Students in the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) will be mixing the workforce with the classroom in the next three years. By 2017, TRSM will be offering co-op placements for all five of its full-time undergraduate programs.
The school of accounting and finance and the school of hospitality and tourism both launched their co-op programs in September and are in the process of planning students’ first work terms for May 2015.
The school of retail management will be introducing co-op in the 2015-2016 year. The school of business management will also be rolling out co-op programs for all eight of its majors from 2015-2017.
Before this year, the school of information technology management was the only TRSM program to offer students co-op placements. Its co-op program launched in 1997.
Students accepted into the new TRSM co-op programs will be given the opportunity to work five four-month work terms distributed over five years. Work terms for all TRSM programs will begin after completing two years of the program’s degree. To students’ delight, they’ll be paid for their co-op work.
Stefan Kerry, manager of Ryerson’s co-op office, said The school of accounting and finance has already admitted 30 students into its co-op program. He says the program received 60 applicants with the minimum academic requirement of a 3.33 cumulative GPA.
The school of hospitality and tourism received 12 applicants with the program’s minimum academic requirement of a 2.80 cumulative GPA, said David Martin, director of TRSM’s school of hospitality and tourism.
He said only seven students have been accepted into the co-op program’s first year so staff can “work the bugs out.”
In fact, most of TRSM’s co-op programs will start on a smaller scale.
Business management students can expect only 10 to 20 co-op positions available per major, while the school of retail management expects to offer students 10 co-op positions when the program launches.
“By starting with a small cohort of students, you have a better opportunity of finding those students success than by, say, opening it up to everybody and having a small fraction of students gaining (job) opportunities,” said Kerry.
Danny Su, a second-year real estate management student, said that TRSM offering small numbers of co-op positions is “fair but also unfair.”
He explained that its fair because it’s new and needs to be tested; but unfair because the popularity of co-op means many students will be missing out.
Nonetheless, Su still sees the co-op opportunity for real estate management students as a good thing.
“It’s getting so competitive in today’s world to find a job,” he said. “Getting placed in a co-op can help you to build relationships with companies.” Su plans to apply for co-op when the program rolls out.
Steven Murphy, the dean of TRSM, believes that implementing co-op throughout TRSM will have a “huge effect” on the reputation of the school.
“(Co-op) becomes one real strong marker of quality,” said Murphy.
He also said that co-op is one of the first things students inquire about at the Ontario Universities’ Fair.
According to Murphy, it was a faculty-wide decision to implement co-op throughout TRSM.