Success Strategies

Success Strategies for Employers


  • Schedule a start date that works for you and the student.
  • Set aside a specific time for orientation and training.
  • Provide a tour of your facility and introductions to coworkers.
  • Provide an overview of company policies and procedures (for example, dress code, work hours, parking, lunch timeframes, use of social media, mobile phones, web, etc.).
  • Explain payroll process.
  • Establish a clear line of communication regarding the student’s supervisor, mentor and other leaders within the department and company.
  • Carefully review the job description and communicate how/when the co-op will be evaluated (Note: Georgia State University requires a midterm evaluation as well as a final evaluation – both of which can be easily completed via Handshake ).

Managing Your Co-op

  • Communicate with the co-op employee one month prior to her/his start date, letting them know logistical details regarding the start of their co-op.
    • Welcome the student to your company and give a short overview of what he or she can expect on the first day.
    • Give basic information regarding directions, parking, and dress code, etc.
  • Make arrangements in advance for the co-op’s workspace to be ready when they arrive (for example, IT setup, work email, access to necessary shared drives, etc.)
  • Provide regular verbal feedback to the co-op student regarding performance and suggestions for making the most out of the experience.
  • Provide opportunities for the co-op student to communicate and network with co-workers and hear professional histories and stories from members of upper management.

Best Practices

  • Designate a supervisor and mentor.
    • Supervisor – Individual to whom the co-op student will report, from whom they will receive instruction, and who will provide overall professional and technical support.
    • Mentor – Preferably a young professional with whom the student can occasionally go to lunch and talk about the overall experience of building a career in the field.
  • Provide a co-op student manual that includes the above information and any other information you will want students to reference.
  • Create social options for your co-op student, such as opportunities for them to interact with other co-op students and to network with coworkers and upper management.
  • Regularly provide informal feedback for your co-op about their performance, and schedule time in advance for more formal evaluations.

Formal Evaluations

  • Georgia State University requires two formal, written evaluations from the student and the employer – at the mid-point and a final evaluation. Both of these can be completed via Handshake .
  • Both a representative from the student’s academic department as well as a Cooperative Education Coordinator at University Career Services will review formal midpoint and final evaluations.