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Work while you learn - Co-operative education

George at BMW

Co-op student Georg Tuchlinski, at his co-op term at BMW in Germany.

Real-life learning through co-op

At UVic, learning extends beyond the classroom. Through co-operative education (co-op), you can alternate terms in class with paid work terms in positions related to your field of study. You'll graduate with work experience, a great resume, contacts in your field and some extra cash in your pocket. Co-op graduates are more likely to find relevant, permanent work with higher salaries. Read more co-op student stories and learn about our employers.

Co-op in action

For many engineering graduates, the most memorable part of their degree was the time spent applying their skills in co-op work term placements. For mechanical engineering student Georg Tuchlinski, who traveled to Munich, Germany to work for BMW, the memories will last a lifetime.

Learning in Motion



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Do I need to apply for admission to Co-op?

As a computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering or software engineering student, your degree program includes an integrated co-operative education (co-op) component. You will automatically be registered in co-op and receive job search guidance and training by the Co-op team.

Computer science students need to apply to the co-op program. You can apply in your first or second year by contacting the Engineering and Computer Science/Math Co-op office in ECS 204. You can also apply online.

Co-op and
your career

Co-operative education is more than just work experience - it's a learning strategy that will help you launch your career.

As a co-op student, you can explore your career options before you graduate and find the pathway that best suits your skills and interests. You're in charge of your career development and can pursue the jobs that connect with your academic goals.

Want to pursue a career in research? Get a head start by working for a leading employer in your field, or put your work experience towards professional accreditation.

Already have a dream employer in mind for after graduation? Apply for a co-op job with that employer and you could relay your work term into a full-time job offer. Many third- and fourth-year students are hired by their former co-op employers and have jobs lined up before they even graduate.

Visit the Co-op and Career Services sites for more information.

Finding
your job

As a co-op student, you'll be fully supported throughout your job search. When you enter the program, you'll attend a series of workshops to help you develop skills like how to write a resumé and how to behave in an interview. You'll also learn how to use the co-op information management system to search for jobs.

You'll work very closely with your co-op adviser, a specific co-op coordinator who will be your contact throughout the duration of your program. Your adviser can help you with everything from job search strategies to supporting you while you're on your work term.

This will include the work site visit, where your adviser will visit you and your employer at the workplace, to check in and make sure that both you and your employer are having the best possible experience. If you are working somewhere where work site visit isn't possible, your co-op adviser will conduct the work site visit by telephone or other electronic method.

Your co-op adviser and the rest of the Engineering and Computer Science/Math Co-op and Career team will do everything possible to make you get the most out our your co-op experience.

Visit the main Co-op and Career Services site for more information.

Student
exchanges

Sometimes, a trip abroad is exactly what you need to see the world from a new perspective.

UVic has co-op exchange agreements with 17 institutions in 10 countries. Through the exchange program, UVic works with these partner institutions to send a UVic co-op student on a co-op placement through another university, while a student from that institution is placed in a co-op position here in Canada.

In some cases, students can embark on an academic exchange, followed by a co-op exchange, with the same institution abroad. Visit the Co-op website for more information about exchange possibilities.

Co-op in the
classroom

Participating in co-op can do more than providing you with work experience for after graduation. It can also enrich your academic experience.

When you return from a work term placement, you bring your hands-on experience back to the classroom. You'll have a better understanding of academic concepts after putting them into action in the workplace.

Tell your professors about your co-op experiences and share your insider knowledge - it can go a long way.

Many of your professors are also co-op employers, hiring students to work on research projects and other initiatives. If you're interested in your professor's area of research, consider investigating the possibility of a work term on campus.

International
student info

If you are an international student, participating in co-op will enable you to work for Canadian companies while you complete your degree at UVic. You may participate in co-op as long as you have a valid study permit.

Contact
co-op

Co-operative education is more than just work experience - it's a learning strategy that will help you launch your career.

As a co-op student, you can explore your career options before you graduate and find the pathway that best suits your skills and interests. You're in charge of your career development and can pursue the jobs that connect with your academic goals.

Want to pursue a career in research? Get a head start by working for a leading employer in your field, or put your work experience towards professional accreditation.

Already have a dream employer in mind for after graduation? Apply for a co-op job with that employer and you could relay your work term into a full-time job offer. Many third- and fourth-year students are hired by their former co-op employers and have jobs lined up before they even graduate.

Visit the Co-op and Career Services sites for more information.

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