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Both co-ops and internships are...

  • Paid, career-related opportunities that allow students to gain real-world experience in their chosen field prior to graduation. Employers often consider internships/co-ops as a prerequisite to obtaining full-time employment
  • A chance for students to test drive career paths, companies, and even locations

What's a co-op?

  • A co-op (or cooperative education experience) consists of two or more semesters of full-time work
  • The most common model includes alternating semesters of school and work
  • There should be more responsibility with each return or rotation
  • There is no upward limit to the number of semesters students can work; however, invitations to continue with an employer are contingent upon factors like employer need and student performance
  • Employers often consider students early-on in their studies for these opportunities

What's an internship?

  • Internships are single work terms of full-time or part-time work
  • Internships sometimes require advanced coursework and more in-depth knowledge of the student's engineering discipline in order to engage students in meaningful work and maximize employer investment in that student

Unpaid Positions

  • Engineering students should expect to receive payment, typically in the form of an hourly wage, for their internship and co-op experiences. You will be doing work that reflects the technical skills you have learned in school, and you will be adding significant value to the organization. There are some exceptions, such as with hospitals and other non-profit organizations, where legitimate, engineering related positions are unpaid. If you have been offered an unpaid position, please consult with an ECS advisor.