FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

NEW STUDENT QUESTIONS

Are there any co-op info sessions I can attend?

Yes, there are general co-op info sessions available throughout the term, please visit http://www.sfu.ca/coop/info-sessions.html for the schedule. If you have already applied to the co-op program then the Orientation Session that is scheduled within the first month of the semester is where your questions will be answered. If you are still deciding whether to join the co-op program, you can speak to our Career Advisors, Jacqueline or Laura, to have your specific questions answered.

How do I apply for Co-op?

We accept applications on an ongoing basis. Please apply on our website:http://www.sfu.ca/coop/apply

What do I do after I apply? 

After you submit an application, you will receive an email with your application status. If you are accepted into the program, you will be enrolled into the Intro to Co-op course for the upcoming semester. If you are not accepted into the program, you will receive an email with resources of what you need to work on to be accepted next time.

What is the application fee?

Similar to applying into university, there is an application fee for applying into co-op. This is a one-time cost that is applied to your GoSFU account and must be paid within 10 days of receiving your acceptance letter into the co-op program. Please visit: https://www.sfu.ca/coop/apply.html under #4  “Application form and fees”. If you are not accepted into the co-op program, your application fee is refunded.

I am transferring into SFU/Beedie, when is a good time to apply to co-op?

The best time to apply to co-op is around 45 credits. As a transfer student, we recommend waiting at least one semester before joining the co-op program. Focus your energy in your first semester in Beedie on having a successful transition to the curriculum and expectations.

What are the requirements to be accepted in to the co-op program?

  • At least 30 credit hours
  • At least a 2.40 CGPA
  • Experience outside of the classroom: Two experience within the last 3 years, lasting at least two months (40hrs).
  • What is the minimum GPA requirement to be accepted into Co-op?

    The minimum GPA requirement is 2.40 cumulative GPA. Co-op is an optional additional program for students who have a strong handle on their course work. You must maintain at least a 2.40 GPA throughout your degree to maintain the status of an active co-op student.

    Can I just complete 1 Co-op work term?

    Co-op is an experiential learning program that allows you to take what you learn in the classroom, apply it to the real world and to incorporate what you learn in your co-op work term into your studies. You alternate between a study and a work semester throughout your degree, to complete at least three work terms. You must demonstrate the intention of completing three work terms.

    Where does my co-op tuition go?

    Just like tuition for academic courses, your Co-op tuition goes directly to SFU general revenue.  It does not go to the Co-op office and it does not cover the cost of operating the Co-op program.  There is no correlation between Co-op placement numbers and Co-op's operating budget or staff salaries. For more information, visit:  https://www.sfu.ca/coop/apply/support-for-learning.html

    If I’ve already completed the Career Passport workshops, do I still need to do the Co-op workshops?

    Yes. The Business Co-op workshops build on the knowledge you gained in the Career Passport workshops to focus on how to tailor your resume and cover letter to the job and how to ace your co-op interview.

    What counts as a co-op job?

    A co-op job is any position fulfills the following criteria:

    • Full-time work hours with a minimum of 420 hours within one work term
    • Paid work term
    • Work is related to academics
    • Minimum of three months

    When can I start working?

    Your first work term is three semesters after you apply to the co-op program. The following is a co-op timeline:

    • New Student Semester – The first semester consists of various workshops and sessions that will successfully prepare you to secure a co-op position.
    • Seeking Student Semester – In your second semester, this is when you are actively applying and interviewing for co-op positions.
    • Working Student Semester – The final semester is your first co-op work term.

    I am transferring to another program, how do I transfer my co-op as well?

    Please notify a Business Co-op Advisor that you are transferring to a different co-op program. We will process the necessary documents and notify the new co-op department of your transfer. The new co-op department will be in touch with you to provide your next steps for being administered into their program.

    I am transferring into Beedie from another program, can I transfer my co-op as well?

    As long as you provide appropriate documentation to a Business Co-op staff member and it meets the co-op requirements then you can transfer co-op work terms. Co-op jobs must meet the following requirements: paid, full time work for at least 420 hours in a position relating to your area of study.

    Please provide documentation of your previous work term including:

    • Your transcript that includes the completion of your co-op work term
    • The job description for the position that you completed

    As an international student how do I apply for my Co-op Work Permit?

