Skip to content
  • Print

Employer Guidelines

The School of Engineering has put together these guidelines and suggestions for co-op student employers and supervisors.
Prior to student arrival

  • Brainstorm to develop list of projects the student could be helpful with
  • Determine what department(s) and project(s) the student will be assigned to. If available, begin planning specific assignments
  • Assign a Supervisor and/or Mentor: Choose a mentor that will be able to answer technical as well as non-technical questions, as well as possibly help counsel the student on education and/or professional aspirations
  • Does the student need assistance with housing and transportation?
  • Prepare office equipment (phone, computer, workstation) and other office and/or HR related paperwork for the student

The first day of work
Provide student with orientation of:

  • Provide site map (buildings, parking lot, lunch room, business offices)
  • Provide office/building tour
  • Review office equipment (phone, copier room, computer, parking, timecard)
  • Discussion of company and office code of ethics
  • Introduction and discussion of employees and company structure
  • Discussion of professional behavior standards (dress code, work hours)
  • Discussion of how to deal with workplace issues such as harassment
  • Discussion of time management (timecards, breaks, lunch, appointments)
  • Go over expectations of the student, possibly including a job description
  • Provide any necessary safety training

Treat the student like a real employee

  • Encourage them to actively participate in meetings
  • Involve them in company events and activities

Ideas to strengthen the student's experience

  • Introduce and train student on new relevant computer software, if available
  • Provide hands-on training, such as taking the student into the field
  • Provide projects for the students that involve a range of activities including idea generation, design, product conception, manufacturing, testing, and/or quality control
  • Provide opportunities for the student to complete a written and/or oral project and/or presentation.

Examples of skills that students look to gain while on co-op

  • Lab skills
  • Project management skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Self-motivation skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Team-building skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills

Student Development and Evaluations
First week:

  • Discuss the student's short and long-term responsibilities and expectations
  • Discuss the path the student would like to pursue at the company
  • Suggest methods for tracking daily tasks


  • Follow up on student progress
  • Discuss co-op office staff site visit with student

Last week of term:

  • Discuss the industry and work experience with the student
  • Discuss any future opportunities within the company