What is a Co-op?

Definitions for these experiences vary from university to employers. Many times, a co-op is also referred to as an internship:

"Co-op" usually refers to a summer or summer/semester based full time work experience. UMASS and the ISENBERG school use the term CO-OP to define a work experience that is PAID HOURLY.
• "Co-op" is a special, non credit bearing full time status given to students through the University so that insurance coverage continues uninterrupted and any loans taken do not come due.
• Co-op students can register for credits during the work experience. However, certain restrictions apply. Please check with the program director for additional information.

Many employers use the word "internship" to refer to summer opportunities that Isenberg considers a Co-op. It is imperative that when students talk to employers about available opportunities, that they learn what the position offers and what the employer expectations and recruiting timeframe are.

Co-op Recruiting Timeframes:

Summer Based co-op recruiting begins early spring semester. However, recruiting for top companies can begin as early as mid Fall.

Semester Based co-op recruiting occurs in the previous semester prior to the start of the co-op.

Benefits of Semester Based Co-ops

Do not let the possibility of graduating a semester late stop you from considering a semester base co-op experience. There are very real benefits to this kind of intensive work experience including:
• Work full time without losing your student status. This maintenance of student status is particularly important to student loans and insurance status and protects you from having to reapply to the university after you've been away.
• Full time co-op students do not pay tuition and fees as they are typically not earning credits toward their degree during the experience.