The Student as a Partner in the Cooperative Education Program
As the student partner in this relationship, you have the most to gain from your co-op experiences. Make the program work to your advantage by abiding by the following: by abiding by the following:
Be Proactive throughout The Co-op Employment Search Process
As a student seeking co-op employment, it is important that you recognize and have a clear understanding of your role as well as the role of the Cooperative Education and Career Services Office in the search process. The Cooperative Education and Career Services Office in particular is a valuable resource to support and guide you through the co-op employment search and beyond. The goal of the office is not to simply "hand" you a co-op employment position but to help you acquire a position. The search and ultimately, the experiences you gain as a co-op, are the building blocks of your career. Finding the right co-op experience is your responsibility. Take an active role throughout the process by:
- Maintaining an updated resume on the Web Resume System known as Kettering Connect.
- Checking the Job Listing section of Kettering Connect regularly for new opportunities with co-op employers until employment is attained
- Maintaining open lines of communication with the Cooperative Education Manager and with managers who work with other geographic areas of interest
- Strategizing with your Cooperative Education and Career Services Office on ways to approach companies on your own
- Taking advantage of the many seminars and training sessions available to you through the Cooperative Education and Career Services Office (Interview Skills, Resume Writing, Mock Interviews, Advanced Co-op Employment Search, On-Campus Interviews, etc.)
- Building flexibility into your goals - geographically and industry related
- Representing yourself and Kettering University in a positive and professional manner during all encounters with potential employers
Accomplishing Maximum Academic Achievement
It is important to maintain an excellent academic record. This is particularly important during the co-op employment search process and continues to be important as you progress through the program. Co-op employers take grades into consideration when determining long term plans for co-op employees. Students who perform poorly academically (academic probation) risk termination of their co-op employment and receive no assistance towards new employment until good academic standing is restored.
Student Evaluation of Employer
At the conclusion of each term, it is important that you complete a Student Evaluation of Employer form. This form will give you the opportunity to provide valuable feed back to the Cooperative Education and Career Services Office and to your employer about your experiences. Completing the form will also allow you the opportunity to take a proactive role in your development through the organization.
Maintain a Positive Attitude During All Work Experiences
Many students begin their co-op expecting immediate exposure to major responsibilities and work directly related to their degrees. Most of the time however, co-op employers use the initial few experiences to gauge student attitudes towards work in general and assign basic tasks. It is important that as a student, you accomplish all assigned tasks in as professional and timely a manner as possible. By accomplishing the simple tasks in a positive manner, you will progress more quickly to more responsible activities.
Represent Yourself and Kettering University in a Professional Manner
As a Kettering University co-op, you not only represent yourself, but the University and the many students who have the opportunity to work after you. You can maintain a positive and professional image by:
- Adhering to company policies
- Maintaining good attendance and punctuality
- Following safety rules and regulations very closely
- Striving for positive working relationships throughout the organization
- And remembering, even at work you are a student and bound by the Kettering University Code of Student Conduct as found in the Kettering University Student Handbook, The TechMate. If found in violation of any of the guidelines in this code while at work, you will be subject to the same reviews and penalties as on campus.
Communicating With Your Employer
Most problems that occur is from a lack of communication between the student and their employer. It is important that you always strive to maintain open lines of communication with your co-op employer. If you do not understand why you have been assigned to a particular task, then in a professional and polite manner, ask. Find out what kind of extended plans your employer may have for you as you progress through the program. Discuss thoughts about changes in majors, specific coursework to follow and special programs that you might wish to be a part of. If your attempts at communication do not work, talk to your Cooperative Education Manager about your approach or request his/her help in gaining the information that you need. Two special areas of concern in regards to communication with Employers include:
- International Programs
If you have an interest in the International Program available at Kettering University, you must discuss this interest with your employer at least six months prior to your participation in the program. Your employer must approve of your participation in writing (see International Program Guidelines for details) and have a clear understanding of when and for how long you will be gone.
- Changing Sections or Double Blocks (Work or School)
All such changes must be completed through the Kettering University Office of the Registrar. Your co-op employer must approve of all changes in writing and have a clear understanding of your schoolwork schedule.
Communicating With Your Cooperative Education Manager
Your Cooperative Education Manager is an important resource to you. Be sure to keep this person "in the loop" on any changes, or problems that you might have during your work experiences.