Co-op workshops

Employability Skills Workshops are held prior to the start of each co-op work term. Once you are accepted into the co-op program you will be sent an invitation by email.

Attendance at Workshops

1. Workshop attendance is mandatory. The skills taught in the workshops are those identified by employers as essential in the workplace for co-op students.

2. If you are unable to attend a workshop, please contact your coordinator before the workshop. Attendance checks will be made at each workshop and missing a workshop without permission may lead to suspension/withdrawal from the co-op program.

Applying for jobs

Science Co-op portal

The Science Co-op portal, commonly referred to as UM CONNECT is our co-op job database.

  • All students at the University of Manitoba are automatically enrolled in UM CONNECT upon registration. Data is pulled from Aurora to create the account, therefore your profile in Aurora must be complete and accurate.

    1. View opportunities under the “Job Postings” section of the Science Co-op module.
    2. Upload your applications in “Documents”.
    3. Sign up for interviews and view your interview calendar.
    4. Consult and utilize the documents available in “Co-op Resources”.
    5. Fill out an online student evaluation for each work term.
  • Typing at Keyboard

How to apply for co-op jobs

Step 1: Preparation

The UM CONNECT portal is the online database that allows you to post your resumes, browse for jobs, and sign up for interviews. Please refer to the instructions in the user manual you received to set up your profile and apply for jobs online.

  • Prepare your resume and cover letter in consultation with your coordinator. Remember to include the Science Co-op header but no personal contact information. Employers will contact you through the co-op office. Ensure your file size is not too large or you will have trouble uploading to the portal. It should come to around 100-200 kb.
  • Download the “Candidate Summary Sheet” and complete the fields as instructed on file.
  • Follow the Science Co-op manual to learn how to copy your unofficial transcript from Aurora and save it as a PDF. If you are a transferred student, you will need to upload your transcript from the other institution. All transcripts from other post-secondary institutions should be combined in one file. Do not alter the transcript, including the order of it, in any way. Ensure that your name appears at the top of the document and your student number is removed.
  • Prepare all other documents indicated on the job posting (e.g. references, writing sample, etc.).
  • Upload all documents to your UM CONNECT account.

Step 2: Applying for jobs

  • Jobs are posted onto the portal as they are received, make it a habit to view the postings regularly.
  • All jobs have a deadline date and are normally posted for a minimum of one week (unless the employer advises otherwise). You must submit your application by 9 a.m. on the closing date. Late applications will NOT be accepted.
  • When reviewing the job description, consider the following criteria: the job title, duration, location, duties and responsibilities, relevant skills required, description of the employer, corporate culture, size, special requirements, and qualifications that are considered to be an asset for the job.
  • You must have at least 50% of the skills required to apply.
  • You must write a cover letter for every job you are applying for (unless stated otherwise in the job posting). The maximum length of a cover letter is one page.

All application packages must be assembled in the following order:

  • candidate summary sheet
  • cover letter
  • resume
  • transcript
  • any additional documents specific to the employer (if required)

The co-op office reserves the right to send your resume directly to employers who do not post jobs on the Science Co-op portal.

Please ensure that your Science Co-op portal account contains a default portfolio with your summary sheet, an updated resume, and a transcript so your coordinator can forward your application to employers.

Success on your Co-op work term

Requirements to pass a co-op work term

In order for students to receive a passing grade for their co-op work term, students must:

  • receive a satisfactory evaluation from their employer and their work term assignment and
  • submit all required co-op documents by the specified deadline.

Under the following circumstances, the Science Co-op may issue a failing grade to a student:

  • the student is dismissed with just cause by the employer,
  • the student quits the job without permission from their co-op coordinator and their co-op employer,
  • the student receives an unsatisfactory evaluation from the employer,
  • the student receives an unsatisfactory grade on their report/assignment and failed to re-write, or
  • the student did not submit the student evaluation form at the end of each co-op work term.
  • Overview of Canadian workplace culture

    During your co-op work terms, you will likely be asked to work with people who are different from you. Different in terms of their age, gender, ethnicity, education, or first language. By increasing your awareness of the ways cultural differences can affect communication in the workplace and by reviewing some guidelines for behavior, you should have fewer problems during your work terms. Note, though, that cultural differences often manifest themselves in subtle ways. Identifying stumbling blocks to communication that are the result of cultural differences is not easy, and requires perception and practice. Never hesitate to talk with your coordinator if you have problems or questions.

