Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
December 17, 1998
Shopping for local co-op students makes sense, new co-op manager says
When Russell Deacon went looking in early 1998 for a PC network administrator for the electrical transformer division of Guelph's Hammond Manufacturing, he didn't have to go far. He asked the University of Guelph's co-operative education program to find a student to fill a support-services position left vacant while regular employees concentrated on Year 2000 computer conversions. Since then, he has hired two co-op students, has already lined up a third one for early 1999 and expects to post yet another co-op placement during the countdown to the end of the millennium.
"They've exceeded my expectations," says Deacon, technical services co-ordinator for his division. "They're very quick learners, you're able to put them in the position and they're up and running in a couple of days." Not to mention a significant bonus for a Guelph-based employer of co-op shopping at U of G: potential employees are studying right in his back yard.
"Shop local" is the message to Guelph-area employers from Karen Reimer, whose recent arrival as manager of Co-operative Education Services (CES) is one of several key changes to the program at the University of Guelph. "We're planning to double the number of students in the co-op program by the year 2002, and we want to double the number of local employers too," she says, noting that 28 Guelph-area employers regularly hire co-op students from the University.
If you're looking for short-term, skilled help for your business or agency, there are a number of reasons to look no further than the new-look co-op education program at U of G. "A lot of top-quality students are available at the University of Guelph to employers," says Reimer, noting the high academic averages of entering and continuing students in the program.
Not that the process isn't already efficient: among other things, Guelph's co-op office posts jobs within 24 hours, provides an application package from student candidates to employers within seven days, and requires students to respond to employment offers within two business days. Unlike other institutions, Guelph does not require prospective employers to rank interviewed students and then wait for several weeks before being notified of a match. "Starting the process is as simple as a phone call to us with the job description," says Reimer. "We handle the rest including batching résumés and setting up interviews."
With about 800 students enrolled, Guelph's is the third largest co-op program among Ontario universities. The University offers co-operative education in a variety of disciplines including biological science, commerce, engineering, environmental sciences, physical science and social sciences. Among its unique co-op options are such majors as child studies, hotel and food administration, food science and biological engineering.
Guelph recently introduced new co-op placements for bachelor of commerce students, including programs in housing and real estate management, management economics in industry and finance, and marketing management. Under U of G's new, integrated bachelor of science in technology -- B.Sc.(Tech.) -- program, undergraduates studying either applied pharmaceutical chemistry or physics and technology will divide their time between courses taught at both Guelph and Toronto's Seneca College, and work in related co-op placements. Guelph is also expanding its engineering and computing science co-op program as part of its plan to obtain funding under a provincial program designed to produce skilled graduates for these high-demand fields.
Early in the New Year, Guelph will provide job postings on the World Wide Web to widen its advertising and to speed up aspects of the application process (the site itself is being developed by a co-op student). "It's going to be easier for students to access employers' job postings," says Reimer.
For more information about hiring students from Co-operative Education Services at the University of Guelph, call Karen Reimer at 824-4120, Ext. 2423. This news release was prepared by Communications and Public Affiars at the University of Guelph, 824-4120, Ext. 6982.