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Information for

Your work term

What will you do on a work term?

With 6,700 employers, Waterloo's 19,000 co-op students have an incredible range of work term experiences. However, there are some common elements to work terms.

  • During a work term, you'll be a full-time employee of the company or organization you're working for.
  • You'll have a manager who will provide training, projects, and guidance to you.
  • You might have a project of your own to work on or you might contribute to a number of projects over the course of your 4-month work term.
  • You'll usually have a mid-term and final review with your supervisor. A Waterloo co-op staff member will also check in with you to ensure that you're having a good work term.

See what Waterloo's co-op students of the year did during their work terms.

Where you'll work

  • You might work for a multinational company with thousands of employees or for a small firm with just a few people.
    • You can choose your experience by the types of jobs you apply to through Waterloo's interview process.
    • It can be really valuable to return to the same employer for a second or third work term. You'll be able to take on more responsibility and increase your skills.
  • If you find a job outside of Waterloo, Off-Campus Housing staff can help you find accommodation.
  • In some cities, Waterloo students organize events so that you can get to know other students who are working in the same city.
  • Add a global perspective to your résumé by finding an international co-op job and counting it towards the Global Experience Certificate you can earn as part of your degree.
  • If you're not living at home on a work term, part of your learning experience will be budgeting for costs such as rent or transportation.

What you'll earn

  • Your earnings will depend on your program, how much experience you have, and the specific job. Salaries are typically higher for later work terms.

Completing your work term

  • During your work term, you'll take online Professional Development courses, which enhance your workplace skills and help you get the most out of your co-op experience.
    • These communication, teamwork, and project skills are valuable skills that employers look for when hiring.
  • Depending on your program, you might write a report that summarizes the work that you completed during your term.
  • You'll receive an employer performance evaluation, which will be recorded on your co-op record.
  • You'll receive academic credit for each co-op term you successfully complete, and in some cases, you'll receive a grade based on your employer's evaluation and your work report, if applicable.

Launch your own business - and earn credit

  • If you have an idea you want to take to market and have the passion to build your venture, Enterprise Co-op allows you to start your own business and also earn a co-op work term credit.