While I have touched on this subject during my previous work term, I really can't say enough about the coop program. In fact, this was one of the things that drew me to the University of Guelph in the first place. Coop adds tremendous value for Computer Science students (or all students in my opinion) in that it allows one to get the practical hands on experience that you won't find in your academic studies. It acts as a perfect complement to put the mainly theoretical, foundation course content to good use.
I largely joined the coop program for the experience. Having 5 different work experiences under my belt when I graduate was obviously very appealing. One thing that I surely underestimated was the amount of networking that comes along with it. The coop program allows students with otherwise very little contact with organizations to get their foot in the door and prove themselves, which is beneficial to both parties involved.
The centralized platform that the coop program provides for finding and receiving job offers is also a nice benefit. It really does streamline the process but it doesn't end there. It is incredibly easy to setup your own placement as well, just as I did this semester. I had heard about the great things that Polar Mobile was accomplishing in the mobile space and I was interested in being a part of it. A few emails later and everything was organized and ready to go for the next 4 months.
Now that I am wrapping up my second work term, I am stunned at the fact that I learned so much, and had so much fun in the process. The coop program certainly lived up to my highest expectations. I got to work with a lot of smart people in a great environment, and ultimately better my future. It is pretty unlikely that any computer science student could ask for more.