Employer Frequently Asked Questions
What is Co-op?
The Co-operative Education (Co-op) Program is designed to assist students in gaining paid, full-time work experience in their field of study, while fulfilling the short-term recruiting needs of employers. Students make positive contributions to the organization through planned, supervised work terms.
Through co-op, you have the opportunity to recruit bright, ambitious students that are proactively invested in preparing for their career. Whether you are looking to evaluate potential future employees or would like assistance for projects or short term coverage, co-op students can be an integral component of your recruiting strategies.
How does Co-op benefit employers?
- Access to employees with enthusiasm, new ideas, and current technical skills
- Access to employees with a proven ability to learn and adapt to change
- Cost-effective and low-risk opportunity to evaluate potential permanent employees
- Cost-effective method of meeting short-term recruiting needs
- Allows permanent employees to concentrate on higher level duties and responsibilities
- Assistance from the Co-op office with many of the recruiting functions
- Establishes relationships between the business community and post-secondary education
- Employers share in the training and development of the workforce
- Employers establish a presence on campus
What is the employer’s role?
The employer’s role and expectations of a co-op student should not differ from that of any other work arrangement. We ask that you provide a safe, relevant and challenging work environment. In order to assist in the success of the experience we also ask that a supervisor assist the student with a work-term learning plan (learning objectives) at the beginning of the work term, participate in an on-site visit and complete a performance evaluation at the end, all of which require only a modest time investment.
A meaningful co-op placement is one that complements the student's education and broadens their skills. The primary objective is to provide the student with a planned, supervised work experience that will enhance their academic learning.
- Full-time employment (minimum 35 hours per week)
- Competitive wage (no wage mandated)
- Minimum 12 weeks (corresponding roughly with the semesters: May–Aug, Sept–Dec and Jan–Apr)
- Work terms are usually four, eight or 12 months in duration
- Work term extensions are possible in four-month increments
- The work term must be relevant to the student's academic studies in management
What is Management Co-op's role?
A Management Co-op representative visits the work site once during each four-month period of employment. These site visits enable Management Co-op to learn about the student's experience and progress, as well as the organization’s culture, current technology being used, work flows, and how contemporary work place issues are being approached by an organization.
Co-op work terms are graded on a pass/fail basis. To pass the work term, students must complete a Work-term Learning Plan, participate in a site visit, receive a satisfactory performance evaluation from the employer and attend a focus group.
What services does Management Co-op provide?
The Management Co-op Program has several services that assist the recruiter’s needs by:
- compiling posting information and posting positions based on job specifications
- collecting and sending cover letters, resumes and transcripts
- notifying all applicants once shortlists have been completed
- organizing interviews (in-person, telephone, and video conference)
- ensuring students are sufficiently prepared for interviews
- providing interview rooms on Lethbridge, Calgary, and Edmonton campuses, free of charge
- flexibility with recruitment deadlines and quick turnaround times when required
- preparing students prior to their work term regarding the expectations of employers
- providing non-confidential feedback from students regarding issues relevant to the co-op student/employer relationship
How are Management Co-op students accepted into the Program?
Management Co-op encourages students to develop a “whole person” approach to reflect the practices of many employers. This includes strong classroom performance (a GPA of 2.7/4.0 or higher), evidence of broader focus (extracurricular activities and/or community service) and a record of responsible employment.
What is the Faculty of Management philosophy?
The U of L Faculty of Management offers a relevant, cutting-edge education. Through our high standards, quality programs and small class sizes, students are well prepared for entering the competitive job market. Our philosophy is to provide students with both educational and experiential learning opportunities so they can be successful leaders in today's workplace.
How does Co-op work?
Management Co-op operates on a market simulation model, which means that an organization may post, shortlist, interview and make offers within the organization or department's time frame.
Co-op personnel recognize that employers' recruitment needs do not always conform to University deadlines, therefore we attempt to maximize flexibility in this regard.
Co-op students must consider each offer they receive on its own merits and accept or reject it on that basis. Management Co-op’s role is to help students through the decision-making process but not to make the decision for them since doing so would detract from their learning about real-world work place processes.
What are the deadlines?
Although there are no hard deadlines for employers, we recommend that job postings close anytime following the first month of a new semester. Interviewing candidates within two weeks of closing a posting is preferable in order to ensure that candidates are still available and have not secured employment elsewhere. We also recommend that the hiring process be complete at least two weeks prior to the end of the semester.
What are the Management majors?
The U of L Faculty of Management offers a number of majors to students on campuses in Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton. Although students have the opportunity to pursue their specific area of concentration, they are required to take a wide variety of management courses that provide a solid and diverse understanding of contemporary management issues.
What is a typical salary?
It is a general convention of co-operative education that salaries paid to co-op students vary by type of assignment, economic sector and sub-sector, geographical location, how many courses the student has completed towards his/her degree and whether or not the student has completed previous co-operative education work terms.
Management students in 2015 earned between $2,800 and $5,400 per month. However, it is the experience, not the wage, which ultimately provides for a successful co-op term.