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The Co-op Process & Experience

The D'Amore-McKim Co-op Team closely partners with employers to develop engaging and meaningful co-op opportunities for our talented and motivated students. For four to six months at a time, co-op students become fully immersed team members who work as full-time employees. Supervisors partner with their co-op students to develop learning objectives and goals at the beginning of their co-op, coach and mentor them throughout the co-op experience, and then review the student's performance in an online performance appraisal and during a one-on-one meeting at the end of their co-op experience.

Why Hire a D'Amore-McKim Student

Northeastern University's cooperative education program is ranked No. 1 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Our students choose Northeastern for its emphasis on experiential learning and co-op. D'Amore-McKim undergraduates are equipped with essential skills that align with the needs of modern business, including data analysis, technology applications, cultural agility, effective communication skills, and an entrepreneurial mindset. Before their first day on the job, students complete a required co-op preparatory course and are ready to hit the ground running when joining your team. As a co-op partner, you will have access to a diverse talent pool, eager to contribute their skills and knowledge to your company.

Join more than 500 co-op partners across industries, and see how D'Amore-McKim students can contribute to your organization.

D'Amore-McKim has redefined business education, boasting exceptional undergraduate and graduate programs focused on the future of work.

Explore our Key Statistics and Rankings

Benefits of Hiring a Co-op

  • Nurture Future Talent
    Identify potential future hires who have up to 18 months of industry experience.
  • Prepared on Day 1
    Students participate in a required co-op preparatory course.
  • Diverse Perspectives
    Our students bring a diverse array of perspectives and experiences, fostering innovation and creativity. They contribute to an inclusive and collaborative work environment where unique ideas and solutions thrive.
  • Supportive Partnership
    Dedicated Co-op Faculty take time to understand employer needs, provide guidance on recruiting strategies and the best ways to engage with students, and address any concerns that may arise while a student is on co-op.
  • Flexible Co-op Terms
    Benefit from students working full-time for 4 or 6 months on long-term projects, making significant contributions.
  • Cost-effective
    Meet your hiring needs efficiently and affordably.

Stay Up-to-Date

To stay up-to-date with important co-op cycle logistics, tips, and news, consider subscribing to our quarterly employer newsletter, CONNECT! Read the April 2023, July 2023, or December 2023 issues of CONNECT to get a feel for the publication prior to subscribing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Northeastern's Co-op Program has two cycles: Spring (students traditionally work January – June) and Fall (students traditionally work July – December). The below graphs display the overall timeline for each cycle from recruitment to onboarding to evaluation and offboarding.

Official co-op work dates for the Fall 2024 cycle:

  • Four-month co-op: September 2 through December 20, 2024
  • Six-month co-op: July 1 through December 20, 2024

*Some employers may adjust these dates slightly based on their work needs and holiday schedules.

Official co-op hiring timelines for the Fall 2024 cycle:

Northeastern's Spring 2024 semester begins on January 8, 2024. We encourage employers to post Fall 2024 positions by early February so students can begin to review them as they acclimate to their Spring courses; however, employers are welcome to post job descriptions throughout the Fall 2024 recruitment cycle and there is no deadline to post a co-op position. Co-op Coordinators meet with students in January and February to review previous experiences and set goals for the upcoming co-op search, and continue to guide and support students through their co-op searches and career exploration.

The University recommends that employers begin to access resumes and contact students for interviews starting February 19 (please note that the university observes Spring Break March 2 – 10). You do, however, have access to review resumes in real time and can schedule interviews at your convenience. We strongly recommend that you include your target recruitment dates in your job postings on NUworks as this helps students structure and manage their searches. Your Co-op Coordinator can work with you to identify a target interview date.

The co-op interview and offer process is fast-paced. We encourage employers to limit interview rounds to two (maximum) and to follow up with students within a week of the interview, optimally sooner, if you would like to make an offer.

Northeastern utilizes NUworks, powered by Symplicity. You can post open co-op opportunities and review applicants' resumes through our NUworks portal. If it is your first time logging in, or if you need to reset your password, you can click “Forgot Password” to reset your account. Your email address will serve as your Username.

If you need to create an account, or if you would like a refresher on utilizing NUworks, please review our NUworks Co-op Employer Quick-start Guide.

A compelling and inclusive job description will help you to attract a diverse pool of students and drive applications to your role. The D'Amore-McKim Co-op team is committed to acknowledging and embracing the unique identities of each member in our community, and we are committed to supporting our employer partners in their pursuit of a more equitable society. If you have any questions or would like feedback on your job description, your Co-op Coordinator will be happy to work with you!

Additional resources to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in your recruitment practices can be found on our Employer Engagement Diversity Recruiting Support page.

