In my second year, I decided that I would like to find a co-op. I was hoping for a 12-month placement, between my 3rd and 4th year. In Ryerson, you have to enroll in the co-op internship program for it to be approved by the department and hence appear on your transcript. Enrolling in the program also gives students access to the resources that will ease the job search such as the co-op portal.
The deadline of the application to the program differs depending on the CGPA; the higher it is the later the date. The program starts by assigning us assignments such as a mock interview and creating a resume. Once that is done, the student is granted access to the portal.
I then started my search process. It was way harder than I expected, even more so with the pandemic. The job market was very affected and there were fewer opportunities than usual. With every rejection email, I got more and more frustrated and thought more and more of giving up. We had a deadline by the end of August and if we don’t secure a job by then we cannot be considered for the CO-OP program anymore.
It was July already and I haven’t even landed one interview. The rejection emails kept flowing in while I was seeing LinkedIn posts of my classmates landing amazing placement. I decided to reach out to the CO-OP and career center to get some help. I got edits on my resume and cover letter and started applying more than ever. I was searching not only on LinkedIn and the portal but also on Google, Glassdoor, Indeed, and Peersight.
I got an email that I was selected for an interview in late July. I was so excited and happy. I prepared for every possible question that I found online. The questions I was asked were all something I prepared for. I thought the interview went well until I did not hear back until two weeks after. I sent a follow-up email but still got no response. I contacted my co-op advisor and she told me that I was not accepted.
The day after I got an email that I was selected for an interview. I was packed with assignments during those days and so didn’t have much time to prepare. After the interview, I felt like I did very poorly and even told my family that I do not think that they will go ahead with my application. To my surprise, less than 24 hours after the interview, I was emailed and invited to a meeting to discuss an offer.
I was so excited and happy that after months of hard work and frustration I finally landed an offer; a week before the deadline of the university program consideration.
My advice to everyone looking for a co-op job, keep looking. It will get hard at times and you will get very frustrated but hard work pays off. Seek help. Get a resume and cover letter review. Attend networking events. You will get there!