How co-op cycle changes are beneficial to the UW community

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UW has updated their work term hiring process starting Fall 2020. Prior to this, the hiring process consisted of two rounds – main and continuous – spanning the entire duration of a term during which a student was applying followed by a direct offer period. The main round involved applying to a maximum of fifty job postings over the course of two weeks, after which interviews took place. The continuous round consisted of weekly cycles of applying and interviews, the results of which were announced every Thursday. 

Now, the idea of main and continuous rounds has been abandoned. The process now consists of six cycles that span roughly 12 weeks, followed by a direct offer period. In these cycles, students can initially apply to 50 jobs,  with increments of 50 in every new cycle. An extra employment cycle has also been added before the reading week to help bring about matches quicker. Cycles three to six are considered to be the “continuous round,” where jobs are posted daily and are only live for two business days.

I believe that these changes were made in order to facilitate the hiring process for students during current times of economic downfall. I see several advantages to this new process.

Firstly, having multiple cycles, instead of a single main round, encourages employers to post jobs more frequently since the number of applications they receive in each cycle is significantly less than the number they would get from the main round. Moreover, this means that employers will have fewer applications to sift through in each cycle which gives them more time to carefully consider each application they receive. This ultimately helps students by giving them more postings to choose from (150 in the first month instead of 100) and a fair chance at being interviewed. Interview results for the first two cycles are out before reading week. For many students, knowing they have secured a co-op going into their reading week is a huge relief. This takes off a lot of pressure and stress, allowing students to focus more on their academics without worrying about interviews and applications.

Overall, I think these changes, while not necessary, enhance the hiring process positively in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s really great to see the university helping people’s mental health one cycle at a time during these turbulent times.

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