Reviewing the Co-op Schedule
It is important to remember that The Computer Science Degree Program is four years in length and the yearly schedule for the Co-op Program is:
- January to April - Work Term I
Students participating in this work term will have completed two and one-half years of studies and will have been accepted into the Co-op Program based on their success in mandatory Computer Science courses and GPA.
- May to August - Work Term III
Students participating in this work term will have successfully completed two work terms and three and one-half years of studies. Most of these students will be graduating with their Major or Honours Computer Science Degree (Co-op Option) upon completion of their last half of fourth year courses.
- September to December - Work Term II
Students participating in this work term will have successfully completed one work term and three years of studies.
Provide a Job Description
Approximately four months prior to a work term, employers are invited to submit job postings. Employers interested in our program are more than welcome to contact us by e-mail or phone for any additional information that may be helpful. Computer Science Co-op positions are posted directly by accessing the University of Manitoba's careerCONNECT portal.
Employers who are not currently in the Computer Science Co-op Database should:
- Create an account in careerCONNECT ensuring that "Co-op Hiring" is indicated. Once the registration has been submitted, an email to one of the Computer Science Co-op Team Members would be appreciated as this will speed up the registration process. A Co-op Team Member will approve the registration and provide the employer with access to the Computer Science Co-op portal.
Employers who have an account in careerCONNECT with access to the Computer Science Co-op portal simply need to login and Post a New Job.
If difficulty is encountered with any of the process, please get in touch with one of the Team Members from the Computer Science Co-op Office.
Approximate deadlines for submissions:
- Work Term I (January to April) - first week in October
- Work Term II (September to December) - first week in June
- Work Term III (May to August) - first week in February
Employers should note that it is in their best interest to adapt job qualifications slightly depending upon the work term. Work Term I students are much likelier to apply for a position if the poster indicates that there will be an opportunity to develop skills in a particular area rather than listing specific technical requirements.
Once submission to the Computer Science Co-op Job Posting Board are approved by the Co-op program staff, they will become visible to all Co-op students seeking placements for the upcoming work term. Employers can choose to have students submit job application packages via the careerCONNECT portal or can direct them to apply via their company website. Application deadline dates can be discussed with program staff.
Although remuneration information is expected with the position details, it is withheld from students until after offers have been accepted. This is done in an attempt to encourage students to accept jobs on the merit of the experience rather than the salary.
For employers to successfully attract and hire Co-op students with the right skill sets and attitudes for a position, it is important that the candidates get a realistic sense of the requirements of the job and the corporate culture from a concise and clearly written job description. Employers can create excitement within the Co-op community by promoting their employment opportunity in an appealing way.
When creating a job description for Work Term I students, it is important for employers to adapt a language that students with little or no experience will understand. Work Term I students are often dependant on transferable and very basic technical skills gained from classroom learning and other experience to prove that they are suitable for the position. Submitting job descriptions filled with unfamiliar terminology and experience requirements more concurent with full-time employment may discourage Co-op students from applying.
When developing a job description, CAFCE (Canadian Association for Co-operative Education suggests breaking it down into three segments: Tasks, Talents and Trimmings. Detailed information is available at CAFCE's How to create a Win-Win-Win Job Description.
Tasks (Duties & Responsibilities)
- Indicate what students will actually do, their responsibilities, tasks and specific languages they will use. Prioritise the list of tasks so students understand the key focus of the role.
Talents (Attributes, Knowledge, and Skills)
Indicate any specific course requirements in addition to specific technical skills. Keep the "must haves" to a minimum, especially for Work Term I and II students.
- Some employers have experienced success with listing technologies the students will have the opportunity to learn or use rather than a set of requirements.
- Provide details of what attributes, knowledge, and skills typically produce an excellent performance in the job. It is important for students to quickly identify which of their transferable skills could be put to work.
Company / Department description: Provide enough information to promote excitement about the opportunity while leaving the door open for students to do some additional research. Recruitment is a two-way process, employers should be trying as hard as students to make a good impression.
- Some mention of previous Co-op involvement (if applicable) is welcome.
- Providing a url for the company / department website is helpful.
- Residency requirements: Government positions place restrictions on hiring non Canadians - ensure this is clearly articulated in order not to unduly frustrate international students who may be ineligible.
- Hours per week: Co-op positions must be a minimum of 35 hours per week. Students are interested in the hours per week expected and whether or not employers offer flexible work hours.
- Location of position
It is our recommendation that employers request feedback regarding the job description from current Co-op students to assist in the development of future job descriptions.
In order to accommodate out-of-town employer schedules, application deadlines are individualized.
The application packages will consist of:
- Cover letter
ScreeningOnce employers have reviewed all applications interviews (if required) must be arranged via the Co-op Office (see below).Computer Science students are keen learners. Even though they may not have experience with a particular technology, a few hours or days with some manuals and tutorials will usually be enough for them to become productive in the workplace.
Most first round interviews for out-of-town positions are conducted during the first two weeks of February, June, and October. Employers schedules can, of course, be taken into consideration.
Interviews can be conducted on campus or via telephone or Skype. All arrangements for interviews must be made through the Co-op Office.
Employers who would like to conduct interviews on our campus will be provided with an appropriate interview space. Once our office has received the list of interviewees, dates, times, etc., the interview schedule will be established. It will be forwarded to the employer once it has been finalized.
Employers who would like to conduct telephone or Skype interviews will also be accommodated. Most students prefer to use a quiet space in the Co-op area for telephone or Skype interviews. A schedule will be established if more than one student is to be interviewed and a telephone number provided where the student(s) can be reached.
The interview period is an exciting time for the students, employers, and Co-op staff. It is an excellent opportunity for students to interact with professionals in the IT industry and for employers to check out new and upcoming talent.
Interview feedback is always welcome! It can be provided to the students at the end of their interview or to the Co-op Office.
Location of Campus Interviews
The University of Manitoba Fort Garry Campus is located in the south end of Winnipeg, just off Pembina Highway.
Most interviews are held in the meeting rooms on the fourth floor of building E-2 of the Engineering and Information Technology Complex. These rooms are available from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Other rooms in University Centre are also used on occasion. Directions will be provided.
Parking is available in the U of M Parkade. University Centre is accessible through the parkade without the need to go outside. Employers who park in the parkade will need to pick up a parking ticket on their way to conduct interviews from an automated pay station and pay for parking at the end of their stay.
There are various eating establishments in University Centre (including a Tim Hortons and Starbucks for those who arrive early).
Once you have made your hiring decision, we ask that you contact the Co-op Office via email to extend the offer, which we will present to the student on your behalf. We ask that employers NOT contact students directly.
We do not utilize the match/rank process for our out of town employer partners, we use the continous placement model. Students are presented with their offers, including remuneration, as they are received. Typically they are given 24-48 hours to make a decision. If they are awaiting results of other interviews, we may ask for more time.
Once a student has made a placement decision, the Co-op Coordinator will advise the employer. At this point, the placement is deemed final. Students will contact the employer directly to initiate next steps in the formal hiring process.
Employers are required to forward "letters of offer" to students once a placement has been finalized.
The letters should include hiring details such as:
- contact information
- start date of work term
- hours of work
- who the student will report to
- work site address
- a formal employment offer that must be signed by the student and returned
- details on travel and moving reimbursements, if employer is providing
- any details the employer may have on local accommodations
- information on confidentiality agreements or criminal record checks, if applicable
The Co-op Office makes every attempt to finalize all out-of-town placements by the last week of February, June, and October.