  • Student Experience

Tips for success

Your First Day

  • What to wear: Contact your employer before the commencement of your work term and ask for information about any dress code. Dress conservatively if you are unable to find out the dress code before starting your work term.
  • What to bring: During your work term, bring a notebook and planner to work to take notes and schedule appointments and meetings.
  • Work hours: Hours of work are usually stated in your offer letter. If you are unsure of your required work hours, contact your Coordinator (or the person who originally made the job offer) prior to starting your work term.
  • First impressions: As first impressions are important, be conscious of the impression you are making on all staff, not just your supervisor.
  • Orientation: Many employers give their employees a general orientation session with human resource or personnel department staff within the first few days of employment. The orientation session will review such matters as operations, hours of work, flex time and overtime policies, benefits, and dress code. In addition, policies on harassment, confidentiality, and ethics, pay procedures, and sick and late time may be reviewed.
  • Introduction to your work: Many supervisors will orient you to the specific product, project, or process you will work on. You will probably be given reading material and you will be shown the equipment and computer systems with which you will be working. Your supervisor will likely review your job description with you and outline your role and responsibilities during the Co-op work term.

Your First Week

The transition from student to employee is often more difficult than many students expect. The theories and ideal models learned at university may not apply exactly in the workplace. In industry, the implementation of theory is affected by economics, customer deadlines, and practical constraints. Keep in mind the following points:

  1. Pay close attention to details and procedures: Procedures may seem confusing or unnecessary, but they have been implemented for a reason. Master any details, procedures, and processes as soon as possible. Do not comment on processes until you have mastered the skills. As you work through your tasks, consider the factors that influenced the development of policies and procedures.
  2. Ask questions: Ask for help if you do not understand something. Ask questions as they arise; do not wait until the task or project is completed before you ask questions. The work schedule for the task or project may become delayed if you wait to ask for help. Seek clarification of your role; take a proactive approach in asking your employer for specifics.
  3. Be realistic: Sometimes the job may not be what you were expecting. You may have been thinking about the job for several months and built up your expectations to an unrealistic level.
  4. Prove yourself and be patient: Often Co-op students will be required to complete small projects to prove their ability before they are assigned more significant assignments. Be patient.
  5. Be courteous and respectful: It is important to treat all staff in the organization with courtesy and respect, regardless of their status. Concentrate on seeking and listening to advise rather than attempting to impress people.
  6. Research: Find out more about the organization. Read your employer's e-mail bulletins and identify projects that involve key players of the organization.

Work Term Requirements

Students must successfully complete a minimum of three work terms to obtain a Co-op designation on their degree.  Students will be registered for each work term as a University course and must receive a passing grade for all three work terms.

Each work term requires a student to:

  • Work full-time for a minimum of 35 hours per week for 14 to 16 weeks, completing the work assigned to them to the satisfaction of their employer.
  • Participate in a mid-term site visit with the Co-op coordinator and employer/mentor.
  • Submit a completed work term report to the Co-op office at the end of each work term.
  • Achieve a passing grade on a work term report submitted by the deadline after each work term. Each report must meet the guidelines provided by the program. Students who have failed to achieve a passing grade will be withdrawn from the Co-op program.

Work Term Reports

Each student must complete a work term report at the end of each four-month work term. The work term report fulfills the academic requirement for each work term.

Each report is due after the work term is completed, on a date set by the Co-op Office.  One hard copy of the report, neatly bound, must be provided to the Co-op Office for marking.  Students are also required to submit an additional hard copy of their title page and abstract, and a completed Science Co-op honesty declaration.  Reports are graded by the Faculty members from each department, resulting in a grade of pass or fail.

Students must achieve a passing grade on each work term report in order to graduate with the Co-op degree designation.

Work term report guidelines are provided to help students develop their reports.

For some work placements, the work term report may contain information that must remain confidential to the employer.  In these circumstances, arrangements are made to have the employer evaluate the report and advise the Co-op Office of the results. In some cases, an edited version of the report may be submitted to the University for evaluation by a member of the faculty.

