Queen’s Commerce Co-Op

Many university programs in Canada feature co-op, or co-operative education as part of their curriculum. This involves integrating hands-on work experience into students’ degree programs.

Queen’s Commerce and the Smith School of Business does not currently offer co-op

This is arguably one of the biggest weaknesses with the program. Co-op provides students key opportunities to build essential skills in their fields. In our opinion, a Queen’s Commerce co-op department should exist by now. 

Sadly, there have been no public signs that Queen’s Commerce is building a co-op program or will in the future.

They do, however, have a Career Advancement Centre and have numerous internships opportunities for the summer. These are particularly for students after their second and third year.

The Pros and Cons of Queen’s Commerce’s Lack of Co-Op

The positive aspect of Queen’s lack of co-op, is that since students aren’t ‘handed’ a job, they are better able to hone necessary skills for finding a job. The Career Advancement Centre offers support to students to help them create and fine-tune their résumés and prepare for interviews. 

It’s up to students to speak to recruiters, network, and successfully obtain internships or jobs. This, of course, has its upsides and downsides. If someone doesn’t proactively try to obtain necessary job experience during their time at Queen’s it might be difficult for them to secure a good job later. 

Still, all business students need to learn how to take agency over their own careers. So, this is a very useful experience for business students and graduates that more accurately mimics the real world. 

In the past, Queen’s Commerce students have been successful at securing summer  internships.

For one illuminating example of one Queen’s Commerce student’s journey, here is the path of Joel Nicholson, Co-founder of Youthfully.

He found a summer internship at a school board after his first year at Queen’s. Although he had to find this internship on his own, after his second year at Queen’s, he landed a role as an Assistant Brand Manager at Unilever thanks to on-campus recruiting. 

After his third year, while still on exchange, he found a role at BlackBerry (formerly Research in Motion). 

After graduation, he wanted to work in management consulting abroad. The Career Advancement Centre specializes predominantly in helping students find jobs in Toronto, but the skills Queen’s Commerce taught him throughout his four years prepared him to lead a job search on his own. 

After graduation, he worked with Kearney in Australia for four years. He was based in Sydney and then Hong Kong.

Don’t let Queen’s Commerce’s lack of co-op deter you from considering this amazing school. If you’re interested in business, you should definitely consider applying. Check out our Youth Coaching services to learn more about how to be a successful candidate to Queen’s Commerce.

Also, check out our Queen’s Commerce Guide for a comprehensive breakdown of essential, need-to-know information for prospective applicants.

Joel Nicholson

Joel Nicholson is the Co-founder and CEO of Youthfully—a 1-on-1 Youth Coaching platform that helps students reach their full post-secondary potential. Before Youthfully, he graduated from Queen's Commerce, co-founded CampusRankings (acquired), and was a management consultant and a college professor.

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