    All international students are required to have a valid co-op work permit before you can apply to co-op jobs. This permit can take up to 4 months to receive once you submit your application, so please apply at the beginning of your New Student semester. To apply you must submit a letter from the Co-op office indicating you are a part of the Co-op program along with your application. We will issue this letter to you at the beginning of your New Student semester. Click here for instructions on how to submit your work permit application. Please direct any questions you have regarding your work permit to International Services for Students.

    SEEKING STUDENT QUESTIONS 

    Can I apply for job postings from other faculties?

    We strongly encourage you to apply to other faculties.  The Faculty of Arts posts many of the Government positions, Federal and Provincial; Business students, particularly those in Marketing, often fill Communication jobs.

    Can I decline a job interview?

    You should apply for positions ONLY if you would be ready to accept an interview invitation or job offer from that company. Declining a job interview without a valid reason may result in the student being withdrawn from the Co-op program.

    However, if you are just unavailable for the provided time slots and need to reschedule your interview, please contact the Program Assistant right away.

    Do Co-op Coordinators have a quota to fill?

    We like to place students in solid positive Co-op positions and we’re fortunate that we’re not evaluated on a quota system.  Not all Co-op programs in other universities have that luxury.  We have the freedom to back away from opportunities and employers that don’t meet our program’s or faculty’s educational goals.

    Can I decline a job offer?

    Yes, you can.  Not all jobs are what they appear to be in the job description.  Do not apply to jobs for which you are not willing to accept an offer. However, if you feel after an interview that it’s not the right fit for you, you need to notify your Co-op Coordinator within three hours of the interview so they can remove you from that competition. You MUST have a valid reason and this is not something we encourage.  Rather it is an exception.  Many staff hours go into developing Co-op jobs, building relationships with employers, and preparing for interviews.  We give students one opportunity to turn down a job offer for a valid reason each seeking semester.  If you feel inclined to turn down more than one offer, we’ll need to pull you from the seeking process that semester so that you can focus on your other priorities.  Declining a Co-op job offer affects you, Business Co-op and our working relationship with employers. 

    What do I do if an employer contacts me directly for an interview or job offer?

    If an employer contacts you directly, you must notify the Business Co-op office right away. Please email your coordinator with the interview or offer details and they will provide you with instructions for your next steps.

    What do I do once I receive a job offer?

    If the offer was sent by the Business Co-op department, please follow the instructions in the email and reply with your answer within 24 hours.

    If an employer contacts you directly with a job offer, please notify your Co-op coordinator right away. Remember to include the details of the job, such as job title, company, location, start and end dates, and hourly pay.

    How do I check my job application or interview status?

    By email: Every Friday, the Business Co-op department sends out an email to all seeking students with job status updates for that week.

    On myExperience: From your myExperience dashboard, select “Posting/Applications” -> Total Submitted -> View. You will find a list of all the job applications you’ve submitted so far. There is a column called “Application Status”, which we will update whenever the employer notifies of any interviews or job offers.

    Unfortunately, the Co-op office does not always receive updates from employers.

    How do I get out of Co-op if it’s not working for me?

    Co-op is an optional program and it’s not the right fit for everyone.  Set up a meeting or send an email to your Coordinator and outline what your situation is.  You’ll be withdrawn from the program one full semester after your request.  NOTE:  If you’ve been placed on a Co-op work term or are on an extension, you’ll be withdrawn AFTER you’ve paid your SFU tuition and have completed your Co-op work term(s).  This policy is supported by our Associate Dean.

    What do I do if I found a Co-op job on my own (i.e. not on myExperience)?

    If you found a Co-op job on your own with an employer that is not posted on myExperience, this is considered a Self Directed Co-op Work Term. Please go to “Other Documents” on the “Forms” section of the Business Co-op website and read the Self Directed Co-op Work Term Instructions sheet. Then please submit the Self Directed Work Term Application and Self Directed Work Term Checklist to your Co-op Coordinator for approval.

    What to do after I receive a job offer?

    If an offer was sent directly to you from the employer, please notify your Coordinator. As long as the Co-op office is aware of your offer, you will receive a placement email with information and instructions. 

    Please follow-up with the co-op office if you do not receive the placement email within a few weeks of accepting your offer.

    What do I enroll in if I have a work term outside of the Lower Mainland?

    If an employer directly sends you an offer, please notify your coordinator. The Co-op Office will enroll you into your co-op practicum on your behalf in sections D200 or I100. 

    WORKING STUDENT QUESTIONS 

    Can I leave a Co-op job if it’s not working for me?

