What is co-op?

 

The Asper co-op is an experiential learning program that gives you the opportunity to use your classroom knowledge in real world, productive work environments; all while you get paid and earn academic credit. Asper co-op students graduate with 12 months of work experience and exclusive access to Manitoba’s top employers. With 97% of co-op students immediately finding full-time jobs after graduation, they have a distinct advantage over their peers. Some other benefits include:

  • Transform academic learning into real world knowledge, in a productive work setting.
  • Three paid four-month work terms for academic credit, alternating work terms with academic terms.
  • Opportunity to explore different career paths, professions, industries, companies, majors and build a professional network to kick-start your career. 
  • Extensive professional development training and support through individual coaching and group workshop sessions - hone your skills in resume writing, job search, interviewing and workplace preparedness

 

Co-op Info Session (Virtual!) Fall 2020 - YouTube

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

  • 80% of graduate co-op students work for one of their three Co-op employers. You will enter the workforce more confidently, with the ability to transition quickly into your professional career.
  • 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.

Participating employers

Co-op employers in 2020

24-7 Intouch Contact Center
AON
Arctic Co-operatives Limited
Arnold Brothers Transport
AutoCanada
BDO
BDO Canada
Big Freight Systems
Binary Vision
Birchwood Automotive Group
Bison Transport
BMO Bank of Montreal
Bold Commerce
Booke & Partners Chartered Accountants
Cabela's Canada
Canada Revenue Agency
Canadian Tire (Toronto, ON)
Cardinal Capital Management
Carpathia Credit Union
Child and Family Services Division
Civil Service Commission
Cogmation Robotics Inc.
CPHR Manitoba
Craig & Ross Chartered Accountants
Deloitte
Emotion Media Inc.
Enterprise Holdings
Eskimo Point Lumber Supply
EY
Federated Insurance
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Frontiers North Adventures
G3 Canada Limited
Global Affairs Canada (Ottawa, ON)
Globe Capital Management
Government of Manitoba - Department of Finance
Government of Manitoba - Treasury Division
Grant Thornton
Great-West Life Assurance
HC Air Conditioning
IG Wealth Management
Indigenous Services Canada
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
KPMG
Loblaw Companies Limited
Lumo Interactive
Magellan Aerospace
Magnus LLP
Manitoba Hydro International
Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries
Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage, Province of MB
Manulife (Toronto)
Manulife (Waterloo, ON)
Martin-Brower of Canada Co.
Mercer
MLT Aikins LLP
MNP
Munich Re (New York)
Munich Re (Toronto)
New Flyer
Norima Consulting Inc.
North End Community Renewal Corporation
North West Company
Noventis Credit Union
ONBusiness Chartered Professional Accountants Inc.
Online Business Systems
Parks Canada
Parrish & Heimbecker
Payworks
People Corporation
PepsiCo Beverages
Pollard Banknote Limited
Price Industries
Priceline Partner Network
Princess Auto Ltd.
Public Services and Procurement Canada
PwC
RBC Royal Bank
Red River College
Richardson International
Scarrow & Donald
Scotiabank, Roynat Capital
Shelter Canadian Properties Limited
Standard Aero
Start-N-Go
Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship, Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba
Tactica Interactive
The Boyd Group
The North West Company
The Prolific Group Inc.
The Winning Combination Inc.
Transport Canada
Treasury Board Secretariat, Government of Manitoba
True North Sports and Entertainment Limited
University of Manitoba - HR, Compensation and Benefits
VAW Systems
Vista Outdoor (MN, USA)
Vita Health Products Inc.
Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company
Western Economic Diversification Canada
WHEAT Institute
Winnipeg Evangelical Free Church
Women's Enterprise Centre
Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba
World Trade Centre Winnipeg

Sample co-op schedules

 

 

September - December
(Fall Term)

January - April
(Winter Term)

May – August
(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

Requirements

If you have completed your first year of the Asper Bachelor of Commerce program, you should consider applying to the Asper co-op program. To be eligible for entrance into the program, you must have the following:

  • GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Completed between 45-81 credit hours at the time you start your first work term (students are admitted into the program in the fall and start their first work term the following May)
  • Motivation, communication skills, commitment and the potential to represent the Asper School of Business in a mature and professional manner

You should be aware that entrance to the co-op program is competitive and the above requirements are the minimum for entrance.

You are required to complete a minimum number of credit hours (45) prior to you first work term. The co-op is an academic program and you are expected to apply your academic knowledge from your business courses to the professional workplace. This also provides you the opportunity to acquire the necessary skill sets to be competitive during the recruitment process and successful in the workplace.

If you are admitted to the program, you are not allowed to have completed more than 81 credit hours before the start of your first work term. This ensures you can successfully complete your degree requirements and all three work terms in the appropriate amount of time.

