FAQs on the Co-op Process & Experience

Experiential learning is a distinctive feature of a Northeastern education and is at the center of our approach to learning at the Roux Institute.

A cooperative education experience, or Co-op, is the cornerstone experiential learning opportunity for Roux learners.

Learn More about The Roux Institute and contact us.

FAQs on the Co-op Process & Experience

The Roux Team closely partners with employers to develop engaging and meaningful co-op opportunities for our talented and motivated students. For six months at a time, co-op students become fully immersed team members who work as full-time employees. Supervisors partner with their co-op students to develop learning objectives and goals at the beginning of their co-op, coach and mentor them throughout the co-op experience, and then review the student’s performance in an online performance appraisal and during a one-on-one meeting at the end of their co-op experience.

Northeastern has two co-op hiring cycles – July – June, and July – December.

January – June Cycle: Learn more

We encourage employers to post positions by mid-September so students can begin to review them as they acclimate to their Fall courses; however, employers are welcome to post job descriptions throughout the summer. There is no deadline to post a co-op position. Co-op Advisors meet with students in September to review previous experiences, set goals for the upcoming co-op search, and guide and support students through their co-op searches and career exploration.

The University recommends that employers begin to access resumes and contact students for interviews starting in early October. You do, however, have access to review resumes in real-time and can schedule interviews at your convenience. We strongly recommend that you include your target recruitment dates in your job postings on NUworks, as this helps students structure and manage their searches. Your Co-op Advisor can work with you to identify a target interview date.

The co-op interview and offer process is fast-paced. We encourage employers to limit interview rounds to two (maximum) and to follow up with students within a week of the interview, optimally sooner, if you would like to make an offer.

July – December Cycle: Learn more

We encourage employers to post positions by early February so students can begin to review them as they acclimate to their Spring courses; however, employers are welcome to post job descriptions throughout the Fall recruitment cycle. There is no deadline to post a co-op position. Co-op Coordinators meet with students in January and February to review previous experiences, set goals for the upcoming co-op search, and guide and support students through their co-op searches and career exploration.

The University recommends that employers begin to access resumes and contact students for interviews starting in early March. You do, however, have access to review resumes in real-time and can schedule interviews at your convenience. We strongly recommend that you include your target recruitment dates in your job postings on NUworks, as this helps students structure and manage their searches. Your Co-op Coordinator can work with you to identify a target interview date.

The co-op interview and offer process is fast-paced. We encourage employers to limit interview rounds to two (maximum) and to follow up with students within a week of the interview, optimally sooner, if you would like to make an offer.

January – June Cycle: Typical co-op work dates are January 2 – June 30.

July – December Cycle: Typical co-op work dates are July 1 – December 23.

*Some employers may adjust these dates slightly based on their work needs and holiday schedules.

Northeastern utilizes NUworks, powered by Symplicity. You can post open co-op opportunities and review applicants’ resumes through our NUworks portal. If it is your first time logging in, or if you need to reset your password, you can click “Forgot Password” to reset your account. Your email address will serve as your Username.

If you need to create an account, or if you would like a refresher on utilizing NUworks, please review our NUworks Co-op Employer Quick-start Guide.

A compelling and inclusive job description will help you to attract a diverse pool of students and drive applications to your role. The Roux Career & Co-op team is committed to acknowledging and embracing the unique identities of each member in our community, and we are committed to supporting our employer partners in their pursuit of a more equitable society. If you have any questions or would like feedback on your job description, your Co-op Advisor will be happy to work with you!

Additional resources to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in your recruitment practices can be found on our Employer Engagement Diversity Recruiting Support page.

A few of our quick tips include:

· Avoid unnecessary “corporate speak” or industry jargon, which can be a barrier to young talent

· Be specific with your co-op job title (e.g. rather than “Marketing Intern,” use “Social Media Marketing Co-op”).

· Share information about your organization such as a link to your company website or relevant press. Showcase the organization’s values wherever possible. · Avoid “gender-coded” words.

· Does your company have a Diversity and Inclusion Group or Employee Resource Groups? Be sure to mention them when describing your organization.

· List the day-to-day tasks that the co-op student will work on. You may want to share information about projects that past co-ops have completed or what you anticipate the new co-op will take on.

· Clearly outline the required skills and experience needed for the job. Be as specific as possible (e.g., Instead of “Excel Skills,” list “vLookups required, macros a plus”). Also, share any qualities that you feel a great co-op would possess (e.g., “comfortable communicating on the phone” or “enjoys analyzing data to find solutions to problems”).

· When considering skills, also demonstrate the learning opportunities and overall impact the student can make in the role.

· While you may require a cover letter as part of your process, many employers have found it more effective to request a writing sample instead. Some students may be deterred from applying to jobs with lengthy application requirements.

· If you have a company-specific job link that the student must complete in addition to applying in NUworks, please include it at the top of the job description with clear instructions.

· We recommend including an application deadline in your job description to help students plan and navigate the search process. Providing an application deadline will also guide students to apply within your desired timeframe.

· You are encouraged to include the hourly pay rate in your job posting.

· You are encouraged to indicate expectations for in-person, remote, or hybrid work schedules in the job description and during the interview process.

We recommend that employer partners pay a competitive wage. The below table represents the average wage by co-op placement across Roux programs including the lower 25%, the overall average, and the upper 25%.

You should directly schedule interviews with students. You may reach out to students via phone or email to coordinate these meetings. Please be conscious of students’ academic responsibilities and, whenever possible, offer multiple time frames.

We discourage students from missing class for co-op interviews. As a co-op employer, you play an important role as an educator in the student university experience, and we appreciate your cooperation in supporting our students’ learning.

When scheduling interviews, you may find it helpful to use free online tools such as Doodle and Setmore. Many of our employers have used these resources to streamline the interview process.

We know that many employers are working remotely due to COVID and will be interviewing co-ops virtually. We encourage you to review this list of remote interviewing resources that many of our employer partners have successfully used to conduct video interviews with candidates.

When you have identified a candidate to whom you would like to make an offer, you should directly contact the student to extend your offer. When making the offer, you should share the compensation rate, work start date, any training dates, and any contingencies, including background checks or pre-employment screens, with the student. You do not need to have a formal offer letter ready at the time of your verbal or written offer; however, following the verbal/emailed offer, you should send a formal offer letter on company letterhead.

Please also contact the Co-op Advisor that works with your company to update them on the offer process. The University recommends giving students three business days to make a decision on your offer. You can decide whether you would like to provide more time.

Yes, you will be asked to complete a short assessment of your co-op student(s) near the end of the co-op term. You are encouraged to review this assessment with the student before submission. While there are no formal assessments to be completed while the co-op is underway, we suggest holding regular meetings with your co-op student throughout the work term to provide feedback and discuss growth opportunities. An informal, mid-point evaluation is recommended.

Please review the Employer Engagement and Career Design Handbook, which defines the university-employer relationship and employer expectations; note, in particular, that Northeastern students must be hired as employees, not independent contractors of your organization.

Our Northeastern University Employer Engagement and Career Design group partners will be happy to help!