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Updated on Tuesday, April 29

#18083

OMG: Why is it so hard for us regular students to find internships? (I am in CS).

I have been looking since fall 2013....

Its unfair how coops get preferential treatment (regardless of their grades).

17 comments

  1. bro, look at the tuition co-op kids pay (as well as co-op fees). "unfair"... LOL

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  2. my friend found a cs-related job at rbc without coop...it all depends on your ability

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  3. I wouldn't really say co-op people get preferential treatment, it's just that after the first couple of rounds, they have enough experience on their resume to go after good jobs, whereas you probably have very little experience. Keep your head up, do some side projects and contribute to open source.

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  4. Its because coop students have experience and previous internships. What I've learned as a coop student is that when you have previous experience, employers don't usually look at grades or your transcript.

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    1. This.

      What do you expect? You didn't get into co-op or you didn't apply. Of course you won't be able to take advantage of all the awesome resources.

      I know a guy who got his own co-op terms and he is also in regular CS. He has done this 4 times now, and his last one was at Amazon. If you have yet to find one, start looking through connections and referrals. It can be difficult if you have nothing to start off with.

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  5. It's because your a little bitch

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    1. Agreed.
      either switch into co-op
      or be good enough to be hired without co-op

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  6. In addition to what 2 to 4 mentioned, co-op students also come with 2-3k in tax credits for Canadian companies, which makes them more likely to take on (say) a first year student with no experience.

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    1. Ontario* companies, that is: http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/credit/cetc/

      Not sure about other provinces

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  7. The reason is because Waterloo has brainwashed all the local employers to only hire coops.

    I once tried to get a job at D2L. This was with a good resume (prior experience) and a fantastic reference. The response my reference got back was "even if this person is significantly better than all the co-op students, if the co-ops are good enough we will not hire your person. We only hire regular students if we absolutely 100% can't find a co-op." Same with on campus jobs... they'd leave them unfilled before giving them to a non-co-op. That's the kind of power CECA has in Waterloo, and it infuriated me.

    In Ontario, there are tax breaks for hiring co-ops. But federally, you can get a 5k grant for hiring a student into a summer job, co-op or not (more valuable than the tax back). It's not really "co-op or bust." My advice is that if you really want a job, start looking outside the tri-cities... you're going to have a lot more luck in Toronto, as they hire from UofT, Ryerson, Seneca, etc. there.

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    1. Employers in the GTA also prefer co-op students.

      Why would they turn down a Federal AND provincial tax break?

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    2. right, because there is no way that any coop student could be more qualified than you?

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    3. 7a: because co-op programs are still more rare than students in general, and not every co-op student is going to have the skills they need. Hiring employees in general is a large cost; while a few thousand dollars sounds like a lot to you as a student, it's peanuts to most employers. And in general, they're going to want someone qualified for their skills over someone that's a discount because of cost savings.

      7b: I assure you I have had people I'd be willing to work for at UW lament that they can't hire me because they're obligated to hire co-op only. CECA *wants* less skilled co-op students to get hired so they can get skills; it's a systematic thing, not an individual evaluation. The issue isn't that there might be co-op students more or less qualified... the issue is that you are only considered if *none* of the co-op students meet the minimum requirements, as opposed to being considered as part of the group of interviewees based on your skill levels.

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  8. OP Here: Thanks for your responses. I just posted it here to have some discussion on the subject...I expect (and expected) some of responses like #5 because that's the internet...whatever...

    I transferred from another program which is why I am not in coop. Had I applied to cs coop directly I have no doubt I would've gotten in (not to sound like I am bragging or anything....). Yes it is my fault I did not apply directly to cs coop but is it fair for me to be "punished" for this?

    I should mention that I have received offers for internships previously(but they were all unpaid). Does that make me a greedy person? I mean I have to pay for my tuition and cover osap loans SOMEHOW....

    I do have some small projects which I showcase on my resume to attract employers but from what all you've been saying....looks like I will need to wait until graduation to have any real chance....

    I just wish there was some more equity here.

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  9. A CS student who can't find an internship? There's no way you're trying nearly as hard as you could.

    Apply to the ycomb companies (https://news.ycombinator.com/jobs), look at AngelList to find a nice startup internship (https://angel.co/).

    Don't have the experience? Build something! If you don't know to, then learn. If you can't learn, then you shouldn't be in CS.

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    Replies
    1. OP here. No you shouldn't be in CS for telling me I can't be in CS. And I secured a position finally no thanks to Waterloo or Job mine or you.

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