Indigenous ancestry category

Each year, the co-op program allots five seats to students who identify as First Nations, Métis, and Inuit in the Canadian Indigenous Ancestry Category. If you are in this category, have a minimum DGPA of 2.75 and have met all other requirements for application to the Asper co-op program, you could be eligible for one of these five seats.

To be considered in the Canadian Indigenous Ancestry Category, you must indicate so in the appropriate section on the Asper co-op program application form. If you are admitted under this category, you 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, (204) 474-7401.

Apply

The Asper co-op program will accept applications from prospective students starting in September 2021 for the summer 2022 term. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the application and interview process is being revised to an online format. All the updated co-op information you need will be available in September 2021.

To apply, please complete the online co-op application form which can be found on the front page of the Asper Career Portal.

The co-op office will review all applications and notify each student by email as to the status of their application. 

Only those applicants moving forward in the selection process will be invited to the next phase.

New students are admitted only once per year, in the Fall Term.

Please contact the co-op office directly at 204-474-8521 or aspercoop@umanitoba.ca if you have any questions about the Asper co-op program or application process.

International students

If you’re an international student, joining the co-op program is a great way to obtain paid, professional work experience while you complete your degree in Canada. Upon acceptance into the co-op program, it is required that International Students obtain a co-op work permit before starting a work term in order to be eligible to legally complete a co-op work term in Canada.

Resources

These resources allow students to get the most out of their co-op experience.

FAQ

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.

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."

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 view Salary information (PDF) under resources for recent average co-op student salaries.

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 

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

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.

How much does co-op cost?

There is a Co-op fee and a credit hour fee upon successful securement of a job.  Please view Co-op program fees (PDF) under resources for a full overview of the program cost.

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.

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. Forty-five per cent of Asper Exchange students ARE Co-op students! Please contact the International Exchange Advisor at Asper_Exchange@umanitoba.ca to find out further details.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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 eight weeks.  All other co-op students admitted under “general intake” have a co-op preparation schedule that is spread out over the course of six months and still have the opportunity to apply for accounting positions.

Co-op employer information

The Asper co-op program is your connection to top talent to support your business needs, year round. Co-op students are bright and highly motivated. Participating in the co-op program can help to bring fresh ideas into your workplace, increase your organization’s brand recognition among current students and grads, and more.

Why the Asper Co-op Program?

The Asper School of Business Co-operative Education Program is one of the University of Manitoba’s largest co-op programs and is CEWIL Canada and AACSB accredited. By joining the Asper Co-op Program, employers will have an opportunity to mentor students’ developing careers and to promote their corporate image by establishing a reputation as an employer of choice.

  • Entrance into the Asper Co-op Program is competitive. Successful applicants have been pre-screened and admitted to the program based on academic excellence, professionalism and communication skills.
  • Students complete mandatory workplace coaching and professional development training.
  • Asper Co-op students are motivated and eager to learn and bring a multitude of skillsets.

How to hire

Important Recruiting Dates 
We are currently accepting job postings on the Asper Career Portal, and will continue to do so until all students are placed.

 SUMMER WORK TERM (May - August 2021)
* Important Changes to Co-op Recruitment*

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, our structured recruitment process that includes on-campus interviews and a rank/match process with structured timelines unfortunately won’t be feasible.  We have temporarily implemented a “continuous placement model” which will better support both the needs of our valued employer partners and co-op students during these unprecedented times.

How Continuous Placement Works:

Flexible timelines to post positions and conduct interviews
             You decide when to post and when your job closes
               •    Post positions on the Asper Career Portal
               •    Interview candidates as applications are received or wait until the job posting
                    expires, it’s your choice
               •    Keep in mind students are actively job searching and may secure  a job with
                    another organization at anytime
             You decide When to interview
               •    Conduct interviews virtually (preferred) by video or phone (in-person interviews at
                     company office permitted if public health standards are followed)
               •    Contact students directly to arrange a suitable meeting time

Make employment offers directly to students
               •    No rank/match process or ranking forms
               •    Allow students a minimum of 48 hours to respond (accept or decline)
               •    Update the co-op office once a student has accepted your offer

You can also review the student Resume Book on the Career Portal
               •    Once logged in, from the homepage, locate the Co-op Resume Book on the left-hand menu to view Asper students who are available for a fall work term
               •    Note this is an optional feature for students
               •    See a candidate you’re interested in? Feel free to contact them directly about your opportunity


FALL WORK TERM (September - December 2021)

For average student wage information, click here

I've hired, now what?

Letter of Offer
Employers are required to provide a letter of offer/employment contract to the co-op student once placements have been finalized and could include hiring details such as:

  • Start and end dates of term (start and end dates are negotiable between employer and student employee, the co-op work term is approximately four months in duration)

WINTER (January-April)

SUMMER (May-August)

FALL (September-December)

  • Hours of work (a co-op position must be full-time hours - minimum 35hrs + per week)

  • Remuneration (wages are set by the employer, if interested, reference Asper Co-op Student Salary Info)

  • To whom the student will report and check in instructions for the first day of work

  • Work site address

  • Parking or transportation details

  • Dress code

  • Information on confidentiality agreements or criminal record checks, if applicable


Creating a Successful Work Term
Assign your student a supervisor who is available to meet with and mentor them on a regular basis.

