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How to Score a University Co-op Scholarship – Zoe Diamond

In this post, Zoe shares how she scored a Co-op scholarship for accounting.

I am a 3rd year UNSW Accounting Co-op recipient. I was successful in securing both UNSW and UTS Co-op scholarships but chose to accept UNSW because of the university’s reputation in the industry and the opportunity to complete a third internship.  I have completed an internship at the NSW Treasury Corporation, worked as a Project Manager for Baycorp Australia, and am currently completing my second internship at Coca-Cola Amatil.  I have been offered graduate positions from all three firms.

What Co-op Programs are Looking For:

  • Leaders
  • Confidence
  • Employment/volunteer experience (even if it is just at a fast food chain)
  • Extracurricular activity involvement
  • Awareness of the industry you are applying for
  • Academic excellence

Applying for Co-op Programs

  • Make sure you know the key dates so your application is not rushed
  • Research the streams you wish to apply for
    E.g., For Accounting, you should research the different types of accounting, the Big 4 accounting firms, how accounting impacts all aspects of business, and the sponsors of the programs.
  • If you are successful in obtaining an interview, knowing the sponsors and having done research on them is especially important as you will be interviewed by a sponsor who will want to know that you have a genuine passion for the industry.
  • Make sure you plan and proofread your answers
  • Be yourself! The Co-op Program is looking for genuine people who are committed. If you make out to be something that you are not, people will know.

Benefits of a Co-op Program

  • Invaluable industry experience
  • Financial support
  • Becoming a highly attractive graduate in the recruitment market
  • 100% graduate employment rate
  • Most scholars are offered employment from their sponsors
  • Many scholars are able to obtain part-time work from sponsors whilst undertaking university
  • Academic and professional support from the Co-op administration team

Deciding to Accept a Co-op Scholarship

  • The decision should not be made lightly
  • There are high expectations of your performance
  • Co-op minimum academic requirements can be difficult to maintain
  • Do not accept a Co-op scholarship for the money – you have to work very hard for that money, it does not come for free!
  • The UNSW Co-op Program has high dropout rates due to failure to meet academic standards, pressure and restrictions the program places on your course selection, holidays, etc.
  • You must be passionate about the stream you are offered. If you would rather do something else, you should pursue this. The Co-op scholars that make it to the end never have any other options in their mind.

Differences between UNSW and UTS

I found it difficult to choose between the UNSW and UTS Co-op Programs. I encourage students to apply for both programs. However, you should be well-informed, as in the event that you have to choose between programs, this has to be a quick decision.

UNSW Co-op ProgramUTS Co-op Program
Program Length4 years3 years
No. of 6-month internships32
Academic RequirementsMust maintain Credits in all subjects (Distinction for Finance Stream)Must pass
Scholarship Amount/year$16,750$15,500
Number of positions (Accounting) offered8-1030-40
Class structureAttend normal Bachelor of Commerce classesOnly attend class with Co-op scholars in your stream
Graduate RecruitmentOffers ‘speed recruitment’ sessionSponsors recruit directly from within program
ATAR Requirement96+93+



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Written by Guest Author

We have regular contributions to our blog from our Tutor Team and high performing Matrix Students. Come back regularly for these guest posts to learn their study hacks and insights!


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