How to Find a Co-op
This list was developed to help students appreciate, think about, locate, apply for and secure a co-op. For more specific information you can set up an appointment with the Technology Co-op Office (419-372-7581) or contact us at any time.
You should note that this process is one that should be approached as on-going. Even if you are not scheduled to complete your co-op in the near future, you should still be researching, making contacts and planning. The co-op search process is one that should never end.
Students are required to alternate semesters on campus with semester on co-op. Patterns of alternation, are discussed during academic advising appointments. Graduation plans end with students last semester on campus. This pattern of alternation helps to provide the student an idea of when they plan on completing their semesters of coursework and their semester on co-op. It is necessary to average 16 credit hours per semester to complete a degree in seven on-campus and three off-campus (co-op) semesters (4 calendar years).
The student must complete the online Co-op Orientation through Canvas before the start of the student's first co-op.
- What do you want to do as a career?
- What do you like to do?
- What do you see as your "dream job"?
- Your first co-op is the start of your career, make it count!
Research your ideal position. Develop a research log to keep track of your co-op searching activities. Find companies whose goals meet your own visions.
The student should then develop a resume and cover letter/intro letter as well as a portfolio if needed. The student should work with the Career Center and/or co-op office to have their resume reviewed and posted to their WorkNet account. This assures a quality and professional resume, and allows students to apply to positions posted on WorkNet.
Begin your co-op search using resources such as the How to Find a Co-op page, WorkNet, Career Center, co-op office, friends, family, other students, internet, professional organizations, chamber of Commerce, etc.
Make initial contact (Sending Cover letter and Resume) to prospective employers.
Follow up multiple times. Wait a week or so after initial contact, then send a follow up message asking if they received your resume and if they had any questions. Wait another week or so, then follow up again, possibly a phone call. Keep following up periodically.
Typically interviews are scheduled at the employer's convenience, but most will work with you if you have limitations on times and dates.
Dress professionally and practice interviewing.
Make sure you are prepared and on time. Research the company before the interview. This is your opportunity to sell yourself, your experience and your skills to the employer. Show the employer that you will be an asset to the company. If you need help with interview skills, the career center and the co-op office can hold mock interviews to help you feel more comfortable and strengthen your skills.
Promptly send a thank you letter to the interviewer.
If you are successfully hired by a company, you must register your co-op through WorkNet in order to get credit. Remember, there are registration deadlines that must be followed.
Once you are working at your co-op position:
- maintain communication with the university via email
- complete the appropriate co-op report and submit it to the Co-op Office by the report deadline
- complete any required revisions, and participate in the co-op visit
Thank your employer for your co-op experience. In business, it's a simple, but overlooked gesture that can leave a lasting and positive impression. A hand written note is an impressive personal touch, but an email is acceptable as well. This is your chance to leave on a positive note and further develop your professional network.