Donald K. Sherman
What looks best on a résumé is substantive experience. One benefit of cooperative education positions is that if they take place during the school year, they may give you the freedom to pursue other interests during the summer, such as studying abroad or working in a different field of interest. However, summer internships may allow you to dive more fully into your work without having to worry about classes and other activities. Ultimately, you have to weigh these decisions on a case-by-case basis. The most important questions to ask yourself when considering an internship or a cooperative education position are “What am I going to be doing?” “What can I learn?” and “How can I apply what I learn to my future academic and career goals?” The answers to those questions will help you discern which option is better at that particular point in time.
Get more answers to important questions about your future career in our Internships and Careers—Ask The Experts section.