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Co-op & Career Services

Students are at the heart of our work in Career Services. We strive to support your success academically, professionally and personally. Our mission is to prepare you for the future of work by connecting you with dynamic learning experiences. 

In Career Services, our team serves students and alumni through:

  • one-on-one meetings
  • online career programs
  • in-person workshops
  • a variety of events throughout the year

Our team integrates with UVic Co-op, a paid hands-on learning program that includes all UVic faculties, with students participating in 13 main co-op program areas that support more than 50 academic departments and schools.

Co-op exists for almost every program, except for those that already offer practica, internships or other work-integrated education.

Leadership

Andrea Giles is the executive director of UVic Co-op & Career Services. Andrea's involvement in co-operative and work-integrated education spans more than 30 years. 

Andrea received the inaugural Co-op Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Co-operative Education and Work Integrated Learning BC/Yukon (ACEWIL) in 2018, as well as ACE’s Outstanding Contribution Award in 1998 and 2009 and the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education’s Service Award in 2000 and 2015.

Department structure: 

Accreditations & memberships

Co-op & Career connects with many professional associations that promote co-operative education and career development at the post-secondary level.

History

Career Services

In the late 1960s, UVic housed a federal program called the Canada Employment Centre on campus, but when this program lost funding, the university created the Student Employment Centre (SEC). SEC, which opened in 1991, was the first iteration of Career Services.

SEC offered students:

  • job search support
  • summer and career job postings
  • employer information files
  • a job search library
  • on-campus recruitment by school districts, government, companies and other organizations

In 1993–94, SEC moved to its current location beside the Bookstore in the Campus Services Building and developed a targeted program for recent graduates. The unit changed its name to Career Services in 2002 to better reflect its focus on career development.

Co-op

In 1975, Dr. Howard Petch left the University of Waterloo to become UVic President and Vice-Chancellor. Dr. Petch brought with him an experimental new program that Waterloo had practiced since 1957: co-operative education.

UVic Co-op opened its doors in 1976, pioneering the first co-operative education program in western Canada with 58 placements in its first year. It was initially offered in the departments of chemistry and physics with the support of key players Dr. Alex McAuley, Dr. Harry Dosso and Dr. Graham Branton. Dr. Branton became co-op director in 1979 and dedicated the next 17 years to advancing the program.

  • by 1980, the program expanded to include computer science/mathematics, creative writing, geography, physical education and public administration
  • between 1980 and 1985, co-op began to place 30 per cent of students outside BC and established international exchange programs in the U.K. and Australia
  • by 1987–88, annual placements neared 1,000 for students in 13 program areas, and UVic had established itself as one of Canada’s forerunners in co-operative education
  • since its inception in 1976, our co-op students have completed 100,000+ work term placements

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