My Experience With The Job Hunt

Marieta’s post, Apply, Interview, Rank, Repeat, is a great post on what the co-op job hunting process is like. Everyone has their own personal experience with the job hunting process though, so I thought I would share what my experience was like with this first co-op term.

Job hunting is stressful, to say the least. While you’re drowning in school work, you’re expected to carry the weight of having to find a co-op job on your back. It’s tough. Reality is, as a first-year student you’re going to run into more challenges with the job hunt than upper-year students. Experience is important and it’s something that comes with time. When I say experience, I’m talking about all sorts of experiences from work experience to experience in your career field. What kind of knowledge do you have in this specific area? How about that area? It is perfectly okay to not know many things and you have to accept yourself for this lack of experience and knowledge.

To keep things simple, you need to know that there are two rounds. There is the first round where you apply within a week and then afterwards, applications are closed and the interview process happens. Typically, this is where a good chunk of the upper-year students and a lucky bunch of first-years get hired. Afterwards, there is the continuous round which is where new jobs get posted daily and you can apply to as many jobs as you want.

I got two interviews in the first round, and was ranked for both. I had an interview with Curtiss-Wright for their Controls Defense Solutions sector, and Skywave Mobile Communications. I was ranked for both and didn’t end up with either jobs. I was disappointed.

In the continuous round, I ended up getting a few interviews in November and then I was scheduled for seven interviews during the two weeks of exams. I ended up with four interviews in one day hours before my ECE105 exam but when rankings came out, I received two offers and I accepted the one for General Dynamics. Between the start of the continuous round and my wave of interviews though, I had to apply to about 150 jobs both on Jobmine and outside of Jobmine. I started sending my resume to companies and received either no responses or a rejection from these companies. It was incredibly disappointing to see new emails popping up each day saying that the company is not interested in hiring you or they have already selected someone else. That’s hard when the end of the semester creeps up and you’re still unemployed.

So for me, it took hundreds of applications to receive thirteen interviews, eight of which I attended. What I guess I’m trying to say is, don’t ever give up even though it can be incredibly tough. Co-op may seem like a very positive thing but it’s not always easy to get and you should never feel bad about not having a job for the first couple terms.

If you’re looking for co-op right now, good luck! Let me know if I can give you any sort of tips or suggestions. :)

1A Electrical Engineering
University of Waterloo


7 thoughts on “My Experience With The Job Hunt

    • It depends on the company. For me, I received $1000 for relocation from my company. Most of my friends did not receive anything for relocation. Some received less for relocation. One of my friends received free housing from their company. It really depends on the company.

    • You are required to complete 5 out of the 6 co-op terms, but I am not sure what happens if you miss more than one co-op term. I haven’t heard stories of student missing more than one co-op term before, but I can reassure you that the staff at uWaterloo will give you the assistance you need to get the five co-op terms you need to graduate. The employment rate for the Engineering faculty overall is very high at 95% so I wouldn’t worry about it. Your first co-op term will always be the hardest to find but there are definitely ways that you can become more employable and the uWaterloo staff will always help you out.

      I honestly think that sometimes, the key is to not be too picky. Your first couple of co-op jobs may be what you consider “bad” but a job is a job sometimes when you’re desperate to get those 5 terms in, you’ll just do it. Every single co-op job has its pros and cons, and it’s all based on how you think of it. Not everyone gets to work at big companies and earn lots of money, and that’s reality. I can guarantee you that you will learn something valuable in each job that will help put you ahead of the game in the future compared to other students who do not have the opportunity to do co-op terms during university.

    • Typically, the ECE (Electrical and Computer Engineering) class will begin with approximately 10% females. In 2012, the stats showed that the program was 10.8% female. These numbers will change over the years as people leave the program for various reasons. I have found that there are more females in Computer Engineering than Electrical Engineering though, but I see these stats as fun facts more than anything. When you do what you love, it is the team that you work with that matters and not so much individuals. :)

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