Being a CO-OP student at the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa, it doesn’t take much deep thought to realize all of its benefits. I am given the opportunity to explore different work environments, meet key people in the job market, create a network, develop my professional skills and learn more about myself and what the future could potentially hold for me. I have gained confidence, new skills and took care of my own projects during only my first work term. Students usually do four work terms during the 4-5 years of their studies and even get the option of finding a work term abroad! Can you imagine all of the possibilities?

An important part of the success of CO-OP is the willingness of companies and organizations to take students in for a short period and have faith that they will work hard and do a good job. Why do companies hire students? It’s not only the students who benefit from the CO-OP program, employers do too!

CO-OP students at the Telfer School of Management and the University of Ottawa are available year round, which gives employers flexibility and the ability to hire students during peak times to meet the needs of the season. Since students change from one session to the other, the diversity brought into the organisation is maximised. Each student’s varied strengths and interests bring something new to the table which eliminates employee tunnel vision. Employers get the opportunity to work with many different students and assess their capabilities which gives them a good chance of recruiting future full-time employees that could have a positive impact in their organisation.

At the University of Ottawa, there are CO-OP students in almost every field of study to fill multitudes of different positions. Students at the Telfer School of Management have a diverse set of skills. There are students in marketing, information technology, accounting, finance, management and more. These students are learning new concepts about not only their specialization, but multiple business facets every semester. Since it is still fresh in their minds, there is a higher chance of them bringing these theorized skills into the workplace.

It is also common for younger people to feel like they must prove themselves by showing employers that they can go above and beyond. This phenomenon influences them to be very motivated and enthusiastic which boosts the level of productivity. This eagerness also encourages creativity and has a positive effect on the motivation and morale of other employees.

To make things even better, an enhanced corporate image and a stronger connection with the University of Ottawa occur when employers hire CO-OP students. This is because they are helping the student community with their education and development as professionals entering the work force. It’s very rewarding to contribute to the training of future employees. After all, it can determine the future success of an organisation.

Thanks to the CO-OP Program at the University of Ottawa and all of the great organizations and companies that participate in the placement process, both students and organisations benefit. Not only do organisations get flexibility, diversity and productivity while maintaining good relationships in the community and setting a good example, but more students graduate from university with more than a diploma. I will graduate ready to start my career with experience already on my resume and the skills I really need to take on the world.

Now that is the power of CO-OP.