How does an internship compare with a co-op placement?

Internships and co-op placements are two different kinds of Work-Integrated Learning (WIL, for short). Both  provide practical, hands-on experience in a workplace as well as opportunities for professional networking.

Co-op programs vary from institution to institution, so it’s hard to draw a straight comparison between a “typical” co-op work term and a Mount Allison internship. We can say, though, that Mount Allison’s internships that take place within organizations include several features that you may or may not find in a co-op program:

1Training to help you find your way in the workplace. We provide a full day of pre-placement training, Organizations 101, to help you settle quickly and easily into your role. This interactive workshop shows you how to play from your personal strengths, strengthen your ability to perform under pressure,  and work effectively in a team environment.


2A role structured to maximize opportunities for personal and professional growth. Our Ron Joyce Centre Internships are designed to incorporate four “success factors”: meaningful work, meetings, feedback, and an independent project. Other internships require students to design their own learning objectives and report on their progress toward them.


3A guided reflection process to deepen your learning. To truly learn from your internship, you need to connect what you’re doing on the job with what you’ve learned in class, with your career goals, and with your sense of who you are (and are becoming). You’ll write at least three written reflections, which will be shared with your fellow interns. You’ll also participate in a live reflection session, which will give you the chance to take your summer of learning to an even deeper level.


4A strong support network. Whether your internship is in Sackville or halfway around the world, you’ll stay connected to your peers in the internship program through an electronic forum. Many interns tell us how helpful it is to be able to share their written reflections with other interns who may be in very different circumstances but are going through a similarly high-growth experience.


What if I want to do an entrepreneurial internship?
Question MarkLike our other internships, our Reisman Internships, which fund entrepreneurial and social ventures, include:

  • Elements of Organizations 101
  • Learning plan
  • Regular reporting, which includes reflection
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Connection to a network of current Reisman interns and Reisman alumni

Whichever kind of internship you choose to do at Mount Allison, you’ll have a well-designed program and personal support throughout your experience.


Curious to learn more? Feel free to get in touch!