What do you think is the most stressful part about co-op application season? The obvious answers might be the anxiety about getting a job, the fear of rejection, the fact that your interviews always align with finals or realizing you were broke after engaging in some retail therapy. But all of those answers are wrong. The actual reason why co-op application season is so stressful is the co-op portal — a portal that looks so old that it will probably be running for president in 2024. Someone should have told them to wear more sunscreen.
Drexel’s pride and joy is co-op, so tell me why it feels like I am Sisyphus pushing his rock uphill whenever I use the portal. If you want to know where Drexel’s priorities lie, look no further than the payment portal, which is so clean and slick it would make the TikTok girlies jealous. It’s clear who the favorite child is, and it is not the one they brag about to all the relatives at Thanksgiving. It’s simple really: we use the pretty payment portal, Drexel gets our money, and they spend it on [checks notes] a SEPTA station.
The co-op portal is such a topsy-turvy mess that I swear it was that one labyrinth David Bowie was trying to navigate in that one movie. Each page seems to have an individuality complex because there is zero uniformity at all. And yeah, differences should be celebrated or whatever, but not when they all have the same color scheme, making it all the more confusing. “Hey, you can copy my homework, just change the answers a little.”
The craziest part about this is the fact we have an entire major dedicated to user experience and interaction design. Why can’t we use one of them to fix our co-op portal? It could be their senior project, or better yet, make it a co-op. It would be a mini pyramid scheme: Drexel hires a student for a co-op to help other kids get a co-op.
I can’t imagine what their employers think, when they see how antiquated the interface looks. “This is Drexel’s portal? Aren’t they supposed to be a cutting-edge research institution? Why does this portal make me feel like I’m using Internet Explorer?” They are really setting us up, aren’t they?
And then once you finally get a co-op, you are still not done with this hellscape that Drexel calls a “tool for opportunity.” Now you have to sign a contract, which might seem simple, but it isn’t. Why is the contract page so hard to find? This is not a scavenger hunt. Why do I have to find my contract the same way I find chocolate eggs the Easter Bunny lays out?
Can I make some suggestions for a revamped co-op portal? Idea 1: Make the interface look like it was created in the 21st century. They did this once with DegreeWorks, why not again? And you know what will be fun? Fireworks when you submit your applications. The little rewards in life, they make all the difference. Idea 2: Move to print. If they want to look so antiquated, might as well go all the way.
Anyways, as Drexel always says, Ambition Can’t Wait…for the co-op portal to load.