As a college student there are many opportunities to grow professionally. Many schools host various networking events to help enhance interview skills, elevator pitches, and build important connections. There are also programs and courses that touch on building your resume and how to write a cover letter. All of this preparation is for the day when you begin your search for internships, co-op positions, and full time jobs. I’ll talk about a growth opportunity that is often over looked by college students; a co-op job.
A co-op or cooperative education jobs are jobs that give you a real-world experience for the career you are interested in pursuing. Co-op jobs length vary; some last for a semester and others can last for a year. Students who are hired into a co-op position will typically alternate semesters where the individual will take classes one semester then co-op another semester. This allows a student to put the knowledge they learned from the semester into use within that related job field. As a result, most students that explore co-op positions graduate in five years.
Many co-ops require you to have a certain GPA and meet a set amount of credit hours. One cool thing about some co-ops is that you may be eligible to receive college credits if it is related to your major.
Co-ops are a great opportunity because they give you the full experience of what your career would be like day to day. This would allow you to decide if a career is a match for you while you have time to explore other options.