At the start of the work term, discuss expectations for the student's role, performance standards, communication, reporting structure and confidentiality. Provided you student with an orientation to your company's work environment and policies.

Recognize that some students may need extra attention the first few weeks on the job. For some, the Co-op work term is their first experience in a professional environment
 

Site Visit Meeting with a Co-op Coordinator
Approximately half-way through the term, a Co-op Coordinator will conduct a site visit meeting (if the work term is outside the Winnipeg area, a 'phone visit' will be scheduled). This is a three-way meeting between the student employee, the student’s supervisor and a Co-op Coordinator. The purpose is to ensure the student is meeting/exceeding performance expectations. The student is responsible for scheduling this meeting after determining their supervisor’s availability and communicating this with the co-op office.  

A supervisor should not wait for the site visit if there is an urgent matter to discuss.  Co-op Coordinators are available anytime by phone or email. 
 

Supervision & Evaluation
It is the employer's responsibility to provide ongoing feedback to the student regarding their performance and ability to meet expectations. In addition to the site visit, employers are asked to complete a short online performance evaluation form shortly before the end of the student’s work term.  After completing the evaluation, we recommend that supervisors discuss their evaluation with the student, as the feedback provides valuable insight for the student’s ongoing professional development.

 

Asper Co-op is an Academic Program
Co-operative education (co-op) is an experiential learning opportunity that allows students to alternate academic terms with work terms in business-related positions. Employers, students and the Asper School of Business all contribute to successfully providing the combination of theoretical and hands-on experience co-op students require to excel in their future careers.

The Asper Co-op Program is a tuition-based, academic program in which students receive a grade for the course and are required to submit written assignments marked by a Faculty Advisor.  Within a few weeks of the start of the work term, students will be required to determine their learning objectives and may ask their supervisor if the goals are reasonable and represent the duties of the position.

Employer testimonials

We asked: As a co-op employer, do you think participating in the co-op program has been a positive experience for your organization?

“Absolutely! By participating in the co-op program, we are extended the opportunity to work with, coach and develop our future talent, while also providing students with an invaluable learning and work experience.” - BDO Canada

“Yes! Our co-op student joined us at a time where he had to be on-boarded remotely.  He did very well in adapting to our new work environment, quickly finding ways to stay connected with others virtually so he felt like one of our team.  He helped us to align our Analysts by tracking progress in projects and creating great articles that helped the team share and stay connected.” -  IG Wealth Management

“It has been an incredibly positive experience for me as well as all my staff.  Our Asper Co-op student has quickly become a mentor to many of my high school aged staff and that has them now thinking about their post-secondary schooling.  Our co-op student has introduced ‘a never let anyone tell you it can’t be done’ attitude.  My team now sees our company as not only a part of their work career but also their schooling.  Amazing!” - Canadian Tire Corporation

“I was so impressed with the quality of the students available as part of the Asper Co-op program and was even more impressed by our student’s contributions to my team. Her level of expertise, enthusiasm and support made the co-op placement a fabulous experience.” -  James W. Burns Leadership Institute

Employer benefits

  • Multiple start dates

    Students are available year round and can begin work in January, May or September, for a four month period or longer.
     

  • Recruit strategy

    Employing Co-op students is a cost-effective and low-risk means of recruiting and evaluating potential future hires. Co-op students can provide relief for short-term peaks in workload, or special projects and research.

  • Be an employer of choice

    Your organization will establish an enhanced presence amongst students and will be seen as an employer of choice by all students seeking employment.
     

  • Top talent

    Highly motivated and creative students can offer fresh perspectives and solutions to the issues facing your business.
     


 

Who are Asper co-op students?

Our Asper students are motivated and eager to learn as evidenced by their commitment to leadership roles in student groups, charitable organizations, and volunteer activities. Students will contribute their developing skills and knowledge to your business while simultaneously receiving meaningful professional experience relevant to their career goals.

    Students can major in a wide range of specializations

    •    Accounting
    •    Actuarial Mathematics
    •    Entrepreneurship / Small Business
    •    Finance
    •    Human Resource Management
    •    Indigenous Business Studies
    •    International Business
    •    Leadership & Organizations
    •    Logistics & Supply Chain Management
    •    Management Information Systems
    •    Marketing
     

    What skills do our students have to offer?

    •    Time management
    •    Software proficiencies
    •    Interpersonal communication
    •    Adaptability
    •    Decision making

    Contact us

    Asper School of Business Co-operative Education Program
    Room 254 Drake Centre
    181 Freedman Cres.
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V4

    204-474-8521
    Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.