THIS IS YOUR WATERLOO.

MEET FUTURE-READY YOU

When you head to Waterloo for co-op, you’ll need to leave a little extra room in your suitcase for all of the real-world skills, experiences and lessons you’ll be taking away.

On top of developing your résumé and collecting full-time pay during work terms, you’ll build a professional network that connects you to dedicated mentors and future opportunities. It’s the kind of experience you can only get at Waterloo – from the largest co-op program of its kind in the world.

WHAT IS CO-OP?

Co-op is your chance to try on different careers, acquire coveted skills and apply yourself in different ways.

Level up your possibilities

Unlike high school co-op where you work part-time and take courses part-time, Waterloo co-op takes you deeper into the experience. You’ll alternate between four months of classes and four months of full-time paid work. That adds up to two years of paid career experience by the time you graduate!

Enrich your learning

One of the biggest differences co-op students notice is that it enhances their in-school learning. They get to apply what they learn in classes directly to the real world and vice versa. This competitive advantage is one of the reasons Waterloo ranks among the top universities in the world for employability after graduation.

Get a taste of the competition

While thousands of employers hire Waterloo co-op students, applying for positions is still a competitive process that involves rigorous applications and job interviews. There’s no guarantee you’ll find a job in your area of interest. But, the more work terms you complete, the more competitive you become – meaning you start climbing the ladder before you even graduate.

IS CO-OP YOUR CUP OF TEA?

Through approximately 21,000 work terms each year, students land roles that help them round out their learning with future-ready skills. But, like every choice you make in life—whether it’s coffee or tea, co-op or a regular program – there are pros and cons to both.

Advantages

Among other benefits, co-op:

  • gives you access to opportunities you can’t find anywhere else,
  • helps you earn money to pay your tuition,
  • teaches you how to network,
  • gives you feedback from professionals,
  • allows you to graduate with a solid résumé, and
  • ups your chances for employment right after graduation.

Challenges

While co-op can be highly rewarding and open new doors, there’s no guarantee you’ll find relevant jobs. The challenge of finding a co-op job:

  • adds stress to your academic terms,
  • increases your tuition,
  • may require you to relocate,
  • adds an extra year to your degree, and
  • may limit your participation in other activities.

CO-OP FROM HOME

If you’re working from home during your co-op term, things like networking and building friendships can feel a little different. After all, you don’t have the option to chat around the water cooler or espresso machine. The good news? Co-op students continue to receive mentorship from managers, get to know senior leaders, socialize with colleagues and connect with other students on digital platforms.

Whether your work term is in person, remote or a bit of both, the Co-op Connection initiative by the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA) is a great way to stay connected to campus while on your work term.

Connect to a world of employers:

7,100+

employers

60

countries

23,000+

students employed in 2021

Employers in every industry flock (virtually) to Waterloo from around the world to tap into the world’s largest co-op talent pool. From supporting social projects with global impact to developing innovative solutions right here in Kitchener-Waterloo, the experiences our co-op employers facilitate help you build critical skills for the future of work.

Hear from Shopify employees and co-op students about their experiences. Shopify Inc. was recently awarded the Impact in Innovation Award at Waterloo’s Employer Impact Awards last October.

WANT TO SEE OTHER WAYS TO GET JOB READY?