By Diana Gebbia
There are plenty of great opportunities that come out of taking a co-op, so it may sound tempting for you to take one as soon as possible. Although it may sound like a good idea, there are plenty of advantages to waiting until your senior year to take a co-op.
A co-op helps transition from college student to a full-time worker. If one were to try to take a co-op during their freshman or sophomore year, it would be unwise. As a freshman or sophomore, you’re still getting used to your surroundings on campus, and you are either beginning or completing the transition from high school student to college student. It is important to get your feet wet with some college classes before attempting to take an internship or a co-op.
Another reason to wait until your senior year to take a co-op is that you most likely will have the opportunity to take an internship in your sophomore or junior year. As the saying goes, you need to crawl before you can walk. Taking an internship in your sophomore or junior year will allow you to gain some experience in a real job setting before taking on the challenges of a co-op.
A co-op does a great job of preparing you for life after graduation. It is an advantage to take one in your senior year — especially if you wait until your last semester to do so. Since you can take co-ops for a high amount of credit, it allows for the possibility of taking one or two classes with a co-op. This combination will help you adjust from a life of a college student to an employee. It will show you the responsibilities you will need to fulfill in the “real world,” and will give you a preview of your schedule after graduation comes.
Although taking a co-op early on might seem like a great idea, it really is better to be patient and wait until your senior year – particularly your final semester. The opportunities and benefits to waiting are endless.