PEY Co-op Overview

Professional Experience Year Co-op Program (PEY Co-op)

A degree-long journey

Hosted by the Engineering Career Centre, the Professional Experience Year Co-op Program (PEY Co-op) prepares students for the world of work from first year all the way to their final year of studies. The program guides participants through a process of personal and career development to prepare for work opportunities that align with their personal career goals.

Learning activities centered around career preparation and workplace readiness culminate in two work term opportunities: the first for three to four months (summer after Year 2) and the second for 12 to 16 months (after Year 3).

DURING YEAR 1

Introduction to PEY Co-op

  • This year is all about exploration
  • The Introduction is six to ten hours of activity, which students access online at their own pace
  • It's designed to help students:
    • Get oriented to the program
    • Think about their career goals, and their objectives for PEY Co-op
    • Discover professional development opportunities (including U of T and Engineering initiatives, and student organizations)
    • Explore career and industry options
Engineering students at work

DURING YEAR 2

Preparatory program

Students will be guided through four e-learning modules, two each in fall and winter. The first two will help prepare them for the recruitment process, and the second two will help prepare them to transition into the workplace.

The modules are:

  • Develop Your PEY Co-op Job Search Strategy
  • Build and Manage Your Professional Brand
  • Prepare for Onboarding & Workplace Dynamics
  • Reach Out: Resources and Requirements

Recruitment cycle for summer work term

For students who choose to take advantage of the summer co-op work term, the recruitment cycle includes employer information sessions in early fall and early winter, as well as job applications through the ECC Career Portal and interviews.

SUMMER FOLLOWING YEAR 2

Summer work term

In order to satisfy PEY Co-op program requirements, students must obtain a minimum of 12 months’ consecutive work experience with one employer. The Summer co-op work term is an additional opportunity for PEY Co-op program participants.

It sets the stage for the 12-16-month work term, allowing students to experience the workplace with a shorter-term commitment while providing them with valuable real-world workplace skills. Students also build their professional network faster, and benefit from early access to high-profile companies.

Summer co-op work terms are paid roles of three to four months in length, and run from May through August after Year 2.

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DURING YEAR 3

Recruitment cycle for 12-to-16-month work term

Once students have completed the Preparatory program, they are eligible to participate in the recruitment cycle for the 12-to-16-month work term. This includes employer information sessions in early fall and early winter, as well as job applications through the ECC Career Portal and interviews.

FOLLOWING YEAR 3

12-to-16-month work term

(aka professional experience year work term)

This work term provides participants with 12 to 16 months of full-time work experience. It is fully paid, and the length of time allows students to work on meaningful projects, build their skills, and establish a solid reputation with their employer.

With approximately 360 hiring companies per year offering at least 1500 positions, there is usually a minimum of one position per student. Approximately 10% of participants work outside Canada.

The work term starts between May and September, and runs until May to August of the following year.

DURING YEAR 4

Return to school

Students return to school full-time and complete their degree with the learning and insights gained from a year or more of professional working experience.

They may choose to continue their involvement with the program by mentoring newer students as a Peer Coach or serving as a PEY Co-op Program Ambassador.

 

Additional activities throughout the program

Employer information sessions are a great way for students to become familiar with companies in the industry.

Supplemental events and workshops offered by the ECC cover topics such as:

  • Career Conversations with Alumni
  • Networking Sessions with Industry Professionals
  • Resume Hackathons
  • Mock Interview Meet-Ups

The University of Toronto community also organizes career fairs and conferences.

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