The questions below are specific to the Khoury College graduate co-op program. If you have additional questions, please contact Kathleen (Kathi) Vander Laan.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a co-op and an internship?
We refer to co-op as a work experience that is 6-8 months in length. An internship is primarily over the summer months and can run 3-4 months. Students work full-time during both a co-op or internship.
Is co-op mandatory for master’s candidates?
Co-op is not mandatory for Khoury master’s candidates, however many students choose to participate in a co-op or summer internship, finding the experience to be extremely worthwhile. Co-op strengthens your academic education by immersion in practical experience. By utilizing what you’ve learned in the classroom on the job every day, you boost your self-confidence, take initiative, build crucial technical skills, and grow both professionally and personally.
Who is my co-op coordinator?
A co-op coordinator will be assigned prior to the start of your co-op search. Notification is typically given in the Graduate Co-op Seminar.
What kinds of co-op jobs are available?
Co-op jobs are dependent on industry demand. The Khoury co-op coordinators develop, review, and approve each job to ensure that it is an appropriate learning experience, but otherwise no restrictions are made regarding the types of jobs students can work. The co-op coordinators target a range of industries, including software development, network security, project management, web design, and more.
Coordinators work individually with each student to determine the types of jobs that match the student’s background, skills, and career goals. Eligibility for each job depends on criteria established by the job description and competitiveness of the applicant pool. Previous experience, grades, technical aptitude, and professional and emotional maturity also play a factor in eligibility. Students are required to dedicate substantial effort to their job search and work with their co-op coordinator in a professional and collaborative manner.
Where are most co-op jobs located?
We encourage students to work with their co-op coordinator to explore the use of resources outside NUcareers to widen their job search into different industries or geographic areas.
Am I guaranteed a job?
The Khoury graduate co-op program is designed to prepare you for real-world job searching and employment. Getting a job in the real world depends on personal skills, experience, and professionalism, and can also be influenced by external factors such as market conditions and the size of the applicant pool. Co-op coordinators work to prepare students for a competitive job search process by:
- Requiring a level of professionalism before the job search begins.
- Working individually to improve job search skills and employability.
- Forming relationships with employers to develop new job opportunities and improve the quality of existing ones.
Even with those supports, the decision to hire rests with employers. In tight job markets, students with weaker experience, grades, or job search skills may have difficulty obtaining co-op positions. Co-op coordinators will work closely with these students and potential employers to identify a good job match. In past semesters, students who are persistent in their job search have found co-op positions.
What kinds of salaries can students expect on co-op?
Salary is one of many factors students consider when accepting a job offer. Employers make salary decisions based on the type of position, skill sets, location, and industry. Khoury co-op coordinators provide suggested salary guidelines to employers, but these are averages and some industries may be lower.
Can I return to my previous co-op or internship employer?
Yes. However, before accepting a position with a previous co-op employer, be sure to think about opportunities for new learning and professional growth and discuss these with your co-op coordinator.
Do I get academic credit for co-op?
Students do not receive academic credit for co-op or internship. However, students do receive an “S” (Satisfactory) grade if the work experience was successfully completed. If the experience ended early or if a student was unprofessional, a “U” (Unsatisfactory) grade may be assigned.