The Co-op Student Guide

Job Postings

Co-op jobs will be posted on the SFU Co-op internal web-based site called myExperience. This is an authenticated site that students can access once they are accepted into their co-op program.

Upon completing the program-specific requirements for co-op, students can seek permission for access to the co-op jobs posted on myExperience.

Students are advised to view the job postings on myExperience daily, as jobs are posted continuously throughout the semester. Deadlines are noted within each job posting and students are invited to apply to any job posted for which they are qualified.

Using myExperience, students submit an online application package for each co-op position in which they are interested. Some jobs require special documents. Students should review the requirements carefully and follow the instructions before contacting the co-op program that has posted the job for additional details.

All co-op jobs available for student viewing on myExperience have been approved by the co-op program as appropriate learning and work opportunities. All co-op jobs have been reviewed for learning potential and appropriateness of duties by the co-op program before they are posted on myExperience.

The jobs posted by the SFU Co-op program are for co-op students at SFU. Access to the job postings is determined by each co-op program.

Students are required to respect the confidentiality of the job postings by not giving access to others who are not accepted into SFU Co-op. Students who allow unauthorized access by others to the SFU Co-op job postings will be withdrawn from SFU Co-op.

 

Application Package to Employers

It is the student’s responsibility to submit an application through myExperience for each specific job by the deadline. Coordinators have the discretion to withhold a student’s application under certain circumstances. These may include:

  • not meeting minimum job posting criteria; 
  • major spelling and grammatical errors; 
  • incomplete application package; 
  • incorrect addressee within the cover letter; and 
  • late submission. 

Students should contact a co-op coordinator in their program with questions or for clarification.

Shortlists for Interviews

Employers will review all the applications and submit to the co-op program a shortlist of candidates for interview. Students will be notified by the co-op program regarding the interviews for which they are selected. Students should follow the instructions in the notification from the co-op program to sign up for the interviews in a timely manner.

Interviews

Except for medical or compassionate reasons, students are expected to attend all interviews for which they have been shortlisted and for which they have signed up. If it is not possible to attend an interview at the proposed time or place, the student must notify the co-op program immediately. Failing to appear for an interview without adequate reason may result in withdrawal from the program.

Preparing for Interviews

Employers expect students to research their organization prior to the interview. The co-op programs at SFU collect co-op work reports from students and literature from co-op employers. This information is available on file in each co-op program area. Employer information may also be found at SFU Career Services (www.sfu.ca/career), SFU Business Career Management Centre (www.business.sfu.ca/careers), or the employers’ websites.

In addition, co-op coordinators may have specialized knowledge about the co-op positions and the organizations that could be shared with the students upon request.

Acceptance of Employment

Following the interview, the employer will notify the co-op program of the name(s) of the successful candidate(s). The co-op program will contact the student(s) with a job offer from the employer. Students who accept the job offer will be provided with instructions on the final co-op practicum procedures.

Some employers, such as the federal government, may offer a co-op position to the successful candidate on the condition that the candidate passes a background check or security clearance. The process for background check or security clearance usually takes up to two weeks and could extend to six weeks. Students who accept the conditional job offers should consult their co-op programs and follow the guidelines regarding continuing their job search and course registration.

If a student does not receive an offer of employment, it is their responsibility to contact the coordinator for feedback on their resume and interview performance, as well as to discuss the next steps.

Students must notify their co-op office of any confirmed or pending future co-op work terms with a co-op employer, which includes work term extensions.

Once a student accepts a confirmed job offer for a semester, the student must withdraw from other interviews and applications. If the student has pending interviews, he or she must notify the co-op program regarding their confirmed job offer.

Conducting a Self-Directed Work Search (SDWS)

Most co-op students participate in the job search process organized by SFU Co-op. Students are encouraged to conduct their own co-op job search in conjunction with, or in place of, the co-op posting process outlined above. If a student decides to engage in a self-directed work search, he or she is advised to inform a co-op coordinator at the start of the term. The coordinator may be able to assist in the job search process. Support materials and workshops are available to any student considering engaging in a self-directed work search. The workshop schedule is available on the Online Learning Community at www.sfu.ca/olc.

Students who find suitable work opportunities on their own must verify with their coordinator that the proposed work term will also provide an appropriate co-op learning experience before the position can be approved. Students must provide the employer's name, telephone number, name of supervisor and a brief job description. The coordinator will then contact the employer to discuss the employer's responsibilities. If all co-op requirements are met and the position is approved by the co-op program, the student can accept this position as a co-op work term.

If a student chooses to apply to co-op job postings in addition to pursuing their own employment, all positions should be given equal consideration before acceptance. As requirements may vary among programs, it is necessary for students to discuss specific policies with a coordinator from their discipline-specific program area. Co-op registration and fees are still applicable to co-op work term found through a self-directed process.

Deadlines

It is the student's responsibility to familiarize him or herself with the program and job application deadline dates. Furthermore, it is their responsibility to meet deadlines set by each of the co-op programs during the application process. A list of important dates is available on each co-op program’s website, which can be accessed at www.sfu.ca/coop.

Responsibilities of Co-op Students for Work Search

SFU Co-op utilizes the SFU email accounts of the students for authentication and internal messaging. It is the responsibilities of co-op students to monitor myExperience and their personal e-mail messages on a daily basis during the work search semester. These sources contain information on job postings, interview shortlists and schedules, deadline notices, meeting times, job offer notices, and other useful information.

Additional information about co-op employers and positions is available on the Online Learning Community at www.sfu.ca/olc.

 

Continuing Participation in the Co-op Program

Once accepted into a specific co-op program, students need to follow the procedures outlined by their co-op program before beginning a job search. Procedures will vary from program to program. Once a student has been accepted into a co-op program in a previous semester, he or she is considered to be a “returning student”. All returning students who plan to search for a work term in the following semester will need to follow the guidelines and adhere to the deadline dates indicated by their specific co-op program through www.sfu.ca/coop.

Disclosure of Information

Upon applying to SFU Co-op, students will review and accept a “Co-operative Education Agreement” which will grant permission to the Registrar's Office to release their academic record to SFU Co-op. Co-op applicants will also grant permission for SFU Co-op to release their transcripts and resumes to prospective employers who wish to view co-op job applications from co-op students.