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When will my first work term take place?
You go out on a work term when you have completed a minimum of two years of study. Not every program has the same work term sequence, so please refer to the individual work term schedule. These can be found in the Co-op Student Handbooks.
How long are the work terms?
Typically, work terms are 4 months in duration. Occasionally, employers may require a student for an extended period from 8 to 12 months. If this is the case, your academic sequence would be altered to accommodate this.
Do I have to find my own job?
The Co-op office strategically recruits opportunities for work terms. However, you are encouraged to engage in a personal job search to supplement the opportunities that the Co-op Office might generate, especially if you have a very specific job/industry/location in mind. These links to job search sites might be useful:
- http://www.labour.gov.on.ca (Employment Standards)
- http://www.labour.gov.on.ca (Health and Safety)
- http://ergo.human.cornell.edu (Ergonomic Workstation)
- http://www.quintcareers.com (STAR Approach to Interviews)
- http://www.quintcareers.com (Sample Interview Questions)
Can I get a placement in my hometown?
Possibly, however, depending on where you live and the availability of employers in that region, it may limit your options.
What happens if I don’t like my Co-op job?
Once you accept an offer of employment from an employer you are expected to report for that assignment. Failure to report to the work term is cause for program dismissal and corresponding transcript notation "Failure to Report". In the event of unforeseen circumstances that might lead you to terminating your employment before the end of the term, prior approval must be obtained from the Director of the Co-op program. Failure to obtain prior approval is cause for program dismissal.
Do I get credit for my work terms?
The work term is recorded on your transcript as Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.
How is my performance on the work term assessed?
The supervisor at the work place will complete an evaluation form and return it to the Co-op office. You will be evaluated on a number of criteria with the end result being a Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. An Unsatisfactory work term evaluation is cause for removal from the Co-op Program.
If I find my own Co-op job do I have to pay the Co-op fee?
Yes, the administration fee is not a placement fee, it relates to all non-academic costs of operating the program.
Can I be placed exclusively in the Niagara Region?
This may be possible depending on the availability of employers in your program area. However, this limits your choices and may result in not securing an opportunity.
Do I have to return to the same employer for my next work term?
No, you are not required to stay with the same employer unless you make a two term commitment. However, statistics show that a recurring work assignment increases the percentage of full-time hire upon graduation.
What is the weekly salary I should be expecting?
Salaries vary greatly between employers and positions. Salaries may vary between $12.00/hr to $28.00/hr. so you can see that there is quite a wide gap. Salaries are set by employers based on their internal pay structure and policies.
Are all Co-op jobs paid?
Typically, the majority of Co-op jobs are paid employment. However, there may be some positions in certain disciplines/programs that are traditionally unpaid, e.g. Theatre and Dramatic Arts, ESL, some Political Science and some Psychology opportunities may be unpaid.
What if I do not secure a job before the start of a work term?
The minimum work term requirement is 12 weeks of employment. Most work terms allow for up to 16 weeks of employment. We will continue to work with you until all options are exhausted and/or time runs out.
How do I find a place to live for my work term?
Asking co-op students that have had their work term in the same area for their landlord's contact information is a good place to start. There are also many magazines and websites that post rental listings. Here are some links:
What type of positions should I consider?
Our Co-op Job Posting Board consists of many jobs in many different fields all over Canada. It is up to you to determine which ones are of interest to you and if you meet the minimum requirements that the employer is seeking. It’s a good idea to be flexible and to not limit your choices as this will increase your chances of securing a job.
When do I need to register for my work term?
All students are required to register their work terms prior to leaving their full time studies and prior to starting their placements. Please refer to the Undergraduate Calendar to find the respective course code and register through the Brock University BIRT Guide before the registration closing date. A Co-op work term that is not registered will not be considered towards fulfillment of program requirements.
Will I have any connection with the Co-op Office when I’m on work term?
Yes, we encourage you to stay connected through email or by telephone. A Co-op staff member will visit you and your supervisor while you’re on work term to see how you’re doing and discuss any issues that may have arisen. However, it is not necessary to wait until the work site visit to advise us of any problems. We would prefer to hear from you sooner than later.
Where can I find information on completing the work term report?
All information regarding work term reports can be found on careerzone.brocku.ca/home.htm; under the Co-op tab, click on "Resources".
When does the work term report have to be submitted?
Work term reports must be submitted within two weeks after the completion of your work term.
Job Posting / Interview Process
How do I access the job postings?
Student access to job postings is available on CareerZone. You are required to check the website daily for new opportunities at careerzone.brocku.ca/home.htm.
Am I required to submit a cover letter for each job posting?
Cover letters are a standard and expected part of the application package. It shows the employer that you have taken a particular interest in applying for the job, especially if you personalize the cover letter to meet the requirements of job description.
How will I know if I have an interview?
Once we receive a short list of interview candidates from an employer, a Co-op staff member will email each student to advise them of their interview. You can also monitor your interviews through careerzone.brocku.ca/home.htm
Do I have to accept all interviews?
Yes, students are expected to attend all interviews granted by employers. If you have mitigating circumstances please consult a co-op office member.
Do I have to accept a job offer that I do not want?
It is expected that a student will seriously consider all offers of employment. However, if after an interview, you find that a job is unacceptable, you may speak with your Co-op advisor, and/or Director or Associate Director before declining a job offer and you will be advised appropriately. Should you decline the offer, you would do so with the understanding that there would be no guarantee of other job offers forthcoming.
If I apply to Co-op and do not get accepted would I automatically be considered for the regular stream program (non Co-op)?
May I transfer into Co-op after Yr. 1 if I do not get into Co-op directly from high school?
It may be possible following completion of first year of academic studies (no more than 5 credits). Admission to Co-op from Year 1 is competitive and very limited, and subject to the following conditions:
1. The applicant must have a minimum major average of 70% and a minimum non-major average of 60%, as calculated by the Registrar's office, and must be in full-time attendance. (Obtaining the minimum average does not guarantee you a spot in Co-op.)
2. The applicant must be legally able to work in Canada.
3. The number of Co-op spaces that become available as the result of students who withdraw or are removed from the Co-op stream of your particular degree program.
4. The number of work opportunities that the Co-op office anticipates will be available for Co-op students from your particular degree program.
What if my major average is less than 70% at the end of 1st year?
You will automatically be removed from the Co-op program.
Can I do a combined major degree with Co-op (e.g. Film Studies as a double major with another Humanities program)?
There are no combined major programs that offer Co-op.
If I fail a course, am I out of Co-op?
If the failure causes your average to fall below the required minimum of 70% in your major or the required minimum of 60% in your non major, you will automatically be removed from the Co-op program. As well, you must adhere to the academic program as outlined in the course calendar and complete all the designated course work.
What if I decide that I don’t want to be in Co-op any more? Am I removed from the regular degree program?
You may voluntarily withdraw from the Co-op program by notifying the Director of Co-op. However, if you are out on a work term, you must fulfill the work term commitment before withdrawing from Co-op. You will then be placed in the regular program. Please note that any Co-op fees previously paid will not be reimbursed.
What degree will I have when I graduate from a Co-op program?
You will be granted the Bachelor's degree for your program with Honours Co-op option.