co-op education & services


Co-op is a great way to learn, and gain relevant work experience while being a undergrad/grad student. It is an excellent way to talk to employers and expand your social and professional network. Here is a collection of information that will potentially be useful for cooperative education at University of Waterloo.

Many of the things in this webpage were gained through personal experiences and conversing with other students. If you would like to contribute to my page or have any questions send me an email at

The Center for Career Action (CECA) provides many services such as Workshops/Events and one-on-one services. The one-on-one services include Resume/Cover Letter Critiques, Mock Job Interviews, Career Exploration, and Decision Making. As a registered co-op student at University of Waterloo, you are encouraged to use these services. For appointments please click here.

Career Advisors are great people to know. If you are having difficulties obtaining employment, go to your career advisor for professional advice. They are there to assist the students so do not hesitate to get in touch with them. This applies to students during coop as well as they will help you guide through unexpected workplace situations. Your assigned career advisor can be found on your jobmine profile. For more information visit the CECA website.

Go to Information sessions for companies that you are interested in that are held on campus every semester. It is a great way to network with employers and build your contacts. Obtain official UW Business Cards from CECA office for $5.00.

Talk to senior students that have been on coop about their experiences. Remember, these students have all had to go through the exact same process and know what challenges when seeking employment as well as challenges faced during employment.

  1. -Coop can be super competitive, it is very important to keep you cool and being very patient throughout the entire process.

  2. -Do not always depend upon jobmine, seek opportunities on your own, apply on company websites, go to information sessions, network and meet people.

  3. - This is your opportunity to try different things so try to get different opportunities from term to term instead of staying in one place.

  4. -The most important thing is to learn as much as you can while you on coop regardless of what job it is. Remember it is only for 4 months and its up to you to make the most of it.

There are many key concepts to be familiar with when being interviewed for technical positions. Knowing your fundamentals of programming and your basic data structures will take you a long way. In addition, it is recommended to gain extra knowledge on a field that interests you. Here are a few resources.

ECE 250 - Data Structures and Algorithms (C++)

ECE 251 - Programming Languages and Translators (Compilers)

ECE 327 - Digital Hardware (VHDL)

COURSERA - Online Learning (Free Courses offered by 16 Universities)

UDACITY - Interactive Online Learning (Variety of Free Online Courses)

EDX - Future of Online Education (Free Online courses)


Services on Campus

General Tips/Tricks

Working Abroad

Recommended Computer Courses For Interviews

Frequently Asked Questions


Important Links

Working overseas is really great opportunity to travel and get new exposure to things you wouldn’t normally get to do. I would highly recommend doing a term or two outside of Canada, just for the experience.

Please visit the Unofficial Waterloo USA Intern Guide created by Stephan Holiday for an exclusive set of things you need to know working in the States. This includes apartment hunting, cell phone plans, site seeing, taxes and more. This page was created by students for students based on personal experiences and conversations with other students.

What happens if I can not find a coop job?

Ans: Do not panic, there are other ways to obtain a coop credit. Some include volunteering, and jobs organized by the university. Talk to a Career Advisor.

What do I do if I got an interview and I do not want the job?

Ans: Sign off the job immediately after the interview and go to an advisor immediately or else you jeopardize it, sign off form can be found here

I am thinking of doing a startup, whom can I approach for assistance?

Ans: Talk to a Career advisor, explore Accelerator Center, Velocity Programs.

I am not getting any work at my workplace and/or my manager is giving me a hard time?

Ans: Talk to your assigned field coordinator first in order to determine what the initial steps should be, DO NOT act on your own.