View our sample job descriptions and see some additional tips below:

  • Avoid “gender-coded” words
  • Avoid unnecessary “corporate speak” or industry jargon, which can be a barrier to young talent
  • Be specific with your co-op job title (e.g. rather than “Marketing Intern,” use “Social Media Marketing Co-op”).
  • Share information about your organization such as a link to your company website or relevant press. Showcase the organization's values wherever possible.
  • Does your company have a Diversity and Inclusion Group or Employee Resource Groups? Be sure to mention them when describing your organization.
  • Share examples of projects the student may have ownership of or collaborate on with colleagues. List the day-to-day tasks that the co-op student will work on. You may want to share information about projects that past co-ops have completed or what you anticipate the new co-op will take on.
  • Clearly outline the required skills and experience needed for the job. Be as specific as possible (e.g. Instead of “Excel Skills,” list “vLookups required, macros a plus”). Also, share any qualities that you feel a great co-op would possess (e.g. “comfortable communicating on the phone” or “enjoys analyzing data to find solutions to problems”).
  • When considering skills, also demonstrate the learning opportunities, the technologies the student will be exposed to, and overall impact the student can make in the role.
  • While you may require a cover letter as part of your process, many employers have found it more effective to request a writing sample instead. The co-op hiring process can move very quickly, and some students may be deterred from applying to jobs with lengthy application requirements.
  • If you have a company-specific job link that the student must complete in addition to applying in NUworks, please include it at the top of the job description with clear instructions.
  • We recommend including an application deadline in your job description to help students plan and navigate the search process. Providing an application deadline will also guide students to apply within your desired timeframe.
  • You are encouraged to include the hourly pay rate in your job posting.
  • You are encouraged to indicate expectations for in-person, remote or hybrid work schedules in the job description and during the interview process.

We recommend that employer partners pay a competitive wage. The below table represents the average wage by co-op placement across business concentrations in Academic Year 2023, including the lower 25%, the overall average, and the upper 25%. You can also view the average wage by co-op placement and concentration, a more detailed breakdown.

PlacementLower 25%AverageUpper 25%
1st Co-op$20.00$22.00$25.00+
2nd Co-op$21.00$25.00$28.00+
3rd Co-op$22.00$27.00$32.00+
*All salaries converted to an hourly USD wage, based on a 35-hour work week, and inclusive of all concentrations

Please note that we require students to be compensated. Students do not receive academic credit for co-op.

If you are looking for additional guidance in setting the pay rate for your role, please contact your Co-op Coordinator.

You should directly schedule interviews with students. You may reach out to students via phone or email to coordinate these meetings. Please be conscious of students' academic responsibilities, and whenever possible, offer multiple time frames.

We discourage students from missing class for co-op interviews. As a co-op employer, you play an important role as an educator in the student's university experience, and we appreciate your cooperation in supporting our students' learning.

When scheduling interviews, you may find it helpful to use free online tools such as Doodle and Setmore. Many of our employers have used these resources to streamline the interview process.

We know that many employers may choose to interview co-ops virtually. We encourage you to review this list of remote interviewing resources that many of our employer partners have successfully used to conduct video interviews with candidates.

When you have identified a candidate to whom you would like to make an offer, you should directly contact the student to extend your offer. When making the offer, you should share the compensation rate, work start date, any training dates, expectations for in-person, remote or hybrid work, and any contingencies including background checks or pre-employment screens with the student. You do not need to have a formal offer letter ready at the time of your verbal or written offer; however, following the verbal/emailed offer you should send a formal offer letter on company letterhead.

Please also contact the Co-op Coordinator that works with your company to update them on the offer process. The University recommends giving students two business days to make a decision on your offer. You can decide whether you would like to provide more time.

  • Per federal law, hire your co-op student(s) as an employee, not a contractor.
  • Provide ample work related to the job accepted.
  • Help your co-op student(s) develop learning outcomes at the beginning of the co-op.
  • Provide your co-op student(s) with mentorship, training and the opportunity to network throughout the co-op.
  • Provide support and feedback to your co-op student(s). You will be asked to complete a short assessment of your co-op student near the end of the co-op cycle. You are encouraged to review this assessment with the student before submission. While there are no formal assessments to be completed while the co-op is underway, we suggest holding regular meetings with your co-op student throughout the co-op cycle to provide feedback and discuss opportunities for growth. An informal, mid-point evaluation is suggested.
  • Notify your co-op coordinator of any concerns as they arise.

Please review the Employer Engagement and Career Design Handbook, which defines the university-employer relationship and employer expectations; note, in particular, that Northeastern students must be hired as employees, not independent contractors of your organization.

Our partners at the Northeastern University Employer Engagement and Career Design group will be happy to help!


Co-op Employer Handbook

NUworks Co-op Employer Quickstart Guide

NUworks Co-op Employer Resume Guide

Welcome Packet: Onboarding Best Practices

Employer Tips for Working Remotely with Students