Working outside of Manitoba

Science Co-op students have the opportunity to pursue co-op positions outside of Manitoba. Science Co-op positions are available outside of Manitoba within Canada and internationally.

These are the locations where Science Co-op students have relocated to in the past years.

Within Canada:

International:

Travel, meet people, and explore cultures while earning and developing personal skills!

International students

International students are welcome to apply for Co-op. If accepted into the co-op program, international students must follow the steps below:

  • Apply for a co-op work permit from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizen ship Canada (IRCC). This permit allows international students to participate in off-campus cooperative education employment.
  • Request a letter from the co-op office detailing the conditions of their co-op participation and employment. This letter will ask that the co-op work permit be valid until the completion of all three co-op work terms. It must be included in the above application package.
  • Submit the entire package immediately to IRCC. Check their website for information on how to submit the application and the processing times.
  • Students must have a valid study permit to apply for a co-op work permit.

There is no fee for the co-op work permit application within internship or co-op programs. International students may contact or see an advisor at the International Centre for co-op work permit-related questions.

A copy of the co-op work permit must be submitted to both the work term employer and the co-op office prior to the commencement of the work term.

Please note that international students will not be eligible to apply for positions with Canadian federal departments and agencies requiring secret security clearance within the federal government.

 

Co-op schedule

Co-op students alternate their academic terms with paid work term placements. Each work term is completed within a 4-month period. Work terms will add a minimum of one year of career-related experience to your academic program, extending your program from 4 years to 5 years. Students should plan their Program over a two-year period, to ensure they obtain all required academic and co-op requirements.

Computer Science

Academic Schedule

FALL

(Sept – Dec)

WINTER

(Jan – April)

SUMMER

(May – Aug)

Year 3 Study term – 3A Work term 1 Study term – 3B
Year 4 Work term 2 Study term – 4A Work term 3
Year 5 Final study term – 4B    

The above table represents the schedule for Computer Science students who enter co-op in September of their third year and participate in their first work term in January. This is referred to as a “regular stream”.

There are a variety of reasons why co-op students may not follow this schedule. Here are three situations that might find students “out-of-stream”:

  • Students seeking their second degree require fewer credit hours than first-degree students. These students may be allowed to join co-op at different times.
  • Students seeking a joint Honours degree can normally only participate in summer work terms. Intake for these students occurs in December with an anticipated first work term in the summer between the 2nd and 3rd year.

It is possible some students who enter co-op in September will not receive job offers for the winter work term (January to April). If these students have followed all co-op procedures and guidelines, job placement may be deferred to the summer recruitment period, and may require an eight-month work term (May to December).

Life & Physical Sciences and Computational Sciences

There are the two basic schedules Co-op students in Computational, Life and Physical Sciences can choose for alternating their academic and work terms.

Winter Start

Academic Schedule

FALL

(Sept – Dec)

WINTER

(Jan – April)

SUMMER

(May – Aug)

Year 3 Academic term Work term 1 Work term 2
Year 4 Academic term Academic term Work term 3
Year 5 Final academic term Graduate  

Summer Start

Academic Schedule

FALL

(Sept – Dec)

WINTER

(Jan – April)

SUMMER

(May – Aug)

Year 3 Academic term Academic term Work term 1
Year 4 Work term 2 Academic term Work term 3
Year 5 Final academic term Graduate  

NOTE: Schedule B is strongly recommended for international students to allow time for application and obtainment of co-op work permit required for every international student who is successfully admitted to science co-op to apply for co-op positions. See more details.

Alternate scheduling is available in consultation with your coordinator.

Psychology

This is the basic schedule for Psychology Co-op students for alternating their academic and work terms.

Summer Start

Academic Schedule

FALL

(Sept – Dec)

WINTER

(Jan – April)

SUMMER

(May – Aug)

Year 3 Academic term Academic term Work term 1
Year 4 Work term 2 Academic term Work term 3
Year 5 Final academic term Graduate  

Alternate scheduling is available in consultation with your coordinator.

Contact us

Science Co-op Offices
Engineering Information & Technology Complex (EITC)
EITC E2-482, 483, 484 and 499
University of Manitoba
Fort Garry Campus
Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V6

204-474-7863