Through your 4 Co-op work terms in the program, you’ll get the chance to gain 16 months of paid work experience in any field related to Biotechnology. You’ll be able to apply for jobs in private companies, academic settings, and public health centres, such as
- BC Cancer Agency
- National Research Council
- UBC (various departments, including Michael Smith Labs)
- SFU Biological Sciences Dept
- Institut de Recherches Clinques de Montreal
in a wide range of fields including
- Immunology and Physiology
- Food Science.
Some ways to find a job are through personal contacts, applying to postings on your institution’s Co-op website, and by contacting potential employers (usually academic) by email. Of course, it’s important that you have a strong resume and a professional, eye-catching cover letter. You could ask your Co-op coordinator to look over your resume and cover letter, and there are various workshops at BCIT and UBC for this purpose as well. Most students get jobs in March and April, although some have been know to be placed as early as December and as late as June (for summer terms).
Although the dates of your first work terms are quite set, you do have some flexibility over when you want your other work terms to take place (more info here).
1st work term – May to Aug after 1st year of program
2nd work term – May to Aug after 2nd year of program
3rd and 4th work terms – any 8 months, in one 8-month chunk, or two 4-month chunks, between Sept after 2nd year of program to Dec of your last year
Your job will be full time (35-40 hours/week), usually Monday to Friday (some have worked part of the weekend depending on the employer) for 3-4 (or 8) months, and you’ll be supervised by someone at your workplace. You will be paid anywhere from minimum wage to over $16/hour, and there is a Co-op work term fee of about $700 (2017), which applies to all Co-op programs. In return, you’ll get training relevant to your field, some new contacts, and hopefully some insight on your future career!