University of Manitoba - Asper School of Business - Co-op - Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is Asper Co-op?
  2. Why choose Asper Co-op?
  3. Who is eligible to apply for Asper Co-op?
  4. How and when do I apply for Asper Co-op?
  5. How many work terms do I participate in during the co-op program?
  6. Will completing 12 months of co-op work experience delay my graduation?
  7. Is Asper Co-op for academic credit?
  8. What is the average salary for co-op work terms?
  9. Who are Asper Co-op employers?
  10. What type of commitment is required to make co-op work for me?
  11. Does everyone in the program find a job?
  12. If I do not find a job, will I fail co-op?
  13. How much does co-op cost?
  14. Why do I need to pay the co-op program fee if I find my own job?
  15. Can I be in the co-op program if I am also participating in an international exchange program?
  16. Can I be in the co-op program if I am involved in extra-curricular activities such as CSA Executive Council or Bison Sports?
  17. Are international students eligible for the co-op program?
  18. Am I still considered a full time U of M student while on a co-op work term?
  19. What kind of support will I get from the Co-op Office?
  20. Who can I ask for more information?
  21. What is CPA Recruitment? / What is the difference between CPA Co-op and General Co-op? / What kind of work does a CPA firm do?

1. What is Asper Co-op?  

  • Exclusive access to job opportunities with Manitoba’s Top Employers!
  • You will be engaged in meaningful, productive, paid work over the course of three, four-month work terms while earning academic credit 
  • Whether you already know what your major will be, or you are looking to explore different career paths, the co-op program will help you to achieve your goals
  • Freedom to explore different career paths in a safe, supportive and dynamic environment

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2. Why choose co-op? The answer is simple! Your future!

  • Earn competitive wages while completing 12 months of professional work experience and build a powerful network of professionals
  • Exclusive access to job opportunities with Manitoba’s Top Employers!
  • You will be engaged in meaningful, productive, paid work over the course of three, four-month work terms while earning academic credit 
  • Whether you already know what your major will be, or you are looking to explore different career paths, the co-op program will help you to achieve your goals
  • Freedom to explore different career paths in a safe, supportive and dynamic environment

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3. Who is eligible to apply for Asper Co-op?

All Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) students who have completed their first year of university are encouraged to apply. All majors/undeclared majors are welcome. Entrance into the Asper Co-op program is competitive:  

  • GPA (3.0)
  • Credit hours (must have completed between 45-81 credit hours at the time you start your first work term)
  • Motivation, communication skills, commitment, and the potential to represent the Asper School of Business in a mature and professional manner  

*Each year, 5 seats will be allotted to the Canadian Indigenous Ancestry Category. This category is intended for all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit applicants who have attained a minimum DGPA of 2.75 and met all other requirements for application to the Asper Co-op Program. Students wishing to be considered in the Canadian Indigenous Ancestry Category must indicate so in the appropriate section on the Asper Co-op Program Application Form. All applicants admitted under this category are required to register with the Indigenous Business Education Partners (IBEP) for a period of at least two academic terms following admission. If you are unsure whether to apply under this category, please consult with the Indigenous Business Education Partners (IBEP), 350 Drake Centre, phone (204) 474-7401.

Full admission into the program will be contingent on a student's ability to secure a work term placement.  If a student does not secure a work term, they will meet with a Co-op Coordinator to discuss a variety of options. 

*If you have applied to the faculty and are still awaiting confirmation of acceptance, you must wait until you are admitted into the Asper School of Business before you are able to apply.

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4. How and when do I apply for Asper Co-op?

WHEN TO APPLY

We accept students into the program once per year in the Fall (September & October).

HOW TO APPLY

Complete the online "Co-op Application Form" on the Asper Career Portal.
The Co-op Office will review all applications and notify each student by e-mail as to the status of their application. Note ONLY those applicants moving forward in the selection process will be invited to attend an in-person Group Interview.

New students accepted into the program will complete their first work term the following Summer (May - August).

Here is an example of the co-op timeline:

*Please note that this timeline varies slightly for students participating in CPA and Actuary recruitment, as these recruitment periods occur in the Fall. For more information on CPA and Actuary recruitment, please contact a Co-op Coordinator. 

August/September

Apply for Co-op! Attend a Co-op Information Session and review the admission requirements to determine eligibility.  Follow the outlined application procedures.

