You may have opened this blog because you’re wondering what co-op is and why you should do it. First of all, co-op is paid work experience that is integrated throughout your degree and extends your program by an additional year. Co-op is an option for all Business Management students at Ryerson, and I’m here to explain why you should apply to co-op once you’re a Ryerson student! Co-op may extend your time as a student, but the co-op experience is more than worth it.
Co-op allows you to:
1. Earn money while in school
University isn’t cheap, but the income you can make at a co-op placement can help with that. All co-op positions have to be paid, and hence students in the program can make enough to pay part of their tuition and maybe even treat themselves to a new laptop or bike. The opportunity to take a break from tuition fees and make a larger income for a semester is super helpful if you decide to take out OSAP loans. Since you are still a student while in co-op, you will not gain interest on your OSAP loans, and you’ll have time to earn back the money that you might have spent in your first or second year. By having the money already in your bank when you graduate you’ll be able to save tons of money on interest!
2. Apply what your learn in classes
When you’re in class you may learn about how to calculate return on investment (ROI) or how to run marketing campaigns, but you won’t be able to actually apply this to the real world until you graduate. Co-op changes this by allowing you to apply what you’re learning while you’re still learning it. As you apply new skills and theories that you recently learned, you’ll be able to understand the concepts better and feel more immersed in the content, which will help with your learning and grades when you return to school after a co-op term.
3. Graduate with experience on your resumé
Everybody knows that looking for a job with no experience on your resumé is not the most fun, as companies are always prioritizing candidates with experience. As a co-op graduate, your resumé will have 16 months of paid work experience and a several of high-quality references, which will make you an ideal candidate for any company looking for an experienced worker. Not to mention, you’ll be able to add new skills and softwares that you learned to your resumé too!
4. Find out what you like and don’t like
Ryerson knows that at this point in our career, we don’t know much about what we like and don’t like in a workplace, which is why the co-op program allows for four different placements. This gives students a chance to find out if they prefer corporate, government or startup environments better. It also allows students to figure out if they may like marketing analytics or marketing content creation positions more. Students may even find out they prefer working in an operations position as opposed to a marketing position. These are all great realizations to have before signing a longer contract at a workplace after you graduate.
5. Ryerson has amazing services that will help you land a co-op
You’re not alone when looking for a co-op as Ryerson has services in place to ensure students feel supported during the job search process. Each student is assigned a co-op coordinator that will assist with cover letter, resumé, interview and other co-op help. Beyond this, students have the option to be mentored by an upper-year co-op student who can also help with these topics. If students still want more assistance, there are drop-in hours for help at the Business Career Hub and the Career and Co-op Centre. Students also receive access to specialized job postings that only Ryerson co-op students can view through the co-op job portal.
Many other programs at Ryerson do offer co-op placements but they may be slightly different than what I have mentioned in this blog. If you’re interested in learning more about the work experience that your program offers, please email the academic advisor for your program.