Going on Work Term

On this page:

5 Tips for a Smooth & Successful Work Term

You’ve made it! Your work terms are the entire reason that you’ve put in so much effort since starting in the program. Remember – even though you’re off-campus, we’re still here for you. If you have any questions or need some guidance along the way, you can check in with your work term engagement coordinator for advice and support. 

Here are some essential pointers to get you started on the right foot:

  1. Follow the terms & conditions of your employment
    While on work term, you must abide by the terms and conditions outlined in your employment contract or letter of offer and by your supervisor. Remember, if you have any questions, check in with your work term engagement coordinator.
  2. Be at work when you’ve committed to being there
    A big part of professionalism is building trust with your supervisor and the rest of your work team; in a new work environment, the first steps to accomplishing this is being where you’ve committed to be: at your desk, on time. Punctuality and attendance are key.
  3. Stay in touch with your work term engagement coordinator
    It’s important that you immediately report any concerns, problems or changes in work term circumstances or personal information so that we can help you successfully navigate any challenges. Remember: it’s our goal to support your success and can work with your supervisor to resolve any issues that may arise.
  4. Be excellent at the job you have right now
    It takes time to work your way up to your dream job. To get there, you need to prove that you have what it takes – and often, this will occur in other types of roles. By doing a great job at the one you’re currently in, you’re not only building the experience that you need, but also solidifying professional references that you can use to get closer to your career goals.
  5. Ask questions
    Employers tell us that the best co-op students aren’t afraid to ask questions or take initiative to propose solutions to challenges that they encounter. By asking questions, you’ll show that you’re engaged in your work, and you may learn more about your job and how it fits into the bigger operational picture. This makes you a better employee!

Taking Courses While on Work Term

While on work term, your number one priority lies with your employer. Because of this, picking up a course while working can prove challenging for even the most accomplished students’ work/life balance, creating competing demands for your attention and energy. This is why we strongly advise that you dedicate 100% of your energy to on-the-job success.

However, if you’re still considering taking a course while you’re on work term, you should only consider courses that are offered outside of your work hours.

How can I request to take a course?

Submit a Course While on Work Term Request form (PDF, 93 KB) by one of the following deadlines: 

  • Summer 2018
    Deadline: March 30, 2018
  • Fall 2018
    Deadline: July 13, 2018

From there, we'll seek approval from your current employer and the Co-op director. If your request is approved, your coursework must not interfere with your work term commitments. This means that you should not request any time off to study, attend classes, or write exams.

Note: You may not take more than 0.5 FCEs while on work term. 

Getting Fired or Quitting

We’ll investigate any situations where students are fired from their work term. During this time, you will not be able to seek another work term.

  • If you were dismissed without cause and are permitted to continue in the Co-op program, we will work with you to develop an action plan to support your future success
  • If, after our investigation, we conclude that you were dismissed with cause, the work term will be recorded on your transcript as a failed work term which will result in your removal from the program

Considering Quitting?

Check in with your work term engagement coordinator first to see if you can resolve the situation first. If there’s no resolution to be seen, you’ll need approval from the director or a designate to submit your resignation. Quitting your work term without prior approval will result in a failed work term and removal from the co-op program. 

Considering Residence While Going on Work Term?

When you sign your residence contract, you agree to meet the financial conditions of the contract and will not be released from them, even if your work term has you moving away from the area. If you’re living in residence at U of T Scarborough and plan to cancel your residence in order to accept a work term in another city, you need to follow the deadlines for residence cancellation. Failure to abide by these deadlines can result in loss of your full deposit.

To avoid violating your contract when living in residence, consider signing up for a four-month residence term only — even if you assume that your work term will be in Toronto. That way, if you land a GTA-based work term and decide to stay in residence, you can extend your residence contract.

Any additional questions? Contact:

Student Housing & Residence Life
Phone: 416-287-7365
Email: residences@utsc.utoronto.ca