Aug. 18, 2021Print | PDF
Co-op is an incredibly popular topic (and even a deciding factor) among many future university students, like yourself. It’s a fantastic way to build a stand-out resume, earn money for school, make industry connections and find out what really matters to you in a job and workplace (Hours? Team size? Company stage? Company culture? Industry/product? Quantity of desk work? Face time with other people?).
If you’re interested in co-op, the good news is that nearly every program on Laurier's Waterloo campus offers it (find out if yours does by visiting the relevant program page). And even if your first-choice program doesn’t have a co-op option, we prioritize experiential learning opportunities in every program so you can apply what you’re learning on campus, in the community or on the other side of the world. But for now, we’ll keep the focus on co-op and hopefully answer some of your most pressing questions in our co-op FAQ:
Find out if your program offers co-op by reviewing the admissions charts in our viewbooks, or by checking your program’s webpage. Enrolment is limited and students compete for admission in most programs.
Co-op jobs can be found in almost any sector and at any size company (provided they have the budget to support a co-op student). Approximately 50% of co-op jobs held by Arts and Science students are at private companies, 20% at non-profit organizations and the rest split between government and academic positions. Business and Economics co-ops can be held in start-ups, CPG companies, non-profits or any other professional setting, with accounting, marketing and finance roles proving the most popular in recent years.
You should expect to start out in a junior-level role with increasing responsibility in later co-op terms, particularly if you have proven your areas of strength and/or remain with the same co-op employer for multiple terms. Examples of past roles Laurier co-op students have secured include Assistant Marketing Manager, Junior Staff Accountant, Student Technician, Support Worker, Research Assistant, Project Analyst, and Council Co-op and Cloud Operations Co-op.
In 2020, the average weekly salary of Arts and Science co-op students was approximately $640-660 and the average weekly salary of Business and Economics co-op students was approximately $752-868.
The majority of Laurier co-op students get jobs within the Greater Toronto Area (followed by Kitchener-Waterloo). Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, some students have been working remotely.
The number of terms you will be working in a co-op job depends on your program. For example, co-op students from the Faculty of Arts or Faculty of Science will have two co-op work terms (during spring terms) and will still complete their degree on their original timeline. Students from the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics will have three to four work terms throughout their standard four to five year degree(s). User Experience Design co-op students and Computer Science students in the Professional Experience Program can participate in a co-op job lasting 12-16 months, making their overall degree five years instead of four. To learn more about your options, visit the co-op programs page.
In your co-op admission interview, you’ll be asked about any paid work experience, as well as volunteer service and extra-curricular activities you’ve had over the past three years. You’ll have an opportunity to explain any responsibilities you've had, leadership roles you've held, projects you've initiated, skills you've developed and people you've trained.
You are welcome to do an independent job search. You can also apply to jobs you find on your own, while applying to co-op postings, if you like. If you do find your own job, you will need to provide details and contact information so it can be evaluated for eligibility as a co-op job.
In order to be considered for admission into co-op, you must earn a GPA of at least 7.0 in your first-year (higher for some programs, including a 9.1 GPA for Business and Economics programs; this is likely to increase in the upcoming academic year).
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