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Co-op Student, Connery Friesen, with EQ3 placement supervisor Thom Fougere

First year success for Cooperative Education

November 19, 2018 — 

The Faculty of Architecture’s Cooperative Education / Integrated Work Program (Co-op/I) is in full swing. Sixteen students earned job placements in summer 2018 with employers in Winnipeg, Selkirk, Toronto, Edmonton, Victoria and China. Two students remain in year-long positions, and we aim to broaden the work opportunities for 2019.    

During mid-summer on-site meetings, we repeatedly heard how impressed employers were with the caliber of applications and portfolios, and with the strong skills and versatility of students. These work terms are nurturing the next generation of design professionals. Employer feedback and returning students are invigorating life and learning in the Faculty of Architecture.

While every keen student who applied to the Co-op/I program in its pilot year did not secure a summer placement, 60% of applicants earned job interviews and everyone participated in career-development workshops, while gaining awareness of diverse professional paths.

The Co-op program is a great opportunity for the university and the profession to connect. Grounding students with real-world scenarios can be a huge eye-opener and by no means does this diminish the exploration offered through their academic experience. Similarly, it’s a great opportunity for practitioners to be reminded about where they came from and that architecture is most fruitful when ideas and exploration are integral to the practice. Glen Gross, Architect at 1×1 architecture inc.

Experiential Learning for all Disciplines

Designed to complement and enrich academic study with work experience, the Co-op/I program responds to alumni and student input, while advancing the University of Manitoba’s strategic planning priority of “Inspiring Minds” by increasing opportunities for experiential learning.

The Cooperative Education / Integrated Work Program option is open to any Faculty of Architecture student in good standing who has completed 85 credit hours of University studies. This includes students in the last two years of the undergraduate Environmental Design program (ED3 and ED4) in any option – Architecture, Interior Environments, or Landscape + Urbanism; and students in the Architecture Master’s Preparation stream (AMP1 and AMP2). Graduate students in any professional program – Architecture, City Planning, Interior Design, and Landscape Architecture – may, with permission, also participate in work terms.

The Faculty of Architecture’s Co-op/I program meets the province of Manitoba’s definition of Co-op, making employers eligible for the Manitoba Paid Work Experience Tax Credits.

The Co-op program has given me the opportunity to build relationships with architects and designers outside of Winnipeg. Being a member of Stantec in Edmonton this summer has been essential to my education and has changed the way I approach design. The range of work and scale of projects they have offered me as a Co-op student has been exciting and beneficial to me, especially as I approach my thesis year. Katelynn Schutz, Graduate Architecture Student

Ready to hire a student for summer 2019?

Students will begin applying to available positions in February and March for placements beginning in May.  If you are interested in hiring a Faculty of Architecture student in a paid position, please forward the following information to the Co-op/I Coordinator, Corrine Klekta:

  • Job Title
  • Job Location
  • Length of term (min. 10 weeks)
  • Job Description
  • Job Requirements / Qualifications
  • Application process (contact info)

We aim to be flexible and accommodating for both employers and students as we continue to develop this new program. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Program Coordinator, Corrine Klekta at faumcoop [at] umanitoba [dot] ca, or visit the Faculty of Architecture’s Cooperative Education website.

2018 Testimonials:

The Co-op program benefits both students and employers. Employers offer students experience in day-to-day practice to balance their education and boost their CVs. Students offer employers insight into current educational teaching and trends as well as a fresh perspective on design. I highly recommend the Co-op program to any student intending to practice after graduation.Nadine Pearson, Architect, Number TEN Architectural Group

I remember the nervous exhilaration of my first architectural jobs while still a student at Carleton University. These experiences gave me the confidence and conviction to land a job in New York City upon graduating. I’m thrilled now to be assisting students forge their own paths, and to help to make the bridges between academia and practice real.    Lisa Landrum, Co-op/I Academic Liaison and Associate Dean Research

Through my experience in the Asper Co-op program, I became convinced that experiential learning opportunities are of the utmost importance in a young professional’s early career development. I am passionate about bringing these opportunities to the Faculty of Architecture and ensuring that Co-op/I students are provided with the mentorship, coaching, and work term experiences essential to excel in today’s planning and design industries. Corrine Klekta, Faculty of Architecture Co-op/I Program Coordinator


Thank you to the 2018 participating employers:
1×1 Architecture Inc., Winnipeg
Alberta Infrastructure, Technical Services Branch, Edmonton   
Beijing Institute of Architectural Design / Zhuxiaodi Architects, Beijing
BLDG Architecture Office Inc., Winnipeg
Brown & Sons Construction, Selkirk
D’Ambrosio Architecture + Urbanism, Victoria
EQ3 Ltd., Winnipeg
HPP Architects, Shanghai
Kindret Landscaping Inc., Winnipeg
Number TEN Architectural Group, Winnipeg
Stantec Architecture Ltd., Edmonton
Urban Strategies Inc., Toronto



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