial-in via GotoMeeting. This allows students to be connected and they will not miss out on the opportunities to participate. Your mentors will be available to you as well, and the program coordinator will check in with you occasionally via e-mail/phone to make sure you are taking the necessary steps to make progress during your work term. We also have an extensive network of professionals that we can connect you to depending on where you are located during the work term.
Is there workspace or office space for me if I am staying in the Waterloo area?
Yes. We have multiple spaces for students to work in. The Conrad Centre in the Accelerator Building has multiple break out rooms that can be used as workspace. We also encourage students to work at our hub space at the Communitech Hub in the Tannery in Kitchener. Both the Accelerator Centre and the Communitech Hub are great workspaces that allow you to connect with other students, businesses, as well as the resources that you will find helpful in developing your ventures.
What are mentors and how do I find one?
Mentors are an integral part of the Enterprise Co-op program. All students who are accepted into the Enterprise Co-op program are required to have a mentor. We will provide you with the resources to help you find a mentor that is usually in the same field geared towards your venture. Mentors are professionals who have a wealth of experience in every field of work and business. They have the knowledge and resources to help you in the process of building your venture. Once accepted into the program, we encourage you to go out and network and try to find your own mentor. Although we will assist you with as much help as possible, it is expected that you put some effort into finding your own mentor. Once mentors have been agreed upon, there will be a mentorship agreement signed between you, your mentor, and the program director.
Are there any restrictions for applying with a team member? Have multiple team members?
The most important requirement is that the applicant is an undergraduate co-op student at the University of Waterloo. If the applicant is working with other individual(s) and that individual(s) is/are also a co-op student(s), then it is perfectly reasonable for both to apply to the program. All applications will be reviewed on an individual basis as each applicant is required to submit the application form, as well as their resume. It is also a possibility where one member of the team applies for the program for one term, and the other member applies for a later term.
How will I be evaluated?
Similar to other co-op work terms, there will be an end of term evaluation. This evaluation will be done by your mentor, combined with input from the program director Wayne Chang. There will be an end-of-term meeting between yourself, program director John, and a representative from Co-operative Education & Career Services. The meeting will be an overview of your work term and what you were able to learn and accomplish.
What type of businesses does the program look for?
What sets Enterprise Co-op apart from any other program is that we encourage a diverse range of businesses and there are no particular preferences. We have had students from all faculties develop businesses ranging from services, consulting, mobile development, app development, lifestyle businesses, digital media, social gaming, financial consulting, etc…Whether it’s low-tech, high-tech or no-tech, if you have a business venture and the entrepreneurial spirit, this is the program for you! This program is not limited to just your own ventures, but also franchising opportunities as well.
How do I apply?
All application information can be found on the Enterprise Co-op section of the Conrad Centre website. You must download the application form Word document and fill it out. When you are ready to do so, submit your application. It will take a couple of days for your resume to process. You will then be contacted via e-mail regarding further steps in the application process. An interview with the E Co-op Coordinator will be set up once your application has been reviewed.