What is Co-op?

Co-op also known as cooperative education at Thompson Rivers University is a way to integrate applied knowledge into your degree known as work terms. Work terms are paid work experience that are either four, eight, or twelve months long and are typically related to your degree. After successfully completing three work terms or a total of twelve months you will be awarded special designation on your degree. For diploma programs you must complete two work terms to be awarded this designation. Co-op opportunities are offered in various programs, a list of which can be found here. 

What is the Process?

Before applying for jobs you must complete a one credit course over the time of the regular semester (13 weeks or 6 in the summer). This course helps you build skills such as creating a resume that employers look for, writing a cover letter that applies to the position, working on interview skills so you are comfortable in this position, and much more. After successfully completing the course you are now eligible to apply for potential work opportunities. These can be found on a site TRU uses called Career Connections or on Indeed.

My Experience doing Co-op

I completed my class the Fall semester in 2022 and did my first work term in the Summer 2023 semester. Before applying for jobs I had a mock interview with one of the career ambassadors and I found this really helpful to prepare me for the real interviews I had. I applied for a few different jobs but chose to do a work term at the Future Students Office at TRU. The previous semester I was a Future Student Ambassador and this really helped me understand the basics of the job and what needed to be done. Some of the responsibilities I had was managing our social media pages and creating content to post, revamping the summer tour program, and leading both group and individual tours. I got to learn so much about TRU and the different departments which I found really interesting. I also learned new skills during my work term and how to use different platforms such as Microsoft Excel, WordPress, and Business Suite. After completing this work term I decided to come back as a Future Student Ambassador in a Team Lead position and so far I am loving it. 

Benefits of doing Co-op

Co-op is a very unique and beneficial program to do during your degree. You gain relevant work experience while still being a student that looks good on a resume when you graduate. Many times students are offered positions after graduation from their co-op work terms especially if they complete more than one work term at the same company. If you aren’t someone who takes summer classes doing a summer co-op work term is a great option. Co-op is a great way to prepare yourself for the workforce while trying out different opportunities and getting paid to d so!

Written by Future Student Ambassador, Kira (2023)

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