Your Work Term

First Day of Work & Tips for Success Thereafter

You've made it! Your work terms are the entire reason that you've put in so much effort since starting in the program.

The impressions you leave at the workplace have significant impact on your success on the job, your future and the University. You are an ambassador of the Arts & Science Co-op Program and of the University of Toronto.

Remember -- even though you're off-campus, we're still here for you.  If you have questions or need some guidance along the way, you can check in with your Work Term Engagement Coordinator for advice and support.

On this page:

Five Tips For a Smooth and Successful Work Term

Here are some guidelines to help you be as successful as possible: 

  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.  That includes staying for the entire duration of the work term(s). Remember, if you have any questions, please 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 work well rested, on time and for the duration of your work day. Punctuality and attendance are key.
     
  3. Stay in touch with your Work Term Engagement Coordinator
    After working with you while job searching, your Work Term Engagement Coordinator would love to know how you are doing while on work term and offer any support or advice to help you succeed at work.  Keep in touch while you are on work term and share our experience. 
     
  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. Showing you can handle the work can lead to additional projects or more complex tasks.
     
  5. Ask questions + Take notes
    Employers tell us that the best co-op students aren’t afraid to ask thoughtful questions or take initiative to propose solutions to challenges that they encounter. By asking questions and taking note of the answers, you’ll show that you’re engaged in your work and you want to learn more about your job and how it fits into the bigger operational picture. This makes you a better employee! 

Completing a Course While on Work Term

Transitioning to the work place takes some adjustment as you get to know your new team, your supervisor and how the organization works. While on work term, your number one priority is to your employer. Because of this, picking up a course while working can prove challenging. We strongly advise that you dedicate 100% of your attention and energy to on-the-job success. However, if you are considering taking a course while on work term, you should only consider courses that are offered outside of work hours or online. You should not request any time off or an adjusted work schedule to study or attend classes. 

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