June 22, 2021
Why should I apply for a co-op or internship program?
If you are a prospective UCalgary student who is interested in gaining paid work experience relevant to your undergraduate degree, then joining a co-op or internship program (depending on your faculty) is the way to go!
First, let’s get into the basics. Here at the University of Calgary, we currently have 4 faculties that offer a co-op or internship program:
- Business – Haskayne School of Business Co-operative Education Program
- Science – Science Internship Program
- Engineering – Engineering Internship Program
- Arts – Faculty of Arts Co-operative Education Program
Co-op students may alternate academic term periods with full-time work term periods. These work terms can be for 4, 8, 12 or 16 months. Internship students will spend 12 to 16 consecutive months on a full-time work term usually between their 3rd and 4th year of studies.
Preparing for co-op and internship roles gives students the chance to build a strong resume and cover letter with the help of faculty career advisors or through Career Services at UCalgary. Additionally, students will receive beneficial interview practice by taking part in numerous interviews and mock-interview workshops.
Being a co-op or internship student will allow you to gain not only relevant work experience, but also grow your networking skills. Even reaching out to potential employers for a coffee chat can go a long way. By expanding your network to industry professionals and by building those relationships, you are setting yourself apart from other students in your program and opening the door to more career opportunities. This allows you to get the most out of your UCalgary undergraduate experience and get a glimpse of what finding a job in the real world will be like once you graduate with your degree!
Co-ops and internships are amazing opportunities that give you an insight to your future. It’s neat to be able to apply knowledge from lectures and course content and see it be transformed into skills in the workplace – all before you even graduate! Working in an internship or co-op can also give students more clarity into aspects of their field that they like or dislike, or what they excel in or need to spend more time on. It is a once in a lifetime experience that all students should take advantage of if they have the chance to!
Be sure to stay tuned for our next blog post where we expand on practicums and work-integrated learning at the University of Calgary! We will go over what practicums are, which programs they are offered in, and how they can enhance your degree and UCalgary experience!