Ontario Tech offers our students many opportunities to apply their knowledge outside of the classroom during their academic careers. Today we will explore engineering co-op and internship opportunities available to our students and explain what they are, how they work, and why you should consider completing one.
Ontario Tech has been ranked third in Ontario and Ninth in Canada as one of the best universities to study engineering. Our Mechanical Engineering program has been ranked top five and our Electrical Engineering program top 10 in Ontario. The experiential learning opportunities we offer are part of the reason our programs are ranked so highly.
What is the co-op/internship process?
As mentioned in our all about co-ops, internships and placements blog, a co-op is a paid, four-month placement at a partner organization (you can complete a few back-to-back), and an internship is a 12 or 16-month paid work placement.
Students can complete a paid work placement in an engineering field, lasting anywhere from 4 to 16 months. You can apply to some co-op programs directly through OUAC and others you can apply to starting in your second year. Due to Visa restrictions, international students are only eligible for a four-month co-op in the summer.
Students that are in good academic standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.3 are eligible to apply for the program. Once your application has been accepted, you may begin applying for positions.
What will you do in the placement?
There are a lot of different types of jobs you can get when completing a co-op or internship in our engineering programs. Our students have been involved in design planning, issue resolution, technical analysis, project management, product inspections and much more. No two students will have the exact same experience, and different work sites will come with different tasks and responsibilities.
What all of them do have in common though, is that these are full-time paid positions. So, whether you’re completing a four-month summer co-op or doing a 12-month internship, you will be earning competitive wages while working full-time hours and gaining hands-on experience!
What do you gain from the co-op/internship experience?
There’s a lot of benefits of participating in a co-op or internship that make it worth considering. A placement provides you with the opportunity to apply practical concepts learned in class. In doing so, you are gaining new skills and strengthening ones learned at university.
This also means you’re getting valuable experience in your field, where you can learn what the role of an engineer is actually like in a real job setting. A work placement also provides networking opportunities, where you can connect with industry professionals and potentially use those connections to help you get a job later on.
A major upside of completing an engineering co-op or internship is the money you can earn. Having full-time work with competitive wages can help you pay for your education. Also, having completed this may help you get a higher salary when you’re starting your career after graduating.
What’s unique about engineering internships and co-ops is that you can get up to 12 of the 48 required months for Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) licensing, meaning you can begin working towards your professional licensing before you even graduate.
Bruce Power Women in Nuclear Engineering Internship
Our program is reserved for individuals who identify as female, to help them succeed in the engineering field. The program was designed in consultation with key industry representatives to ensure you gain the necessary skills and foundational knowledge of the nuclear fuel cycle.
This program provides students with experiential learning opportunities such as paid four-month summer internships at Bruce Power in Kincardine and paid year-long internships between Year 3 and Year 4. As well, this program offers co-op, Capstone and undergraduate thesis options, so there is an experiential learning opportunity for whatever suits you best.
Students can learn in modern libraries and laboratories such as the Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Centre, Wind Chamber Laboratory and many more exciting learning environments. We also offer a management program option for those interested in gaining management skills applicable to the field.
Participating in engineering co-ops and internships gives you the opportunity to take your classroom material to a whole new level, allowing you to engage in hands-on, real-world learning, so that you will have job-ready skills on the tips of your fingers when you graduate. I encourage you to find the right fit for you and take advantage of these invaluable experiences.
To get more information and to hear from students about their experiences, visit the Engineering co-op and internship website.
Want to find out more about the programs and opportunities you can find at Ontario Tech?