Workplace Adjustment

Career Services provides the information below to help you make a smooth transition from campus life to your co-op work assignment. If you have additional questions, or you encounter a roadblock during your co-op experience, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Relocation and Housing

You will likely relocate for your co-op assignment. Employers may pay for car mileage, meals, or motel costs, depending on the distance, while you search for adequate housing.

Employer housing assistance varies widely. Some companies may supply housing or provide housing stipends, but most often you will be responsible for your own housing. Most employers are happy to help their employees with housing searches, so don’t hesitate to ask for assistance.

Preparing for your First Day on the Job

Things to consider before your first day on the job.

New Co-op Jitters and Adjustments

It is natural to feel nervous or excited in starting a new job. The logistics of moving and settling in will move by quickly. The co-op experience is the opportunity to find out what is involved in a chosen field beyond the classroom experience. 

Students who are beginning their first work assignments are often quite eager to jump into a project and apply their classroom knowledge in the work environment. However, basic tasks will often be assigned first in order to establish reliability and competence before inclusion in higher-level projects. No matter how menial or trivial the early duties appear, one's best efforts should be given. 

The spirit in which these initial tasks are tackled will be carefully noted by fellow employees. Failing to take them seriously may have a detrimental effect on assignment progression and possibly career opportunities. 

While routine duties may be assigned initially, being busy will become the norm. Industry changes rapidly, and some students report that their work levels may be very slow at some points, and then incredibly busy at other times due to new, unexpected projects and timelines.

During the "slow times" one can seek out other projects, even in different departments of the company. Initiative and work ethic rarely go unnoticed, and there is the opportunity to gain more knowledge about the company and industry.

If, however, there is a significant lack of meaningful, job-related work, please contact Career Services to discuss work-related concerns. The staff can only offer assistance and intervene when made aware of difficult circumstances.