The Co-op program for business students is changing fast. Did you know that every year the Business Career Hub (BCH) has been intaking more and more students into the Ted Rogers Co-op Program? In parallel to that, just over the last year, I have noticed companies doubling their Ryerson co-op intakes as well – which is so incredible to see.
My Co-op Journey
Other than just being a general co-op student at Ryerson, I was also part of a small group that BCH used to pilot their new ‘Co-op Development’ program. I have been a co-op mentee, a mentor, and a liaison of the Ryerson University Co-op Association. I have been offered placement extensions as well as a full-time job. So, I’ve seen the co-op program from many different angles.
A Hundred Different Paths
Co-op is very interesting because not all countries and universities have this program, and even in the universities that do have co-op, they all run it very differently. What I’ve noticed over the last four years at Ryerson is that not one co-op story is the same. Everyone has a unique experience out of this program. Here are some ways I’ve seen people’s co-op journeys unravel:
Completing Co-op Terms:
- There are co-op students who complete all four terms as scheduled and then decide to go a completely different route for their career, because co-op helped them realize that that program/field of study/career wasn’t right for them.
- Students are required to complete a minimum of three out of four co-op terms. So, some students just complete the three terms and then for the fourth they either choose to study, travel or take a small break from school and work.
- Some students don’t do their first co-op term and start with the second.
That Anticipated Job Offer:
- People drop out of the program early because sometimes they score their dream job at their first or second terms.
- I have friends who have received and signed full-time offers for post-graduation just after their first co-op term!
Co-op to Part-time:
- Students like me may return to a co-op placement for a part-time role during school terms.
Full-time to Co-op:
- Co-op students have been able to get co-op job offers through their coffee chat connections or people they met at networking events for jobs that were originally only permanent full-time jobs!
Restarting Career Path:
- Students could start off in one specialized field, receive exposure to other departments and then end up making a horizontal shift in their professional and academic careers.
- Students, especially in the Global Management co-op program, do their third or fourth terms abroad to get that international exposure. Will I? I have no idea yet.
What does this mean?
These are just some of the stories; your own experience could be completely different. Overall, this program is incredible and one of the most value-adding programs at the Ted Rogers School of Management, professionally, socially and academically. Your co-op experience is what you make of it!