Applying for Co-op Jobs
The SFU Co-op Program uses a continuous placement model through the myExperience website. Access the website here. If you have questions about how to use myExperience, or need help troubleshooting an issue, please review the Quick Tips – Co-op document and the myExperience Manual. If you still have questions or issues, contact the Co-op office.
Jobs are posted on the myExperience system between 3 and 5 business days. Any released students interested in the position may apply. Students should have at least some of the required skills.
Take the time to create a customized cover letter for each position. Save documents with a descriptive name (e.g. Cover Letter - Employer - Job Title). You must upload all application package documents (SIS, cover letter, resume and transcript) to myExperience before applying to a job posting.
Some myExperience positions will instruct you to apply directly to the company through their corporate website. In this case you may be contacted directly by the employer to arrange an interview.
Strategies for Success
Each student will have a different set of skills and experiences they bring to their co-op search, and will have different goals for their future. Here are a few tips to help you develop a successful job search strategy for you.
Cover Letters: Take the time to create a customized cover letter for each position. Research the company, write a targeted introduction that tells them your interest/aptitude for the company/job/project/product, identify the key ways you meet the job’s criteria, and provide specific details and examples to prove this in your letter. To ensure you attach the right letter to each application, save documents with a descriptive name (e.g. Cover Letter - Employer - Job Title).
Interview Resources: Resources are available at the Co-op office to assist you in preparing for your interviews, including Interview Feedback forms and Student Work Term Evaluations. Please take a moment to complete an Interview Feedback form after your interviews, and send it to the Co-op office to assist other students.
If you don’t have time to make an appointment with a Career Adviser or Co-op Coordinator, SFU Interviewstream is here to help! SFU Work Integrated Learning has licensed Interviewstream so that SFU students and alumni can practice recorded interviews from the comfort of their own home. All you need is a webcam and internet and you are ready to go. To get started, create an account using your SFU email address. Note: Accounts created with a non-SFU email address will be deleted.
Examine Your Options: Consider a research or self-directed co-op (see details below).
Job Profiles: Review these profiles to help you identify what skills and knowledge you have that you need to promote in your applications.
Once applications have been sent to the employer they may or may not choose to shortlist and interview. It is the student’s responsibility to check myExperience every day for scheduled interviews and to search through new job postings.
Co-op interviews may be scheduled on myExperience, or directly through the Co-op office. If you are shortlisted for a position, you will notice an interview alert link on your myExperience account or you will be called and/or emailed. Anything else means you have not been scheduled for an interview. Please check your myExperience account, email, and voicemail at least once per day during your seeking term.
On-campus interviews are usually held in the Engineering Co-op Office either in Burnaby or Surrey. Off-campus interviews are also common and students should plan to be at the employer site well in advance of the scheduled interview time (10-15 minutes ahead of schedule).
Co-op Job Offers
Typically, employers contact the Co-op Office with offers for co-op placements. If an employer makes an offer to you directly, please contact your Coordinator immediately before responding to the employer. Should you have any concerns or questions, please discuss them with your Coordinator. Your Coordinator will help you cancel any outstanding interviews you have scheduled and drop you from courses if it is past the course drop deadline.
Once you have received an offer letter, sign it and bring a copy to the Co-op Office. The Co-op Office can also fax your signed offer letter (and other documents) back to the employer if necessary.
There are many fantastic opportunities to work internationally during your Co-op work terms. In the past 13 years, SFU students have worked in over 1000 placements around the globe. Engineering Science students have worked in the Silicon Valley and other parts of the United States, and as far away as Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. The Engineering Science Co-op program works with the International Co-op program to assist students with international placements.
When placed in an international co-op term, students complete the Bridging International Learning course to assist students to prepare for and be successful on an international work term.
There are also subsidies available to assist students in the cost of working out of the country. Please see the International Co-op Financial Assistance page for more details.
Students have an opportunity to participate in research co-op terms, where they gain experience in an academic, research and/or lab setting at SFU. Ideally, at least two of the three mandatory work semesters should be completed in industry unless a student plans to pursue post-graduate studies.
Some research co-op opportunities are posted through myExperience, but you may also network with professors to identify a research co-op opportunity, and bring it to the Co-op office for discussion and approval. Learn more about professors in ENSC and MSE.
Most students participate in the job search process organized by the Co-op Office through Symplicity. However, students are encouraged to explore job opportunities themselves to develop their network and develop job search skills that will benefit their future career. Students who successfully complete a self-directed co-op work term with a new employer contact are also eligible to receive a $100 gift certificate to the SFU Bookstore!
If you are interested in pursuing a self-directed co-op term, speak with a Coordinator to discuss the technical and supervisory requirements as early as possible. Details such as a job description and offer letter will need to be submitted to your Co-op Coordinator before you accept the job in order for the self-directed job to be approved. Please complete the Applying for a Self-Directed Work Term form when submitting your request to your coordinator.
You must ensure you meet all co-op work term requirements in order to receive a passing grade.
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When You Get Placed
Co-op courses: A work term fee is levied by the University for each Co-op work term with designated co-op employers, or for any self-directed co-op that will be used as a Co-op work term. Consult the SFU Calendar regarding fee requirements before registering.
As specified in the Calendar, work term course numbers are assigned as follows:
- ENSC 194 - Optional Co-op Work Term
- ENSC 195, 295, 395 - Industry Co-op Work Terms 1, 2 and 3
- ENSC 196, 296, 396 - Research, Entrepreneurial or Self-directed Co-op Work Terms 1, 2 or 3
Dropping courses: If you are placed after the tuition refund deadline has passed, only the co-op office can drop or add courses without penalty. To drop courses and add a work term after the deadline, send your request by e-mail to your co-op coordinator. Please include your student name, student number, courses to drop, and work term number to add.
Taking additional courses: Students may request to take a maximum of one additional course during their work term semester, but a co-op work term is considered full-time status as an SFU student, and you must ensure that your co-op job will be given top priority, time, and attention. Requests will be reviewed by your coordinator on a case-by-case basis, but you must provide the co-op supervisor and course professor’s approval by email. The Co-op office will not drop you from your course at a later time in the semester.
UPass: If you are placed outside of Metro Vancouver, you may be eligible for a U-Pass exemption. Your co-op mailing address (including postal code in go.sfu.ca) must be outside Metro Vancouver AND remain outside for the entire term (Sept 1 – Jan 1, Jan 1 – May 1, or May 1 – Sept 1). If you do not yet have an “out of town” address, you must use your workplace address. U-Pass BC eligibility can be checked online. If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone their office at 778-782-6805.
If You Are Not Getting Placed
If you do not have a job by the time the registration deadline arrives, register for courses. The co-op office can process your course drop after the deadline to avoid penalties if you are successful in securing a co-op term.
Lightning Round: Towards the end of the seeking semester, the Co-op office moves into “Lightning Round”. As you get busier with your exams and final projects for the semester, we continue posting jobs but most of them no longer require cover letters.
In order to be eligible to participate in Lightning Round, students must be actively participating in the Co-op seeking process throughout the semester through myExperience and/or a self-directed job search that is documented. To assist students in documenting their self-directed job search, please use our Job Search Record.
Developing your Skills: If you are having difficulty securing a Co-op work term, have maintained a high level of activity and effort, and have worked with your Coordinator to market yourself as effectively as possible, you may find that you need to increase or diversify the skills and experiences you have on your resume. Getting involved in student groups, professional associations (through student membership) and/or specialized training can be a great way to stand out from your competition! Here are some ideas:
Engineering-specific groups at SFU:
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