While internships are popular on campus, UConn’s Co-Op Program is a lesser-known opportunity that students can take advantage of to get full-time, hands-on learning while making money. That’s right, co-ops are full-time, career-related work experiences that are always paid.
Much like an internship, co-ops (or cooperative education, if you want to get fancy) allow students to take skills learned in the classroom (Adobe Photoshop, AutoCAD or cost reduction, anyone?) and apply them to an organization at least 35 hours/week for six months. In addition to networking, building your resume and transferable skills, and seeing how your academics fit into a workplace, co-ops are paid, usually with an hourly wage or stipend. Last year the average student made $16,710 during their 25-week position.
While you’re working and getting paid, if you register for co-op through the Center for Career Development, you pay a nominal fee instead of regular tuition and can be released from your housing contract to live closer to work. You’ll still be considered a full-time UConn student, and can take up to four academic credits.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. But it takes preparation to secure a co-op and ensure that you’re managing your academic plan, since your focus will be on work instead of classes. Check out our Internship & Co-op Guide for more information, or attend Tuesday’s “What is a Co-Op?” presentation in Laurel Hall 101 at 3:30PM.