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Resources for co-op students

Gareth (biochemistry and microbiology) worked for UVic Biology.

Gareth (biochemistry and microbiology) worked for UVic Biology.

Everything you need to know about co-op

Resources for co-op students image - shoes

We’ve put together the most common resources that you’ll need as a co-op student. To make sure you’re accessing the most relevant resources for you, contact your co-op program.

How to apply
to co-op

Most UVic co-op programs are optional, meaning you'll need to apply to join in your first, second or third year of study. Find the co-op program for your degree, bring your enthusiasm and apply! Admission is based on your GPA (generally a “B” standing) and may include an interview. Contact your co-op program as early in your studies as possible to learn about admission deadlines and application requirements.

Mandatory co-op programs

Some undergraduate programs have a mandatory co-op component, so you’ll be automatically enrolled in co-op when you’re first admitted to your program. Co-op is mandatory for:

Undergraduate programs Graduate programs

How to find
a co-op job

Once you’ve been accepted into a co-op program, you’ll:

  1. Attend workshops to help fine-tune your résumé writing and job search skills.
  2. Discuss your job search goals with your coordinator.
  3. Apply for jobs posted online by submitting your cover letter and résumé.
  4. If an employer shortlists you, you’ll be interviewed. Interviews may take place in person, over the phone or through Skype.
  5. If you're the successful candidate, you’ll receive a formal job offer. You’ll have 24 hours to accept or decline.
  6. Normally, your co-op coordinator will visit you and your employer at your workplace halfway through your work term. This work site visit is your chance to provide feedback.
  7. At the end of your work term, you'll be required to reflect on your experiences and your competency development in a work term report and/or an oral presentation.
  8. If you successfully complete the co-op program, you’ll earn a co-op designation on your degree. Each co-op program has different completion criteria.

Important
dates

Dates before you start applying for jobs

Dates before you start applying for jobs

Work terms start at the same time as academic terms: in September, January and May. Before you apply to co-op jobs, you’ll need to contact your co-op program office to let them know you want to go on a work term.

It’s a good idea to become eligible as early as possible so that you can access more postings. Start your job search early—up to four months in advance!

  Fall
work term

(Sept –Dec)
Spring
work term

(Jan - April)
Summer
work term

(May – Aug)
Co-op program receives and posts job descriptions Starting May 1 Starting September 1 Starting May 1
Employers receive applications Within one week of the job being posted
Interviews take place At the employer’s convenience
Job placements are confirmed Within 24 hours of an offer being made

Dates while you're on the job

Dates while you're on the job

Once you've secured a work term, you'll follow this schedule (all programs follow slightly different schedules so check with your coordinator):

First week of your work term Complete and submit the learning objectives form and the student work term information form (ask your co-op program for links to these forms. Discuss your learning objectives with your work supervisor.
End of the first month Pay your co-op program fees.
Second or third month Your co-op office will arrange a work site visit. A week before your work site visit, complete the mid-term evaluation form (ask your co-op program for the link to this form). Ask your coordinator to help you complete the work site visit checklist during your site visit.
End of third month Complete the final evaluation form, reflecting on the ways that your work experience met your learning objectives (ask your co-op program for the link to this form).
End of your work term Submit your work term report to your co-op program office (ask your co-op program for specific work term report requirements).

FAQ

1. What resources are available through Co-op and Career?

1. What resources are available through Co-op and Career?

As a UVic student, you have access to unique Co-op and Career resources that make up the Co-op and Career foundations. We’ve organized these resources into three “kits”:

1. Your journey kit: Use this kit to plan and research your career options, match your interests with the right job, approach your career goals effectively and more.

2. Your competency kit: Use this kit to develop and practice "competencies," which are professional skills and behaviours that will help you succeed in any career. Co-op and Career's ten core competencies are:

  • personal management
  • managing information
  • research and analysis
  • project, task and organizational skills
  • teamwork
  • communication
  • commitment to quality
  • professional behaviour
  • social responsibility
  • continuous learning

3. Your tool kit: Use this kit to help you write standout résumés and cover letters, learn successful interview skills and discover job search strategies.

2. What are the benefits of the UVic Co-op Program?

2. What are the benefits of the UVic Co-op Program?

Through co-op, you can:

  • enhance your academic studies
  • benefit from personal guidance from co-op coordinators
  • reflect on your work experience to understand your strengths, passion and goals
  • explore job opportunities with employers in Canada and around the world
  • help pay for your education
  • establish valuable connections in your field
  • learn to understand, apply and describe your competencies

3. How do I apply for co-op?

3. How do I apply for co-op?

Every co-op program has a slightly different application process. For details, find your co-op program.

4. What kinds of co-op jobs can I do?

4. What kinds of co-op jobs can I do?

That depends on your co-op program, and your level of experience. More than 45 academic departments take part in co-op, and there are jobs to fit every program area. Check out our student stories to learn about possible opportunities.

5. How much time will I need to spend looking for a job?

5. How much time will I need to spend looking for a job?

This depends on the number of jobs you apply to, whether you’re willing to relocate for a work term, and when you decide to apply.

Co-op work terms begin in September, January and May, and jobs are posted with companies across Canada and internationally. Many employers begin posting jobs two to three months before the job starts.

The best way to land a job is to apply to many different jobs, and to consider opportunities outside of Victoria. Apply early and apply often!

6. Once I become a co-op student, will I have help searching for jobs?

6. Once I become a co-op student, will I have help searching for jobs?

Absolutely. You’ll take part in workshops to learn how to write résumés and cover letters, and how to behave in interviews. You’ll be assigned to a co-op coordinator, who can help you search for co-op positions.

7. Are there any academic requirements for co-op?

7. Are there any academic requirements for co-op?

Every co-op program has slightly different requirements. Most programs ask that you maintain a “B” average and a professional attitude.

If you plan to graduate with co-op designation, check with your co-op program area to find out how many co-op terms you’ll need to complete.

8. Can I use co-op work terms from other post-secondary institutions as transfer credit at UVic?

8. Can I use co-op work terms from other post-secondary institutions as transfer credit at UVic?

Yes, as long as UVic Co-op is satisfied with the merits of the work term. Transfer credit is determined on a per-case basis and cannot count for more than 50 per cent of the total number required to complete your co-op requirements. Contact your co-op program for more information.

9. Can I apply to more than one co-op area?

9. Can I apply to more than one co-op area?

Normally, you should apply to the co-op program area connected to your degree area. If you haven’t settled on a degree program, you can apply to one co-op program area and later transfer into another one once you’ve declared your major. If you’ve declared a double major, you can complete co-op work terms in two different co-op program areas.

10. Is co-op available for international students?

10. Is co-op available for international students?

Yes. But to work off-campus, you need a valid off-campus work permit. This means that you must:

  • hold a valid study permit
  • have been registered as a full-time student for at least six out of the last 12 months
  • have maintained satisfactory academic standing in your program of study
  • have a Social Insurance Number

11. Can I get help with moving expenses if I do a co-op work term outside Victoria?

11. Can I get help with moving expenses if I do a co-op work term outside Victoria?

If you’re a full-time student and are moving more than 40 km from Victoria, you may be able to claim some moving costs on your income tax. To claim these costs, complete a T1-M Claim for Moving Expenses form from Revenue Canada.

Co-op
publications

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