The benefits of co-op programs
A co-op can be great opportunities as they can give you real experience of what an actual workplace is like. If you’re aware of the exact career path you want to go down, co-ops will give you a great insight into whether or not the industry is for you.
On your co-op program, you won’t be just making the coffee, your organization will expect you to get involved just like a real employee. Work hard and you’ll be able to add these skills to your résumé and impress future employers with your wide knowledge and skills. A list of co-ops on your résumé will make you stand out from the competition.
By immersing yourself into the world of work while studying means you’re creating the opportunity to widen your industry contacts as much as possible. This is great if you know a particular sector or company is right for you and you have secured contacts in the field as this could be your route into your dream career.
Even if you don’t make use of these contacts directly, you can still utilise them as references for other future employment. Surveys have found that employers of graduates across most sectors value co-op experience highly.
Professional references a lot more valued by employers than personal ones.
If you exceed the expectations of your co-op employer, you could be asked to stay on permanently, either once your studies have completed or immediately. This is the outcome that many students hope for when undertaking co-ops. However, don’t be disheartened if this isn’t the end result of you, there will be another job out there for you, so keep working hard!
We hope you found this post useful. Do remember to use the careers service at TSoM for securing useful work experience.