A student’s co-op experience begins in the classroom and continues to resonate there long after students’ co-op job ends. Co-op is intertwined with students’ studies, beginning with a co-op course during freshman year.
Co-op students are assigned to a specific Co-op Faculty Coordinator. Coordinators work with students from their first year through their graduation year as a bridge between classroom studies and career goals, collaborating with faculty and co-op employers to match interests, talents and objectives to the most appropriate co-op positions.
In addition, Co-op Faculty Coordinators help students develop resumes, provide training to sharpen interviewing skills, and help facilitate the integration of an on-the-job experience with course work. As students’ academic and career interests evolve, their Co-op Faculty Coordinator will help to guide them toward co-op experiences that help achieve personal and career goals.
Reflection is a vital part of students’ co-op experience. When students return to the classroom from co-op, they will be expected to engage in reflection activities to help process their work experience.
- The students in CAMD complete two six-month cooperative education experiences.
- Students in CAMD complete one mandatory six-month cooperative education experience.
- Graduate students also have the option to participate in the cooperative education program.
In consultation with their assigned cop-op coordinator, students submit their resumes (and in some cases, portfolios or work samples) to companies in the NU database. Then, the companies decide who to interview and eventually hire. No one is guaranteed a co-op, though the vast majority of students who are proactive and flexible end up finding a job.
The benefits to students are easy to see:
- A substantial number of new graduates who become employed full-time receive job offers from former co-op employers.
- Students going on to graduate school have numerous work experiences, contacts and professional networks already established.
The Co-op Program offers students opportunities to:
- Clarify short and long term personal, educational, and career goals.
- Explore jobs in their chosen fields.
- Integrate what is studied in classes with what is experienced when working.
- Enhance understanding and appreciation for the “world at work.”
- Develop job finding, job survival, and career advancement skills.
- Strengthen their developing identities as professionals in their career choice, working with role models in their chosen field.