September/October/November

Upon acceptance into the program, attend all mandatory professional development workshops.  Work with the co-op office to prepare your resume and cover letter and develop your interview skills.

January/February

Access exclusive co-op work term job postings and work with your Co-op Coordinator to learn how to network to develop your own work term opportunity!

March

Interview for positions and submit your employer rankings. 

April/May

Finalize the coordination of your work term, register for your co-op course and pay the Co-op Program fee with the Registrar's office.

May

Begin your work term and develop your Learning Objectives Report (academic requirement).

Summer (May - August)

Work hard, ask questions and have fun during your work term!

End of August

Prepare your work term report. Review your final performance evaluation with your supervisor.

Fall of the following year

Use what you have learned to define your academic objectives.  Select courses and enter an academic term. 

Winter of the following year

Work term 2 begins.

Summer of the following year

Enroll in an academic term (minimum 9 credit hours).

Fall of the following year

Work term 3 begins.

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5. How many work terms do I participate in during the co-op program?

To complete the Asper Co-op Program requirements, you will complete three (3), four-month work terms, alternating work terms with academic terms. Here is the typical co-op schedule:

 

Sept. - Dec.
(Fall Term)

Jan. - April
(Winter Term)

May - Aug.
(Summer Term)

Year 2

Academic Term

Academic Term

Work Term 1

Year 3

Academic Term

Work Term 2

Academic Term

Year 4

Work Term 3

Academic Term

Academic Term

]Please see a co-op coordinator if you have an extenuating circumstance that you would require a different schedule (examples: participation in an International Exchange, member of CSA Executive Council, Bison athletes, etc.) 

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6. Will completing 12 months of co-op work experience delay my graduation?

CO-OP DOES NOT DELAY YOUR GRADUATION BY 12 MONTHS!  Your first work term takes place during the summer term, and you will be required to complete an academic semester the following summer term.  Therefore, this schedule results in co-op students studying one additional term than regular Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) students.

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7. Is Asper Co-op for academic credit?

Yes! Students earn one (1) credit hour for each successfully completed work term.  Upon completion of all three (3) work terms, a student will receive three (3) credit hours which counts as a BUSINESS OPTION and your degree parchment will indicate “Co-operative Education Option”.

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8. What is the average salary for co-op work terms?

All co-op placements are paid positions.  Co-op is NOT an unpaid internship.  Salaries are determined by employers. Please click here for recent average co-op student salaries.

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9. Who are Asper Co-op employers?

Over 100 different employer partners including companies and organizations that range from small, large, government, private, public, not for profit…

Click here for a full list of recent employer partners

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10. What type of commitment is required to make co-op work for me?

With acceptance into the Co-op Program, you should expect to commit to the following:  

  • Mandatory attendance and participation in learning modules (workshops) and events throughout your academic semesters
  • Preparing effective resume and cover letters to apply for jobs each work term
  • Preparing for and participating in all interviews for which you are selected
  • Completing all Co-op requirements on your work terms, writing Learning Objectives and Work Term Reports as your academic requirement and receiving a successful employer evaluation
  • Frequently checking your email and promptly responding to communication from the Co-op office 

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11. Does everyone in the program find a job?

Being accepted into the Co-op Program does not guarantee that you will secure a job. Co-op placement rates vary depending on economic stability and labour market trends. Co-op Coordinators work diligently with employers to develop work terms. For students to maximize their chances of finding employment they must:

  • Prepare effective marketing materials including resume and cover letters
  • Apply to all jobs for which they qualify
  • Take advantage of the resources available through the Co-op Office such as resume and cover letter review, interview practice, etc.
  • Be flexible and willing to try new things!
  • Undertake their own job search 

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12. If I do not find a job, will I fail co-op?

No, a Co-op work term title does not go on your transcript until you have a job confirmed. If you are unsuccessful in your job search, your contribution to and continuance in the Co-op Program will be discussed with you on an individual basis with your Co-op Coordinator and/or the Program Director.

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13. How much does co-op cost?

There is a Co-op fee and a credit hour fee upon successful securement of a job.  Click here for co-op program fee information.

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14. Why do I need to pay the co-op program fee if I find my own job?

A Co-op student pays the same program fee regardless of whether the job is posted by the Co-op Office or if the position is found independently.  All Co-op students engage in professional development training and workplace coaching prior to securing a placement and receive continuous support and guidance from the Co-op Office.  The Co-op Program is funded by the financial support of all students who are registered in the program. Similar to arrangements where there is a flat fee (e.g. health coverage) all students pay the same amount regardless of the amount of service consumed.

