Words of Advice From The Computing Co-op Coordinator
The co-op program at the University of Guelph gives students a unique opportunity to extend their learning beyond the classroom. As a co-op student, you’ll gain relevant work experience, build professional networks and develop the essential interpersonal skills needed to succeed in the workplace, all while getting paid and earning your university degree.
Finding your first co-op placement can seem like a daunting task, but with enough time and preparation, you'll be well on your way to land your first co-op placement! Here are some valuable pieces of advice from the School of Computer Science Co-op Coordinator, Kate McRoberts:
1) The co-op office is here to support you!
- Our fully trained and supervised Peer Helpers are here to assist students with resume critiques, cover letter critiques and mock interviews.
- The co-op office offers information and updates on upcoming career fairs.
- Attend drop-in sessions with Career Advisors who can assist with more detailed career advice, such as career indecision, self-assessment, further education planning and job search strategies.
- Expect support and encouragement from our two Co-op Coordinators, Laura Gatto or Kate McRoberts, who are here with you every step of the way with job search advice, tech industry knowledge and more detailed technical resume information.
2) Get involved!
- Participating in co-op events and other tech industry events will help you gain real-world computing experience before you even start your first co-op placement.
- Sign up for the many student-run clubs, such as the Guelph Women in Computer Science, the Society of Computing and Information Science and the Guelph Coding Community.
- Be sure to attend campus events, such as hackathons, Partners for Employment Career Fair, the Guelph Tech Showcase and the Tech Meet and Greet. The co-op office works with employers to host recruitment events and company-sponsored workshops where students can go and speak with recruiters. Take advantage of these free events!
- Try your best to attend tech events off campus, such as Canadian University Software Engineering Conference and CS Games.
- Participate in hackathons and coding challenges where you will learn to work with multi-interdisciplinary teams to solve large-scale, real-world problems. Take advantage of these numerous opportunities to get involved both on and off campus!
3) Personal projects are super important!
- Employers want to see what you’ve created, and there’s no better way to do this than side projects. In our competitive industry, employers look for students who have taken the initiative and interest to self-learn and start early. Having personal projects that can add to your skill level and improve your resume is key!
- It’s never too early to start learning a new language, develop an app, create a website, make a Github profile and complete Udemy courses. Remember, your interviewer is looking for something to make you stand out. Personal projects allow you to demonstrate your hard skills, like design, documentation and marketing, while highlighting your soft skills, such as creativity, innovation and writing.
- To learn more about what the Co-operative Education office has to offer, please visit: RecruitGuelph.
- Be sure to sign up for the Co-operative Education and Career Services e-News to receive news and events delivered right to your inbox: Sign Up for e-News.
- For help finding a job, posting a job, or work-related questions, please contact the Bachelor of Computing Co-op Coordinators, Laura Gatto or Kate McRoberts.