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U of R’s Co-op Program: get experience, get paid, and get hired

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: April 29, 2021 1:00 p.m.

Students who participate in the Co-op Program gain career related experiential learning, build relationships with employers, and earn money to support their education.
Students who participate in the Co-op Program gain career related experiential learning, build relationships with employers, and earn money to support their education. UAC

Bahiyyih Mehregani
Photo provided by Bahiyyih

For more than 50 years, the University’s Co-operative Education and Internships Program, or Co-op Program, has provided valuable work placement experiences for thousands of U of R students. Students who participate in the Co-op program gain career related experiential learning, build relationships with employers, and earn money to support their education.
 
Bahiyyih Mehregani, a fourth-year accounting student in the Paul J. Hill School of Business, is one of the many success stories from the Co-op Program. She has been recognized as one of the school’s top performers through the Accounting Fellowship Program, the Dean’s List, and several scholarships, and believes the Co-op Program has greatly enhanced her U of R student experience.
 
Currently working in her third-and-final Co-op placement as an Accounting Intern with Dudley & Company Chartered Accountants LLP, Bahiyyih discussed how the program has set herself up for career success.
 

Explore career options while you are a student.
 
“The Co-op Program gives you a chance to try out different positions within your field without a sense of obligation to stay if it is not a great fit,” said Bahiyyih. “With three work terms, you have the opportunity to get a sense of what you really want to do for work.”
 

Co-op students alternate work and study semesters for the last three years of their program or complete an internship between their third and fourth year of study.

Co-op students can find their passion.

“Based on my experiences, and realizing what I want to focus on career wise, I have found the Co-op Program helpful in choosing which university courses I want to take to help further develop my skills,” said Bahiyyih.
 
Gain valuable experience in the field.
 
“By participating in the Co-op Program, I have been able to apply my classroom knowledge in a real-work application,” Bahiyyih stated. “I knew that participating would be a chance to jump start my career and help give me an edge against other applicants when I graduate.”
 
Students have obtained more than 27,000 work placements and earned $330 million (in 2021 dollars) in salaries since the founding of the U of R’s Co-op Program.
 
Co-op students get a leg-up in the job market.
 
“The work I am doing is very relevant to my future career and I am learning a lot through this hands-on experience,” stated Bahiyyih. “Once I graduate and start my career, this will be a tremendous advantage.”
 
Develop a network of contacts.
 
“You have a chance to practice what you have learned in class, gain new skills, and get a chance to work closely with professionals in your field,” said Bahiyyih. “You can only benefit from the work experience as it is a great way to get your foot-in-the-door at many different companies.”
 
Build career confidence.
 
“My confidence in my abilities to perform in this field have blossomed and I don’t feel nearly as intimidated when I think about launching my career,” Bahiyyih stated.
 
Despite the challenges caused by COVID-19, 759 students obtained work placements through the Co-op Program in 2020. This represents 87% of pre-pandemic placements.

 
Participating in the Co-op Program helps students to get hired. 
 
“I already have a couple of job offers for when I graduate, which is something that would not be possible without my participation in the Co-op Program,” said Bahiyyih.
 
Taking advantage of the Co-op Program will help you make the most of the university experience.
 
“To anyone who is thinking about applying to the Co-op Program, do it,” exclaimed Bahiyyih. “I have had nothing but positive experiences and truly think that it is something all U of R students should get involved with.”
 
Apply now for the University of Regina's Fall semester here!

Related

Learn more about the U of R's Co-op Program.