Co-operative education (or co-op, as you’ll hear everyone call it) is a program that assists students in securing paid work in relevant fields while they complete their degrees. Some of the jobs that BPK students have been involved in range from physiotherapy clinics or research labs to the Canadian Space Agency and everything in-between.
If you’re one of those people who takes five classes per semester because you want to finish in four years, you can do co-op over the summers and it won’t impact the length of your degree. If you’re not one of them, then yeah you’ll be sticking around a bit longer as a result, but many students find co-op to be an extremely valuable experience. You can find your calling and cement your career decisions, or you can find out what you don’t like which is arguably just as important. For example, students in the past have come to SFU with their sights set on physiotherapy, but after doing a co-op in a physio clinic they realized that it isn’t something they’re passionate about. It’s much better to figure that out during your undergraduate degree, rather than after going through physio school and spending a year in the industry.
If you’re interested in checking out the co-op program, stop by K9620 and talk to Cheri or Darleen. They’re both great, and they help us in the BPKSA an enormous amount with event logistics, budgeting, etc. They might seem like they’re always juggling ten things and going at a hundred miles an hour, but they still find the time to get to know you as an individual and chat if you drop by.
Co-op at SFU uses an online system called Symplicity. It’s worth taking a bit of a look around and familiarizing yourself with it, because this is how you’ll apply for jobs through co-op. Thankfully, it’s pretty straight-forward.
Check out SFU’s Online Learning Community to read some BPK co-op stories from students’ previous experiences in the program.