What is a Co-Op?
A Co-Op is a rotational work experience for undergraduate students that usually includes working at least one fall, spring, and summer semester, for an accumulated twelve-month working experience in industry. Rotation schedules are negotiated between you and your employer, but you should always discuss your options with the Associate Director of Undergraduate Programs prior to setting any schedule.
College Co-Op programs are the best way for college students to earn a college degree, gain valuable work experience, make money to pay for college and position themselves for getting a job upon graduation. It’s a building process of learning, working, discovering and earning. Complement book knowledge with real-world experience. Learn on the job and what a particular profession is all about. Put your education into action in a real job, and when you return to the classroom you have a fresh perspective on how to approach your studies. Excerpted from one of the best summaries we've seen on the many benefits of "co-oping": Forbes.com.
When can I apply for a Co-Op?
Weldon undergraduate students may apply for a Co-Op after completing the first semester of their sophomore year. Juniors and seniors may also apply.
How do I apply for a Co-Op?
Students interested in pursuing a three-session Co-Op must apply online with the Office of Professional Practice. Once they have applied online, then they should attend the 3-Session Co-Op meeting put on by the Office of Professional Practice. After attending the meeting, students can set up an appointment with the Associate Director of Undergraduate Programs in Biomedical Engineering.
How do I find a Co-Op?
Take advantage of all the available resources to assist you in your search for an employer:
- Check out the list of biomedical engineering Co-Ops in the table above maintained by the CCO.
- Email or set up an appointment with the Associate Director of Undergraduate Programs.
- Visit the Center for Career Opportunities and the Purdue Writing Lab (make appointments) multiple times to polish your resume and cover letter. Your resume is your golden ticket to an interview. You should spend a substantial amount of time perfecting your resume and continually updating it.
- Attend Career Fairs:
Look for Co-Op opportunities on your own, then use the following resources:
- Networking: Family, Friends and Colleagues
- Visit myCCO
- Use online resources to find the perfect Co-Op
Partner with Us
The Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, along with the Office of Professional Practice, has established Co-Op relationships with a variety of industry partners. Our faculty and staff are committed to providing our students with experiential opportunities that will enhance their engineering education while providing industry partners with knowledgeable and affordable future employees. We are always seeking additional industry partners. Our faculty and staff are committed to providing our students with experiential opportunities that will enhance their engineering education, while providing industry partners with knowledgeable and affordable future employees. Industry partners interested in forming a Co-Op agreement with us may contact the Associate Director of Undergraduate Programs.
First Weldon Co-Op Sets the Standard
Ben Bauer (BSBME 2012) was the first Weldon School Co-Op student in May 2009 at Eli Lilly. “I was able to lead research on mechanical responses of skin in relation to injection methods," said Bauer. "This started out in the lab and progressed to me actually conducting a market research study, followed by a clinical study to prove my results. It was a unique opportunity.” The scope and responsibility of the Co-Op enabled Bauer to demonstrate a broad range of knowledge and abilities, and gave both Bauer and Lilly time to decide if they were a good match. They were. Bauer was offered a job with Lilly, and he is still there working as a development engineer. Read the full story in our spring 2014 newsletter.