How Co-op Works

Once accepted into the MPPGA Co-op Program, students are required to complete at least one full-time, paid co-op position specific to policy-related professions as a complement to their classroom learning for a 4-month period during the summer (May-August) between their first and second year of study.

Work terms are a minimum of 420 hours, or 12 weeks in length, although most employers hire students for 12-16 weeks (4 months).

Students apply to the program at the beginning of their first year. The deadline for the 2019/2020 academic year is October 10, 2019 at 4pm.

Once accepted into the program, students will have access to the co-op jobs database, choose which positions they wish to apply for, and go through a “real world” hiring process: employers select the students they wish to hire. They may also work with a Co-op Coordinator to identify employers they may wish to approach together for a potential co-op position.

The Arts Co-op Program will coordinate a full-day pre-employment conference for all new MPPGA students, which will take place on January 17, 2020. The conference is mandatory for all new MPPGA co-op students. It will be facilitated by employers, alumni and current students, and co-op staff. Co-op students will receive additional one-on-one training and coaching on their job applications and interview skills from November through February.

Job application deadlines and interviews for positions starting in the Summer will occur in the proceeding term (January-April).

Students will go through a “real world” competitive process to secure co-op positions with support from co-op staff. This means that you are not guaranteed a position. As a co-op student, you will have access to a database of postings, choose which positions to apply for, and submit applications via the Co-op office. Employers review applications, select the candidates they would like to interview, and make any job offers through the Co-op office.

As MPPGA students desire to work on complex, multi-disciplinary issues and gain global policy experience, Arts Co-op Program staff will strive to market the program to employers across Canada and around the world, reaching a wide range and number of positions. As a result, those interested in taking part in the MPPGA Co-op Program are highly encouraged to ensure they will be able to accommodate a move from the start of their program of study, such as finding accommodation in Vancouver that allows for subletting while you are away. Doing so will also allow you to apply to more positions.

Some jobs, such as those within the Canadian federal government, are restricted to Canadian citizens for security clearance requirements.

A significant percentage of summer positions are also restricted to Canadians or permanent residents between the ages of 16-30 due to youth employment funding programs.

You become a regular employee in the workplace and are expected to complete assigned work and participate in workplace activities with other employees. As a result, you will get in-depth exposure to a particular workplace and to a range of tasks generally related to your field of interest.

During work terms, you will complete a series of career building assignments marked by co-op staff. You will also participate in mid-point and end of term evaluations with a Co-op Coordinator. Successful completion of each work term is noted on your transcript.

MPPGA co-op students have access to co-op staff for individual career advising appointments, enabling you to develop job search skills that will be of use during your co-op job search and after graduation.

New MPPGA students will pay a co-op administration and workshop fee of $176.75. This fee provides unlimited access to customized career coaching with co-op staff and customized online career development resources. Your program will cover the fee for the full-day workshop to prepare you for applying to co-op positions in the policy-related professions.

While on a co-op work term, MPPGA co-op students pay their regular tuition installment and continue to be considered full-time students eligible for student benefits such as the AMS/GSS Health and Dental Plan, the U-Pass, UBC resources and services such as library material, and student housing.

Each co-op work term appears on your transcript as a non-academic co-op credit placement course (Arts Studies (ASTU 501)).

While co-op can be a good method to assist students in financing their degree, money should not be the primary consideration for participating in the program.

The average Master’s student wage range is $16-22 per hour. Wages vary depending on the sector, e.g. some non-profits pay less than government positions. Wages are based on current labour market realities and are up to the employer to determine. MPPGA co-op students can expect to earn $2,250-3,400/month during their co-op work term.