    Before you do anything, contact your Coordinator. They will be able to answer your questions and ask you some relevant questions to problem-solve the situation or give you guidance on what actions you can take, and the consequences incurred as a result.

    What do I do if I can’t enroll in my Co-op course?

    There are a few things that maybe happening. It could be that it is too late in the semester for you to register, in which case let us know and we can register for you.  You may be trying to register for the wrong course; each work term number is sequential.  One of the most common issues seems to be fees still owing.  If you have any outstanding fees, they need to be paid in full before you can enroll in a Co-op work term.

    Who do I contact if I’m having issues in my Co-op work environment?

    It really depends on the issues.  Physical work environments need to be safe, clean and appropriate to the work; if you are unsure, then check the FAQ section of BC Employment Standards: this might help you to have a discussion with your coworkers or supervisor.  If this does not answer your questions or you feel uncomfortable about approaching your coworkers or supervisor, contact your Coordinator to discuss the details of the issue.

    Can I be exempt from a site visit?

    One of the requirements for each of your Co-op work terms is the site visit.  It’s important for us to check in with you and your Supervisor approximately ½ way through each 4 month Co-op work term to hear about what you have learned, what your remaining goals are, address any concerns, and answer questions. The visit takes only about 30 minutes with you, and 15 minutes with your Supervisor.  While ideally, we wish to do the visit in person (especially for 1st time Co-op students), under some circumstances, your Coordinator can accommodate a phone visit instead.  If you are concerned about the site visit, or have a compelling reason why not to do it, you should speak with your Coordinator about it. 

    EMPLOYER QUESTIONS

    When is the best time to hire a student?

    Since SFU operates on a trimester system, the ideal posting dates are below:

    Post during…

    To hire for…

    January – April

    May

    May – August

    September

    September – December

    January

    Can I hire a part-time person or a full-time recent graduate? 

    Part-time or full-time, permanent positions are more suited for the Beedie Community job board. You can contact our colleagues at the Career Management Centre for more information – businessjobs@sfu.ca or visit their website at http://beedie.sfu.ca/careers/.

    How do I post a job?

    Employers are welcome to post online on our job portal, myExperience.  By utilizing our self-serve posting feature, postings are reviewed and approved by the Co-op office typically within 24-48 hrs during business days (Monday to Friday, 9 am – 5 pm).  

    If you prefer, the Business Co-op team can also post the role on your behalf.  Please send us a copy of the job description and the information as stated below in Question 4.

    As part of our application process, we typically collect the applications on our website and employers will receive the application bundle once the posting deadline has passed. Please note that our application package includes the following:  Student Information Summary (SIS) form, Resume, Cover Letter, and Unofficial Transcript.

    The easiest way to get started is:  

    • Posted with co-op before?  Login to your account with your email address 
    • First time posting?  Create your profile in our portal (MyExperience)

    Use the following Employer Quick Tips & Guide for help with myExperience portal if needed:  

    i.   myExperience Employer Guide (login instructions, forgot password, update account info, post a job)

    ii.   Posting A Job

    iii.  Retrieving A Job

    Then post your Co-op job:  www.sfu.ca/wil/myexperience

     

    What information do you need in a job description?

    • Company name
    • Company profile 
    • Website URL
    • Posting Contact person 
    • Address / location of Co-op job
    • Job Title 
    • Number of positions available 
    • Deadline for students to apply (10-14 days from posting date is recommended)
    • Co-op work term duration (4, 8, or 12 months) and approx start date and end date
    • Salary (hourly wage or monthly salary)
    • Detailed Co-op job responsibilities, duties, and experience required

    What happens after I post a job?

    Within 24-48 hours (M-F), we will review and approve your posting, and you will receive a notification from Business Co-op confirming your posting is live.  You will be able to log in to view number of applicants. As well, the next working day after the deadline you will receive the application bundle or you can download all applications in one bundle .  Note:  If you need assistance with Interview Coordination, we cannot set this up until the posting deadline has closed. Please fill in and return the Interview Schedule form.

    How do I schedule an interview?

    After you have reviewed all applications, and would like us to assist with scheduling student interviews, please email buscoop@sfu.ca with your short list of candidates & interview details, and we will set up and confirm interviews for you. 

    Please fill in and return the Interview Schedule form.

    Can I schedule my own interview?

    Yes, you are welcome to schedule your own interview if logistically that will work better for your process. We do ask that you keep us updated with your progress and send us a copy of your interview shortlist candidates for our records.

