Co-op in Business
Co-operative Education is an academic program that integrates study with paid, discipline related work experience. Co-op students gain an enriched understanding of their academic program through practical application. In addition they refine their employability skills, gain an understanding of career opportunities in their field, and gain an understanding of the realities of the workplace.
To graduate with the Co-op Option, students complete three 4-month Co-op work terms (with an optional fourth) or a 12- or 16-month internship between their third and fourth years of study. Students that complete three Co-op work terms, or an internship, will receive 3 credit-hours, counting as one elective course for graduation requirements.
Students typically enrol in Co-op at the beginning of their second year of study, but third-year students are also welcome. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 is required.
All Co-op students attend workshops and receive one-on-one coaching in job preparation skills such as resume and cover letter writing, interview preparation, business ethics, and more.
For further details on Co-op, please visit the Co-op website.
Visit the Business Department.
First BBA Employment Relations Major to Graduate with Co-op
For BBA student Kayla Cunningham, being the first Employment Relations major who will graduate with the co-op option has afforded her some very interesting work placements. “I joined the co-op program because I always wanted to see other places and meet new people,” she said. “And experiencing the two aspects of business—classroom and real-world—was very valuable.” Co-operative education at Acadia University consists of three 4-month terms, which need not be at the same company. Kayla’s first two terms proved to be a front-row seat at Nexen Energy in Fort McMurray as it transitioned to its new owners, the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). Sale of Nexen garnered national and even international attention. “CNOOC held culture workshops for a month on the feedback loop and the values of the new company. It was all linked to the performance metrics that were put in place by Nexen leaders,” Kayla said. For an employment relations major, witnessing the organizational change of Nexen to a wholly owned subsidiary of CNOOC was fascinating.
Kayla’s second placement was at the Halifax Regional Police, which was reevaluating how their cadet school was run. She worked mainly on the recruitment and procedural aspect. “It was all about making the procedure more inclusive,” she said. “We had to make sure we were reaching out to communities that might not have had the same opportunities as others.” At this point, her employment relations training inspired her to recommend changing the diversity statement of the entire Halifax Regional Municipality, not just the Halifax Regional Police. Her recommendation is under consideration by HRM.
“When we were putting the Employment Relations major together several years ago, we hoped for students who could make a real contribution in shaping their institutions through values such as equity and diversity,” said Dr. Jim Grant, one of the designers of the ER major. “For us, Kayla’s work exemplifies our vision, and more.”
"My name is Terry Legge and I am just finishing up a twelve month internship with TransCanada Energy Ltd. Before starting Co-operative Education I was unsure if I had the skills to be a business person. After I started my Co-op job I realized that I did not have the skills to be a business person. I knew the theories and analytical techniques learned in class but I was unaware of how to utilize them in the workplace. It took me awhile to become comfortable with learning how to use my skills in the workplace and feeling comfortable with taking initiative. At TransCanada I had a couple of amazing managers who spent time with me and taught me some great skills in the workplace. They made me feel comfortable and confident in taking on problems on my own. I owe this great experience to the Co-operative Education program at Acadia. If I did not sign up for Co-op I would have been graduating this year and not have a clue what the next steps would have been. From taking the year off I have learned what I enjoy in a career and have found my niche in the business world! Therefore I completely recommend Co-operative Education because the skills you develop cannot be taught in a classroom - they come with work experience."
'11 Bachelor of Business Administration (Co-op Option)
Co-op Work Terms
- Entrepreneurial Student Consultant, ACSBE, Wolfville, NS
- Analyst Intern Student, TransCanada Energy Ltd. (12 month internship), Toronto, ON
Introduction of F.C. Manning School of Business
- Created by Bobby McIntyre