Co-op pivots to provide real world experience for students.
March is National Co-op & Work Integrated Month. Mohawk College was the first to offer Co-ops (1969), integrating relevant work experience and academic studies.
To help prepare co-op students for their upcoming online interviews with employers, Mohawk Co-op Specialists, Julie Farnand and Natasha Turgeon, turned to the faculty and students in the college’s Human Resources Management (HRM) program for their help in navigating the online interview process.
Working with Nicole Vincic and Joyce Savoie, the HRM Program Coordinator and faculty member, Julie and Natasha piloted a mock interview process for three days in February. They designed an online schedule for the HRM students to sign up for 20-minute time slots, including 15-minute mock interviews and 5 minutes of post-interview feedback. Nine HRM students participated in interviews with 32 co-op students from Software, Chemical, Biotechnology and Environmental Engineering. The event was very successful for both groups. Another mock interview session was planned in March where 36 co-op students were interviewed and the activity was marked as a simulation assignment for the HRM students.
“This is a mutually beneficial collaboration for students in both programs,” said Julie. “The mock interview process allows co-op students to become better prepared in their interviewing skills, which is vital, in this very competitive hiring market. The HRM students gain valuable practical hands-on experience, honing a skill that is imperative to their field.”
Nicole Vincic remarked “collaborating with Julie and Natasha provided the HRM students the opportunity to practice their interview skills. Students reported they valued the experience to practice their skills outside of the classroom and felt that it helped support their learning through real-life application.”
Julie said that since the mock interviews have taken place, several co-op students have been successful in attaining co-op jobs.
For more information on collaboration opportunities with Co-op, please contact Julie Farnand at firstname.lastname@example.org.