COOP 2000H: Foundations for Co-op Success
Sabrina Kuipers, CCDP, CCS
Careerspace, Bachelor of Arts and Science (B.A.S.)
The world of work is changing rapidly, and the career development field is evolving in response.
In COOP-2000H, course instructor Sabrina Kuipers helps prepare co-op students for long-term career success. According to Kuipers, career development extends beyond selection of a major or job. It is the holistic development of an individual and is an ongoing, lifelong process.
“In the career development field, we are seeing a shift from employment to employability, and a clear need for jobseekers to be able to upskill and articulate their value. To succeed in the workplace, jobseekers require the tools, knowledge, and confidence to market their unique skills and experience to employers.”
In recent years, employers have expressed a strong desire to hire candidates with transferable ‘soft’ skills such as critical thinking, communication, and adaptability, and this view is echoed through hiring trends in our labour market.
With Trent’s growth of co-op program offerings in 2022 the need for a foundational co-operative education course was clear. This course equips students from 17 new co-op streams across the humanities, social sciences, and the School of Business with essential skills for the workplace — covering topics like vocational assessments, self-reflection, transferable skills, and job search strategies.
Assignments focus on crafting application materials, excelling in interviews, and networking. Topics like workplace culture, diversity, equity, anti-racism, and inclusion are addressed with various campus services, including Consent at Trent, Student Accessibility Services, and Trent International supporting co-op students in their journey. Additionally, the online Career & Workforce Readiness Modules were highlighted as a supplemental resource to this course and they provided students the opportunity to further learn, engage, and reflect on diverse career development topics.
Direct application to recruitment process and workplace
With an increase in non-linear career paths and employers desiring candidates with strong transferable skills, there needed to be a focus on preparing students for what they will encounter in the recruitment process and workplace.
Ramya Kolluru, a second-year Economics co-op student (Peter Gzowski College) was among COOP 2000H’s first cohort. “This course explores beyond just resume and interview tips: students learn how different personality types are suited for certain jobs, how important job strategies and career planning are, and the course readings are scholarly articles on job search process and career readiness,” said Ramya. “The easy-to-understand lecture videos and a super approachable professor made taking this online course accessible and comfortable. It helps you grow as a person and as a student seeking a co-op opportunity.”