FAQs for MBA Co-op students!

September 26, 2014

1. I emailed CPD – why didn’t you reply yet?email

Due to the high volume of messages our office receives, we adhere at a 24 hour response turnaround. That’s not to say we won’t respond faster than this, but our office hours are from 8:30am – 4:30pm each day (excluding weekends) and as such we try to refrain from responding to messages sent outside of this time frame.

If you are sending us an email, please don’t send it to every staff member in CPD. The best way to ensure your message gets where it needs to go is to send it to cbcd@mcmaster.ca or to one RM.

keep-calm-and-book-an-appointment-27 2. How do I book an appointment?

You can book an appointment directly in OSCARplus – once you log in, click on “Appointments” (on the left side of the screen) and follow the prompts. If you do not see any available appointments, it means the RMs are fully booked. We recommend checking multiple times per day, as the schedule is live (as soon as another student cancels, the spot will become available on your calendar). Unfortunately, if you come into CPD you will receive the same answer – what you see available is the same as what our staff sees.

events 3. Events in OSCARplus – what can I attend?

When you log in to OSCARplus, click on “Events” then “Business” (on the left side of the screen). This will bring up a calendar for all CPD events. From there, you can click on each event to view further details. Please make sure you do not sign up for an event if it is not targeted to you (for example, if you are a first year student, don’t register for a grad recruitment workshop that states “for graduating students only”) – you will be removed.

If there is a dress code specified, it will be listed in the event details. Students who do not follow the dress code will not be allowed into the event (no exceptions). Please refer to https://cpd.degroote.mcmaster.ca/2014/09/25/interview-attire-dos-donts/ for further dress code information.

If you need to cancel your registration for an event, you must do so prior to 9:00am the day of the event (if it is being held on-campus), or prior to 4:00pm the day before the event (if it is being held off-campus). Failure to follow this policy will result in a no-show message. If you receive three (3) no-show messages within the academic year, you will be required to meet with Michelle Reyes, Manager, CPD with a potential consequence of losing OSCARplus access.

4. What is a drop-in? drop in

CPD holds weekly drop-in clinics for resume or cover letter review. Starting in October, the clinic will be held every Thursday morning from 9:00am – 11:00am. You must sign up in-person, and sign-up begins at 8:30am that day. You will need to bring a hard copy of the one document you would like to review to your session.

confused5. What is the difference between an appointment and a critique?

Each student has an opportunity to book three (3) appointments per term (30 minute in-person coaching sessions for resume/cover letter review, interview prep, job search strategies, etc). If you move into Phase 2, you are entitled to one (1) additional coaching session.

You can also email in your resume and cover letter three (3) times per term (each email counts as one critique, so be strategic – send a resume and cover letter together. If you send them separately, it will count as two (2) critiques. Please send your documents to cbcd@mcmaster.ca (not directly to an RM). The documents must be in Word format (no PDFs!), and will be emailed back to you within 4 business days.

6. How many jobs should I be applying to?  dream-job

In Phase 1, it is recommended that you apply to 15-20 jobs. Remember – you must attend every interview you are selected for. That means that if you apply to 60 jobs and are selected for 40 interviews, you need to ensure you have enough time to research and prepare for each interview, in addition to planning out your travel time. Don’t overwhelm yourself – and most importantly, don’t stress about not applying to enough jobs. Make sure your cover letter is well written and specific to each role – quality matters over quantity.

7. What to include in cover letter?

The cover letter needs to be different for every single job you apply to. It is important the skills you are highlighting in your cover letter match those that are listed in the job posting. For example, if you are applying to a marketing job, the employer doesn’t care that you know C++ (unless the job description specifically mentions this!). If you are applying to multiple jobs at the same company, you must write a new cover letter for each role.

grades8. The employer is asking for my transcripts – what does that mean?

Some employers will ask for a transcript to be included as part of an application. As you do not have any MBA marks yet, you should use the grades from your last two years of your undergrad. I recommend creating a chart listing the course title (not just the course code) and your grade. Please remember to include your name on this. The employers are aware that you will be submitting an unofficial transcript.

communication telephone9. When will I hear back from employers?

Interviews take place from Monday, October 6th to Wednesday, October 22nd. CPD asks employers to give at least 48 hours’ notice to book interviews – which means that technically, you could hear back as late as October 20th. CPD follows up with each hiring manager every 2-3 days after a role closes, and as soon as our office has any details, your application status in OSCARplus will be updated from “Application Submitted” to “Not Selected for Interview”, “Selected for Interview”, etc. Interviews will also be taking place the Friday of the Thanksgiving long weekend (October 10th).

It is essential that you are proactive in checking your McMaster email multiple times per day, as CPD will email you if you’ve been selected for an interview and you will need to log in to OSCARplus right away to select your preferred interview time. If you fail to sign up for a spot in a timely manner, CPD will call you (and we don’t like to do that!), as the employers are often looking to receive the finalized schedule quickly.

 10. Where will my interview be held?

The majority of interviews are held at the RJC – however, it is important that you look at the notes in the schedule when you sign up for an interview. It will be clearly indicated if the interview is on or off campus, and if so, the address. Many bank roles will interview in Toronto.

For interviews at the RJC, please check in with Pamela in CPD (room 333) 10 minutes prior to your interview. She will let you know what waiting area to sit in (the right or left side of the third floor). You can leave coats, bags, etc at her desk if needed while you are interviewing. Please don’t knock on an interview room door – the interviewer will come get you when they are ready.

suit up11. Do I really need to wear a full suit to my interview?

Yes – please read this article for further information.



Looking for your first co-op term is always tough. It is stressful trying to manage your job search, while still keeping up with coursework.  50% of students seeking a role last winter were successfully matched in Phase 1.  We have already surpassed the number of roles posted in Phase 1 last year – there are plenty of opportunities.


Pamela Galan is the Associate, Recruitment Programs (MBA), and is the “face of CPD” at the Ron Joyce Centre. She posts Co-op, summer and graduate recruitment jobs, answers general inquiries, schedules interviews and follows up with employers, and assists students with OSCARplus related issues.


Pamela’s Fun Fact: Her desk is covered with pictures of kids – not hers! She’s the aunt of 3 year old Jesse and 1 year old Emma, and you might be lucky enough to meet them during one of their many visits to see Aunt Pam hard at work.

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