Getting to Work: University Co-op Programs to Help Ease You into the Workforce

February 22, 2022


Thinking about life after university can be quite the daunting thought. As corny as this sounds, graduating university is truly the start of a whole new chapter in one’s life.

Think about it… you’ve spent the majority of your life in and out of classrooms and various schools. But now it’s time to enter the real world – the one with cubicles and office spaces. Sounds like a blast, right?

This big step can bring about many questions like: “Where will I end up professionally?” and “What job opportunities are available to me?”

As someone who has recently made the transition from university studies to the job force, I can tell you that the job application process can be fairly intimidating. For one, many positions ask for years of experience within a given field. But without being given the opportunity to work, how are we expected to gain experience to begin with?

For this reason, I highly encourage university students to look into internship opportunities prior to graduating. Gaining some work experience can

be beneficial for your resume and give you a better shot at landing future job interviews and positions.

You’d be surprised to know just how many internship opportunities are out there. Of course, doing your own research and job hunting is a great idea. However, you’ll be happy to know that you don’t always have to look further than your very own university.

No matter your program of study, many universities across Canada offer co-op programs as a way to ease students into the workforce.


Here are a few that may be of interest:


McGill University – Montreal, QC 

Best known for its Science, Medicine, and Management programs, McGill University offers quite a varied list of internship opportunities for its students.

Internships vary and change depending on the time of year but the good news is that new opportunities arise in both the Winter and Summer semesters.

Even more exciting is the fact that McGill’s internships are not solely limited to Canada or even North America, for that matter. Positions are offered and available internationally, giving you the chance to not only gain work experience but also to appreciate a whole other part of the world.

For more information, visit McGill’s CaPS (Career Planning Service) Internships page.


Concordia University – Montreal, QC

At Concordia University, rest assured that there is an internship program available for you. These opportunities are for both undergraduate and graduate students, and include a variety of programs such as Arts & Science, Fine Arts, Computer Science, Engineering and Business.

The internships are available throughout the year, during the Fall, Winter and Summer semesters and are divided into four categories: Undergraduate Co Op Program, Graduate Internships, Career Edge (C. Edge) and Accelerated Career Experience (ACE).

For more information on the available postings, you can visit the Concordia University website.


Dalhousie University – Halifax, NS

For a more hands-on approach, Dalhousie University has got you covered. Their internship programs include a combination of in-class studying with direct, physical experience in the workforce.

The fields of study included within this co-op program are Architecture, Commerce, and Science.

These opportunities are not limited to the province but rather are opened to the rest of Canada and international countries, as well.

For more information on job placement and who to contact, visit the Dalhousie University website. 



University of King’s College – Halifax, NS

The University of King’s College offers an array of job opportunities for their students. These include on-campus employment, for the institution itself, as well as external career opportunities.

Whether you’re a student of the Arts, Management, or even Technology, the university has a list of current postings that can be of great use to you. Paid placements are also available for students in the faculty of Humanities.

The Student Assistantship Program (SAP) is another great option, as it provides students with a chance to work as an assistant to a professor. This can be a perfect instance to gain resume-worthy experience as well as the ability to grow your career network.

You can check out these various options as well as career advice on the University of King’s College website.


Memorial University of Newfoundland – St. John’s, NL

For Science, Social Science, and Humanities students, Memorial University of Newfoundland has ample options for your first step into the workforce.

Apply your theoretical knowledge to on-site work, be it in the field of Biology, Computer Science, Psychology, etc.

International placements are also available for students of the International Bachelor of Arts. This program is a great means of preparation for those who are interested in finding careers abroad.

To read about program eligibility and job listings, visit the Memorial University website.


University of Prince Edward Island – Charlottetown, PEI

At the University of Prince Edward Island, internship and cooperative learning opportunities are available for the following programs: Arts, Business, and Science.

The application process comes around every fall and opportunities are available for the entire year. The postings last between 14-16 weeks, allowing students to fully immerse themselves in their field, apply their knowledge, and leave with great newly-acquired experience.

To learn how to apply, visit the University of Prince Edward Island website.


Hopefully these resources will make what can be an overwhelming process a lot more manageable, and maybe even enjoyable. Just remember that so many other students are in the same position as you, and that this is a super exciting time that will inevitably lead to growth, new skills, and tons of valuable experience 🌟.




McGill Career Planning Services. “Internships.” N.D.,

Concordia Institute for Co-operative Education. “Internship Programs.” N.D.,

Dalhousie University. “Cooperative Education.” N.D.,

University of King’s College. “Student Employment.” N.D.,

Memorial University. “Co-operative Education Programs at Memorial University.” N.D.,

University of Price Edward Island. “Co-operative Education.” N.D.,


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