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15. Can I be in the co-op program if I am also participating in an international exchange program?

Yes! You can be in the Asper Co-op Program if you also want to participate in an Asper International Exchange. 45% of Asper Exchange students ARE Co-op students! Please contact the International Exchange Advisor at Asper_Exchange@umanitoba.ca to find out further details.

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16. Can I be in the co-op program if I am involved in extra-curricular activities such as CSA Executive Council or Bison Sports?

Yes! 50% of Student Leadership executives are Co-op students. We also have had many Bison athletes in the Co-op Program! Please speak with a Co-op Coordinator to discuss how to successfully do both.

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17. Are international students eligible for the co-op program?

Yes! We have many International Students in the co-op program.  Once an International Student is accepted into the program, in order to be eligible to work in Canada, the student will apply for a Co-op Work Permit through Immigration & Citizenship Canada, and must be received before starting a work term.  It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they have the necessary paperwork to be eligible to work in Canada. 

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18. Am I still considered a full time U of M student while on a co-op work term?

While you are on a Co-op work term, the University of Manitoba/Asper School of Business considers you a full-time student; however Canada Revenue Agency does NOT consider you a full-time student.

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19. What kind of support will I get from the Co-op Office?

Your Co-op Coordinator is always available for you to contact throughout your work term and the school year, should any questions or concerns arise. We encourage you to make use of this resource by keeping in touch regularly.

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20. Who can I ask for more information?

Contact the Asper Co-op Program Office/Career Development Centre:
Room 254 Drake, Asper School of Business
Regular office hours are 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday
Email: aspercoop@umanitoba.ca
Phone (204) 474-8521

For detailed information, please contact a Co-op Coordinator:

 

21. What is CPA Recruitment? / What is the difference between CPA Co-op and General Co-op? / What kind of work does a CPA firm do?

The Asper School of Business has ONE undergraduate co-op program.  However, there are many different ways a co-op student can secure a co-op job. One way is through the annual CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) Recruitment that occurs annually, each fall. 

CPA Recruitment is a structured and formalized recruitment process specifically for students majoring/interested in accounting. Accounting firms that have a pre-approved program to support employees working towards a CPA designation are referred to as “CPA Firms”. Participating firms include “the Big Four”, other public accounting firms, and training offices. They recruit and hire university students for positions in the future including winter/summer/fall co-op work terms and full-time graduate-level positions. This is an intensive process which includes writing applications (CACEE forms), the CPA Wine & Cheese, off-campus networking events, interviews, and may also include company tours. The Asper Co-op Program offers an “Early CPA Intake” with an earlier application deadline in order to have the time to admit students into the co-op program AS WELL AS prepare them for participating in the CPA Recruitment process.

Going through CPA Recruitment for a student’s first co-op work term is not the only path to an accounting career and a CPA designation. Organizations that do not participate in this process and post at later dates may also offer similar supports to employees. CPA firms that participate in the annual recruitment process may have additional openings that become available throughout the year. The Asper Co-op Program also conducts a structured “general co-op recruitment period” three times a year, in advance of the start of each distinct work term.  Any organization may post during general co-op recruitment, which typically includes various opportunities in all majors, including accounting.  Students who do not opt to participate in CPA Recruitment for their first co-op work term still have the option to participate in CPA Recruitment for future co-op work terms if their schedule permits.
Wondering if you should apply to a public or private accounting firm? Public accounting firms often prepare, review, and audit clients' financial statements. They may also conduct tax work including the preparation of income tax returns, and estate and tax planning. Private/industry firms typically employ accountants in the finance and accounting departments of the business to fulfill a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax and consulting duties. They record and analyze the financial information of the business, and provide it for internal use by managers.

Typically, students that apply for “Early CPA Intake” are pretty serious about pursuing accounting as a major and career, but it is not necessary.  If a student is undecided as to whether or not they want to try CPA Recruitment, they are welcome to still apply and participate. However, a heavy workload is to be expected as they will be required to attend co-op workshops and recruiting events, prepare multiple job applications, and attend interviews all in a short timeframe of approximately 8 weeks.  All other co-op students admitted under “general intake” have a co-op preparation schedule that is spread out over the course of 6 months and still have the opportunity to apply for accounting positions.

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Co-op student testimonials

Learn About the Asper Co-op Program (Video)