Cooperative Education is a system that provides formal academic studies which translate into a workplace or practical setting. At Brock, the Department of Co-op Education spent 2018 guiding students towards hands-on experience and networking with prospective employers. Through Co-op, students have been challenged to apply their academic experience to real-life scenarios. With over 40 different co-op programs and a multitude of opportunities, Brock Co-op left 2018 staunching a skillful reputation.
“As a Co-op student at Brock University in the Labour Studies program, I gained invaluable skills, made many connections to people in my field of work, and most importantly, I grew as a person,” said Quinn Ascah, a Brock co-op student. “I cannot recommend enough how valuable the co-op component to a degree is — I have already seen the advantages it has given me in the job market.”
While completing co-op, Ascah networked with people in his industry. The co-op program assigns students to fields accordingly, helping them enter the career world with leverage. Between various faculties, popular employer partners include: Canada Mental Health Association, The Shaw Festival Theatre, Advonex International, Ministry of Transportation, Niagara Falls Museum, Parks Canada and Niagara Parks Commission, Hydro One, Scotiabank, BDO Canada LLP, Canadian Tire and more.
In addition to pairing students with prospective employer partners, in 2018 the department hosted complementary networking events. New Co-op students were able to get a running start to learning at RISE 2018. Every year the department hosts an orientation for incoming students, in 2018 this took place in April. Here, students were able to meet the Co-op Education staff and hear from upper year Co-op students, as well as network with Co-op alumni. Coming into first year may be daunting, but this personalized orientation, in addition to other orientation events, can set you up for academic and social success.
“I was exposed to new experiences as part of my Co-op terms, which helped to enhance my public speaking abilities, analytical skills, and ability to work both independently and as part of a team,” Ascah explained. Co-op helped Ascah build character which allowed him to advance his professional career in his industry.
To kick off the school year the department hosted a CPA Recruitment Day in September, geared towards Bachelor of Accounting Co-op students. Large CPA firms, such as BDO and Deloitte, came to campus offering a recruitment session for students seeking initial work terms this January. Attendees were able to engage with potential employers, continue their network building and learn how to navigate administrative particulars of the program.
In November a similar event took place, but with smaller firms such as Brownlow Partners. November was a busy month for the department, as they hosted three information sessions to provide guidance to students in the Co-op program. The department spent 2018 ensuring students will get the most out of their Co-op degree.
Working closely with Career Services, the Department of Co-op Education brings various industry professionals to campus to talk about their careers. The fields that have been planned for the 2018/2019 year which tend to recur, include Law & Security, Oenology & Viticulture, Computer Science and Political Science. In addition, Departments Geography & Tourism and Career Education will host a tourism networking event, targeted towards Geography & Tourism students.
Brock Co-op remains active online; those seeking information about 2019 networking events are encouraged to access Experience BU, brocku.ca and social media. During the fall term the department focused on accessibility, as they hosted events for the Accounting and their plans suggest that the winter term will be network focused.