Large mining equipment on the job

Co-op on the Job

While on Co-op, you are using knowledge you've gained from coursework and applying it in a professional setting.


Keep an open line of communication with Co-op Program staff in the Engineering Career Center, and check your Cornell email regularly to be sure you receive timely communication.

The Co-op Companion Guide* is intended to assist with your transition from school to the workplace. We hope you will find the information within useful as you navigate through your first engineering job and perhaps your first independent living experience.

*Co-op participants can find the Co-op Companion Guide in the Announcements section of their assigned Co-op course in Canvas.
* Non-Co-op participants can request a copy of the guide via email at

Photo of Shuqing Coco Wu

The Co-op program provided me with valuable job experience as well as mentorship from experienced professionals. It helped me find my passion in the technology and business world.

— Shuqing Coco Wu '17

The Cooperative Education Program officially announced the Co-op of the Year award recipients at the 2019 Co-op Welcome Back Reception on September 5, 2019.

The Co-op Student of the Year Award is presented to one student each year. The nominations for the award are submitted by supervisors who have worked closely with a Co-op student that they feel has demonstrated leadership, initiative, and innovation in the Co-op position.

The Co-op Supervisor/Mentor of the Year designation is awarded to one supervisor or mentor each year. Students nominate supervisors and mentors who have helped them to grow in a professional capacity during their Co-op position by demonstrating leadership/mentorship, support, communication/feedback, and professionalism.

The 2019 Co-op Student of the Year Award recipient is Adrianne Han '20, a, Information Science Engineer.  Adrianne completed her Co-op Johnson & Johnson and was nominated for the award by her supervisor, Ken Mosca. Ken explained how Adrianne quickly grew from being a contributor on multiple projects to leading two clinical trial launches; he discussed specific examples of her professional growth in her progress communication, leadership, and networking globally.

Adrianne Han Accepts AwardCo-op Program Sign

Jonathan Dersch of Lutron Electronics is the recipient of the Co-op Supervisor of the Year Award for 2019. Jonathan was nominated by Zach Brothers '20, an Environmental Engineer. Zach described Jonathan's mentorship starting from his first day on the job. He gave many examples demonstrating the support that Jonathan gives to ALL Co-ops; with his skillful mentorship, Jonathan supported the students' professional growth by giving feedback and fostering communication throughout the term.

Dersch Award CertificateDersch Tower Award

2018-2019 Co-op of the Year Awards:

Co-op Student of the Year Distinguished Honors:

-Zachary Brothers, '20
Employer: Lutron Electronics
-Hyoann Choi, '20
Employer: Dr. Chang's Lab-University of Chicago
-Shirley Kabir, '20
Employer: Workday
-Brandon Koskinen, '20
Employer: PSEG
-Wes Tan, '20
Employer: Globality

Co-op Supervisor of the Year Distinguished Honors:
-Aditi Aggrwal, Workday
Nominated By: Shirley Kabir, '20
-Andy Judge, ASML
Nominated By: Kate Na, '20                   
-Christopher Kline, OneZero Financial
Nominated By: Jessica Tawade, '20
-Darren Lafreniere, OneZero Financial
Nominated By: Jessica Tawade, '20
-Mary Maci-Phelps, Charles River Development
Nominated By: Lu Li, '20
-Devin Plagge, Sandia National Labs
Nominated By: Srilekha Vangavolu, '20
-Joseph Schier, PSEG
Nominated By: Brandon Koskinen, '20

While on Co-op...

The required workshops, modules and reflection activities are found in the expandable sections below.


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Co-op Work Term Housing

In a recent survey of Class of 2019 Co-op students, about half of the survey respondents reported receiving some sort of compensation for housing. Some employers offer subsidized housing or housing stipends to assist students with the relocation.

Co-op students utilize various resources to find and secure housing for their work term. Some include:

  • Rental agencies
  • Local college on-campus housing (more availability in the summer)
  • Local college and university Facebook sublet groups
  • Web searches for sublets or short-term leases
  • Air BnB
  • Live at home

Obviously, the live at home option works best for someone who does a Co-op job search focused on a specific geographic region. 

Recruiters typically can provide guidance regarding housing options in their community. Given the variety of employer locations, our office is unable to advise you regarding housing options in specific locales. However, if a current or former Co-op student has worked at a location, we can put you in touch with each other. Reaching out to Cornellians in specific locations has also been useful for students.

Ithaca Housing Options for Junior Year:

On-Campus Housing: During your first Co-op work term, call the Housing Office in RPCC (607-255-5368) to apply for on-campus housing for when you return. You will then be placed on a waiting list for on-campus housing that becomes available.

Sublet: Some students lease an apartment for the entire academic year (usually June-June), and sublet the apartment for the time that they will be away. Other students choose to sublet someone else’s apartment for the semester they will be on-campus. 

Off-Campus Housing:

When posting a sublet, remember to include the following information: 

  • Location
  • Semester(s) available
  • Rent
  • Rooms
  • Amenities
  • Roommates
  • Contact information

Don’t forget to return to the site periodically to see if anyone has responded to your message, as some sites give people the option to either respond to the message within the forum, or to e-mail you directly.

Early Work Term Modules

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The following modules are designed to get you thinking critically about what you are learning and contributing during your Co-op experience.*

The following should be completed and returned to the Co-op Program via email within two weeks of starting your work term:

  1. Contact Information Form
  2. Student/Employer Expectations Agreement Form
  3. Learning Outcomes Form

*Students participating in the Co-op Program will be added to the Canvas course(s) associated with their work term(s). The required documentation must be submitted using the Canvas platform.

Mid-Term Evaluation

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Mid-term evaluation:

Performance feedback is essential for your professional growth; about 6 weeks into your work term, you should meet with your supervisor or mentor to discuss your progress and complete the assessment form.*

*Students participating in the Co-op Program will be added to the Canvas course(s) associated with their work term(s). The required documentation must be submitted using the Canvas platform.

    End-of-Term Reflection Activities

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    You will complete the following reflection activities at the end of each work term. These should be submitted within two weeks prior to the last day of the term:*

    1. Assessment of Student Performance
    2. Learning Outcomes Evaluation
    3. Work Experience Evaluation
    4. Job Summary

    *Students participating in the Co-op Program will be added to the Canvas course(s) associated with their work term(s). The required documentation must be submitted using the Canvas platform.

    Workshops For Success

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    Workshops for Success (WFS) are designed to prepare you for your Co-op experience in a professional workplace. In order to successfully meet the Co-op program requirements, you must complete four Workshops for Success- ideally before the start of your Co-op. Selected topics relate to the NACE Career Readiness Competencies.

    Examples of past Workshops for Success topics have included:

    • Developing and Maintaining Mentoring Relationships
    • Hit the Ground Running at Your Co-op
    • Designing Effective Workplace Presentations
    • Communicating Your Strengths

    WFS are offered during Co-op Summer Session.

    Co-op Participants who do not attend Co-op Summer Session must make arrangements with the Co-op Program to complete alternative assignments.