University of Manitoba - Asper School of Business - Co-op - What is Co-op?
What is Co-op?

The Co-operative Education Program of the Asper School of Business serves as an educational partnership, bridging the employment and academic needs of students, the University, and the business community. Through this initiative, employers have the opportunity to serve as mentors to students' developing careers and to promote their corporate image by establishing a reputation as an employer of choice.

The Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Co-op Program formally enables students to integrate academic studies with on-the-job experience while meeting the recruitment needs of employers. Students are employed full-time for a minimum period of four months and are actively engaged in productive work, rather then merely observing. Students will receive remuneration and constructive feedback in a facilitative learning environment. Each work situation developed will be approved and monitored by the Co-op Office, and employers will monitor the job progress of the students and will provide performance evaluations. Students will also be required to prepare a Work Term Report at the end of their placement detailing how they met predetermined learning objectives.

The benefits of participating in the Co-op Program are numerous:

  • Integrating the Co-op Program into a recruiting strategy will provide an opportunity to get a head start on attracting commerce graduates trained in the fundamentals of accounting, finance, marketing, logistics, and other majors.
  • The rotational aspects of co-op allow employers to be exposed to students of different levels and a variety of skill sets.
  • Employers have the flexibility of selecting work terms to meet seasonal recruitment needs.
  • Co-op students will be required to prepare a Work Term Report at the end of their work term for academic credit. If an employer wishes, a work term can be structured to prepare a research document on a topic of choice.
  • The Co-op Program will help establish a network with the business community.
  • The Co-op Office provides ongoing support by receiving and advertising placement postings, arranging interviews, and coordinating work terms.
  • Prior to placement, students will participate in mandatory professional development training seminars, including professional conduct in the workplace.
  • The Province of Manitoba provides eligible employers with tax incentives and a salary subsidy program.

Partnering with the Co-op Program is easy. Review our brochure, download our Employer Guide, or contact the Co-op Coordinator to learn how to get involved.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers that offer placements with the Co-op Program are required to:

  • Provide relevant paid employment for a minimum of 14 weeks for 35 hours or more per week
  • Provide the Co-op Program with an accurate job description
  • Respect the Co-op Office's timelines, schedules, and deadlines
  • Offer reasonable notice of candidates to be interviewed and of cancellations
  • Provide an orientation to the workplace and foster a work/learning environment for the co-op student
  • Accept the Co-op Coordinator for a site visit at least once per work term to assess student progress
  • Complete an Employer Evaluation of Co-op Student web form at the end of the work term and review it with the student prior to their last day of work
  • Assist the student with work term reports, and, if necessary, evaluate the report if it is considered confidential
  • Communicate potential difficulties in completing work terms with the student and the Co-op Coordinator

Guidelines of Ethical Recruitment

The Co-op Office is determined to provide a work/learning environment compliant with all ethical guidelines and Federal and Provincial legislation; it is therefore expected that employers:

  • Comply with all Provincial and Federal Human Rights and Employment Legislation
  • Respect contractual obligations to the student
  • Adhere to the Co-op Job Posting Policy found in the Appendices of this guide

Student Responsibilities

Students accepted into the Co-op program must adhere to the following responsibilities:

  • Attend all mandatory co-op meetings, workshops, professional development seminars, and interviews
  • Adhere to all co-op guidelines and deadlines
  • Honour all contractual agreements and obligations to the employer
  • Follow all employer policies and procedures
  • Work to maximum capacity during work terms and maintain a professional attitude with regards to confidentiality
  • Ensure that work permits (if applicable) are valid and in receipt prior to commencing employment
  • Represent the Asper School of Business Co-op Program in a professional and ethical manner
  • Communicate potential problems in completing work terms with the employer and the Co-op Coordinator

Co-op Office Responsibilities

The Asper School of Business will:

  • Ensure the integrity and administration of the Co-op Program
  • Establish guidelines for students to follow, ensuring that application packages (cover letter, resume, and transcripts) are accurate, professional, and appropriate
  • Accept student application packages on behalf of employers and arrange for interviews
  • Facilitate the selection process in a fair and ethical manner in compliance with all Provincial and Federal legislation
  • Provide guidance, support, and workshops to students to enhance the students' success
  • Perform job site visits
  • Ensure that international students are in receipt of valid work permits prior to commencing employment
  • Market the Co-op Program to potential employers and students not currently enrolled in Co-op
  • Build relationships within the business community to foster development of the Co-op Program
  • Provide a supportive and confidential environment to ensure student success and open communication