CO-OP

CO-OP student Sheldon Harrison (centre) with colleagues at Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd., Chiba, Japan.

Experience your future career and help fund your studies with the CO-OP program. With the Co-operative Education (CO-OP) Program, you can gain hands-on experience in your field of study while you complete your degree.

The University of Ottawa CO-OP program has been running for over 30 years. Now the second largest university program in Ontario and the fifth-largest in Canada, uOttawa CO-OP boasts a very high placement rate.

    Advantages from the CO-OP program

    As a Faculty of Engineering student, you gain significant advantages from the CO-OP program:

    • Find work (94.5% Faculty of Engineering placement rate for 2017)*
    • Find an employer in Canadian cities or even abroad from various organizations in the private and public sectors
    • Build your professional skills and increase your knowledge
    • Network with valuable contacts who can help you kick-start your career
    • Benefit from a quality program that meets national criteria and standards and is approved by the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education
    • Alternate between work and study terms. Start working in the summer of your second year and then alternate between four-month work and study terms.

    *Based on 2018 CO-OP data

    Work and study sequence

    Sequence 1

    Students typically follow this sequence. It is possible to adapt it to satisfy your best interests.

    Year of Study Fall Winter Spring/Summer
    1 Study Study Open
    2 Study Study Work 1
    3 Study Work 2 Study
    4 Work 3 Study Work 4
    5 Study Open Open

    From the employer's perspective

    Megan Graham

    Senior HR Advisor
    Ross Video

    “The uOttawa CO-OP program allows the opportunity for students to be exposed to different industries. CO-OP employers play an important role in shaping the students’ career choices. CO-OP also provides a look at future talent that might be a fantastic addition to our team after graduating.”

    “The uOttawa CO-OP program is a very reputable program. I like going on campus, I like seeing the students, and I like getting a feel for them in person. We have had some great students from uOttawa.”


    Jacob Gurnick

    Senior Research Engineer
    Communications Research Centre Canada

    “From our perspective, the CO-OP program helps us enormously in our projects. The uOttawa CO-OP students sometimes come up with bright, fresh ideas that we hadn’t thought of.

    We usually hire one or two CO-OP students. The first student is hired mainly for programming and software engineering. These tasks involve writing an application that enables communications to be offloaded. Our second CO-OP student is usually an electrical or computer engineering student we can bring into the field to help test new technologies.

    By being in the CO-OP program, students learn about a field they enjoy while employers get much-needed help and new perspectives.

    I went through the CO-OP program at uOttawa. It gave me the experience I needed, making it much easier to find a job when I graduated. My last CO-OP placement was actually here, and I was able to get hired back on and continue here.

    What we’re looking for is someone who is eager to learn, proactive and can ask questions when they don’t know what to do. They don’t have to be an expert in their field. They’ll use the knowledge they already have, and we’ll help them grow and mature in their field of expertise.

    Most CO-OP students we’ve hired are bright, energetic and skilled individuals who are very eager to learn. These are the type of students we’re looking for.”


    Gregory E. Clunis, P.Eng.

    President and Senior Engineer
    Integral DX Engineering Ltd.

    “I have been recruiting CO-OP students continuously for eight years, which has brought in a steady supply of highly motivated and thoughtful young people.

    The CO-OP students from the University of Ottawa are enthusiastic, keen and excited young people who come to us with a level of maturity and thoughtfulness.

    I have hired graduating CO-OP students as junior engineers to assist me with future CO-OP recruiting, training of new CO-OP students, and taking students into the field to do site inspections and testing, so that I can stay at the office and develop new business opportunities. CO-OP students are now a vital part of my business.”


    Employers: Take advantage of the Co-operative Education Tax Credit. Utilize the talents offered by CO-OP students!

    From our students' perspective

    Janie Amyot

    • Program: Chemical Engineering and BSc in Computing Technology (Environment Engineering Option)
    • CO-OP placement: Environment and Climate Change Canada
    • Co-op student of the year award 2017

    Janie Amyot is completing joint BASc in Chemical Engineering and BSc in Computing Technology degrees. As a fourth-year student, Janie was hired for a position at Environment and Climate Change Canada.

    Her supervisor, Isabelle Tardif (regulatory analyst), greatly appreciated Janie’s "ability to achieve quality results through thoughtful reflection and her ability to work well independently.”

    Janie is engaged and curious. Thanks to her consistently high grades, she has been on the Dean’s Honour List at the Faculty of Engineering for the past three years. She was also the recipient of a Faculty of Engineering memorial scholarship, recognizing high-achieving female students.


    Sheldon Harrison

    • Program: Mechanical Engineering
    • CO-OP placement: Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd. (Chiba, Japan)

    "This company is very big here in Japan and is on the bleeding edge of technology. I’m an intern in the patterning and technology R&D department, where I’ve gotten to work in a bunch of different fields, like creating microscopic artificial organs. I have zero background in any kind of biology, so learning how to work in a sterilized environment and understand what a bunch of long bio words mean, all while trying to do my experiment correctly, was a huge challenge. I loved that, though.

    Personally, I’ve learned how to deal with just about any kind of obstacle that pops up. Right now, I’m about as linguistically adept in Japanese as a two-year-old. I’ve even told my boss he looked very pretty thinking I was talking about the nice weather!

    The best thing about CO-OP is how they help you do an international work term. I received guidance, funding (from the International Office and Faculty of Engineering, as well) and overall assistance to make this all possible.

    This has definitely been the experience of a lifetime."


    Alexander Cremer

    • Program: Mechanical Engineering
    • CO-OP placement: Tesla (California, United States)

    "During the research for a placement in my 3rd year, I was offered an opportunity to work at Tesla in Fremont, California. I had never worked abroad before, so this was an exciting opportunity which ultimately turned into a fantastic work experience.

    Working abroad is a great experience I encourage everyone to do. Many life lessons are learned living in a new city across the world. You will discover new cultures and learn how to adapt in a different environment. Being immersed in a foreign culture allows you to go outside of your comfort zone. It will give you a wider perspective on the world and will teach you what you really want in life. It also gives you the ability to see some of the country’s biggest attractions while working.

    An exchange allows you to make connections across the world with others in your field. Creating connections gives you more opportunities in your future. Employers will recognize this experience and it will improve your future job options. To conclude, my time in San Francisco is something I will never forget, and something I encourage all students to pursue."


    Andrés Marsik

    • Program: Biomedical Mechanical Engineering
    • Japan

    As a Biomedical Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Ottawa, I had the opportunity to fulfill my dream of living in Japan. I did research and development within a Japanese company for 8 months as part of the Canada-Japan Co-op Program.

    I was exposed to many research projects giving me the unique chance to explore my interests and discover new fields like regenerative medicine in which I hope to be involved later in my career. The biggest challenge of being abroad is at the same time its biggest reward: experiencing a new culture and opening your mind to a new language, a new way of doing things and most importantly to new people. It is scary to make the jump but I wholeheartedly push everyone to seek the opportunity of living abroad.

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