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UBC Co-op (Arts)

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#1 KoreanHockeyFan


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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:16 PM

Hey guys. I'm entering my second year at UBC hoping to get into the Combined Poli Sci and Econ program (or dual majoring in both, haven't decided yet, any advice?) and I'm planning to apply for the Arts Co-op program. I have to hand in my application by the end of this September.

I just have a couple of questions.

First, how much does prior work and volunteer experience matter in terms of getting into the actual program? I have some work experience, but the fact that I have close to zero volunteer experience (big mistake on my part, and I can't believe I let it happen) is making me a little bit nervous. I don't think my GPA will prevent me from getting in, but it's the lack of experience that's problematic.

Second, I have to do a minimum of three co-op terms, but you can do an optional fourth one. I'm a little reluctant on doing it though because I'm going to be graduating an entire year late. Doing 3 however will only make me a semester late in graduating. Are the extra four months of work experience that valuable? Is it worth it?

Finally, how's the whole experience with getting the actual job and all? Quite vague I know, but that's only way I know how to put it :lol:

Thanks again CDC.

Edited by KoreanHockeyFan, 23 August 2012 - 09:18 PM.

#2 Common sense

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:59 PM

Lucky you, I'm a graduate of UBC Arts, and in particular did 5 co-op terms under Arts Co-op.

In terms of prior experience and volunteer XP, as much would be good, but showing you can learn on the fly and adapt to new workplaces is what co-op is looking for. When I applied (and got in on my first try in 2nd yr), all I had was 8 months of cashier experience at Safeway, but I had loads of stuff with student council, community volunteering events, and my high school leadership team. Co-op intake interviews aren't looking for what you have, but what your potential is. My grades were subaverage (about 70%) when applying, and this is taken into consideration - you need 72 or higher, but to screen yourself out before applying is doing yourself a major disservice.

In terms of graduating late, I hear this all the time when I'm talking to freshmen and sophmores, and I will yell - IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES TO GRADUATE. The fact is, co-op gives you a major leg-up on your classmates when you graduate - yes, you'll be 1 year behind, but that doesn't matter when you already have 1 year of work experience under your belt. Not only that, you'll have made friends with a ton of people who you can ask questions about for their career path. For me, the people in co-op and its alumnus helped me narrow down my career options with a BA, as well as set me up with workshops or their colleagues. I have had interview leads transpire because of co-op.

The experience is phenomenal, but in the end, I'm only one person. Don't believe me? Take it from co-op staff in BUCH C121 - they're all co-op alum (at least Merry and Roger are.) They can sit down with you even more to talk about what co-op is and help you weigh the pros and cons of the program.

Questions? Let me know - shoot me a PM and I'd be glad to help!

edit: Also, I know co-op has booths and whatnot for Imagine Day, as well as info sessions throughout September. I strongly encourage you to check it out - there will be students there as well sharing their experiences.

Edited by Common sense, 23 August 2012 - 11:01 PM.

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