Attending school for either four or five years, students gain up to 18 months of professional experience related to their major or career interest with any of more than 2,000 employers across the United States and in 69 countries around the world. In most programs, co-op is full-time, paid employment related to the student’s interests and/or career goals. Students on co-op develop professional skills, make valuable contacts, and explore one or more career paths.

With the help of a co-op faculty coordinator, students research positions, interview with employers, and accept a co-op position. Co-op faculty coordinators assist students as well as employers by referring qualified, interested students for full-time co-op positions. Employers are free to choose the students they want to interview and to hire the most suitable candidate for the position.

All students in good academic standing may participate in co-op programs in their major. To learn more about co-ops in your field, contact your co-op coordinator or visit your department’s co-op Web site.

Getting Ready

  • Take one-credit Professional Development course or preparation workshops, depending on major, in freshman or sophomore year
  • Learn about careers
  • Develop professional resumés
  • Learn how to research companies
  • Prepare for interviews
  • Create digital portfolios and demo reels (if applicable)
  • Hear from upperclassmen in your major

Planning Your Co-op

  • Initiate a meeting with your assigned Cooperative Education Faculty Coordinator within the first few weeks of the semester to learn about important dates for workshops, orientations, and resume deadlines. Students are responsible for fulfilling their program’s co-op requirements.
  • Discuss:
    • Interests in and outside major
    • Prior work history and employer evaluations
    • Short-term and long-term goals, plus developmental steps
    • Personal qualifications: skills, talents, strengths
    • Development and/or revision of a resumé
    • Available co-op positions and experiential opportunities
    • Program’s referral and cross-referral process
    • Program’s specific guidelines for required meetings, resumé preparation, and deadlines. Log onto myNEU Cool (Co-op Opportunities On Line) for co-op support from start to finish.

More Options

  • Student-developed positions: students who find their own jobs must submit documentation and contact information to their co-op faculty coordinator for approval.
  • Unpaid part-time employment: often the best way for students to gain experience and develop contacts and mentors in fields such as the arts and entertainment industry.
  • Experiential projects: proposals for experiential projects are considered individually and must be approved and assessed by the faculty coordinator.

After Your Co-op

  • Meet with co-op faculty coordinator
  • Participate in the required reflection activity
  • Reassess professional and academic goals