    What kind of wage do Business students get?

    The current average hourly wage for Business Co-op students is $17.40/hour.

    How do I send a job offer?

    After interviews are complete, please let us know whom you would like to make an offer to, and provide us with the offer details listed below. We will extend your offer to the selected student on your behalf, and the student will have 24 hours (M-F) to make a decision.  Our office will then let you know the student's decision as soon as we receive it.  Please note that ALL OFFERS must come through the SFU Business Co-op office (not extended directly to students).

    • Student Name
    • Position
    • Start Date
    • End Date 
    • Duration
    • Salary
    • Work Schedule 

    Does SFU Co-op have a rank & match system?

    No.  Unlike many other institutions, employers who recruit through SFU Co-op do not have to wait and see if their preferred students also choose them in return.  When you present an offer to a Co-op student at SFU (through the SFU Business Co-op department), the student has 24 hours to accept.  Within 24 hours you will know if your top student accepts your offer, and about 95% of our students do accept their first offer.  In some rare cases, where excellent rationale is provided as to why a student is not going to accept the offer, you will be notified, and can move forward with offering the position to your 2ndchoice student.  Or, you can choose to re-post the position, which we would gladly assist you with. 

    What do I do if my posting received no applications?

    Don’t feel bad!  It happens.  Students can get busy with projects and midterms, and we do see a dip in application numbers around these times.  It’s difficult to predict when students get busier, as there are so many academic classes to account for.  However, if you aren’t receiving applications, we may be able to suggest tweaking your job description to resonate more with our student population, perhaps you are willing to increase the salary by $1/hour, or we can feature your job in our e-alerts to students.  It is definitely worth re-posting, and by working with us, together we can come up with the best strategy for you to attract more students. 

    Does the Co-op department conduct reference checks on our behalf?

    No. The SFU Business Co-op program is optional, and we do a thorough review of our student’s communication skills, application documents, work visas (if applicable), etc. during their intake sessions.  Some students will come with very little experience and limited references, while others have many experiences and strong references developed.  Some employers prefer to contact reference checks for Co-op students, and others do not. Unfortunately, we are unable to conduct reference checks for our students on behalf of their potential Co-op employer. 

    Are there funding sources to help support me hiring a student? 

    Please see our webpage for our complete list of funding sources https://www.sfu.ca/hire/coop/funding.html

    For more information, please refer to our Employer Handbook.

    GENERAL STUDENT QUESTIONS

    I have not received a pass (P) grade for at least three of my co-op work term(s). Will I receive the co-op designation on my parchment/diploma? 

    Co-op students must complete and receive a minimum three passes for each of their co-op work terms in order to receive a co-op designation.  Please contact your Coordinator as soon as possible if you would like to discuss your N or F grade.

    Who can I talk to if my needs aren't being met?

    The best option is to speak with your Coordinator. 

    Be aware that online rants are seen and may affect future references from faculty, Co-op, employers, peers and team mates who may matter to your future career.  If there is an issue you would like to have brought up, it is best to contact your Coordinator. 

    I am applying for graduation and I have completed 0-2 co-op work term(s) and have not met the three co-op work term requirement. Do I need to opt out of co-op in order to apply for graduation? 

    Each term the Co-op office will complete graduation checks for all co-op students in the program who have submitted the application for graduation for that term.  If the co-op student did not complete 3+ co-op work terms then the co-op subplan will automatically be removed from the student’s academic file.  Students are able to continue their application for graduation.

    How do I withdraw from the Co-op program if it's not working for me? 

    Co-op is an optional program and it’s not the right fit for everyone. Set up a meeting or send an email to your Coordinator and outline what your situation is.  You’ll be withdrawn from the program one full semester after your request.  NOTE:  If you’ve been placed on a Co-op work term or are on an extension, you’ll be withdrawn AFTER you’ve paid your SFU tuition and have completed your Co-op work term(s).  Once you have voluntarily withdrawn from Co-op, you would have to officially re-apply to be readmitted. This policy is supported by our Associate Dean.

    Do I have to submit a separate application to be part of International Co-op?

    No. Students who have been accepted into the Co-op program have access to all job postings –international or local. Visit the International Co-op website and its FAQs section for more information about finding an international work term position.

     

    Did not find the answer to your question?

    Please take a look at FAQs for general Co-op questions. For Business Co-op specific questions, please email pabuscoop@sfu.ca.