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Tips for your future co-op search | The Triangle

Tips for your future co-op search

Photograph courtesy of Flazingo Photos at Flickr

Drexel University’s co-op program is a unique and exciting perk about studying at this institution. For a period of six months, you can try a profession to find out how well it fits you based on what you’ve learned in classes up to then, as well as gain general work experience. When you get to put what you’ve learned into something useful, you have an awesome, meaningful and sometimes fun experience! If you don’t like the work, you may find out that changing majors might be better for you.

Of course, it’s up to you to bring the grit to qualify for the work, though. That’s where the application process comes in. Time management is an important life skill to have, but it matters especially at Drexel with the co-op program.

If you’re enrolled in a plan of study with any designated co-op periods, of course, you’ll need to embark on a search for co-op jobs roughly two terms before the co-op period begins, as the university showcases its “rounds” of lists of co-op job offerings at companies registered with the Steinbright Career Development Center.

What could get in your way of this process is the fast-paced nature of Drexel’s quarter terms, which also run through the summer beyond freshman year if you have at least one co-op period.

While you may find quarters beneficial if you prefer quicker and smaller assignments, with them comes less flexibility to invest the extra time and energy when you might need it. Thus, students need to complete their work accordingly. If you add that exhausting job search to all of the work you are already doing, life can feel like it could become chaotic in a heartbeat, especially if you’re taking more than 15 credits.

In that process, you need to research the companies in the SCDC listings, where you will learn about what they do, what services they provide, and what types of positions they regularly offer to qualified candidates. That can require a big time investment as you compare your own skill set to a job description that may not be concrete enough.

You can apply to up to 25 jobs in each round of searches . You’ll also need to prepare for the granted interviews, which is a process in and of itself. You’ll find out the university offers plenty of services to help you practice your interview skills.

It is also important to remember that the co-op search is not just limited to the SCDC listings. Also conduct your own independent job search, because you may discover that you have a specialized skill set that SCDC does not highlight well. SCDC will not show you  all of the kinds of jobs you may be  best suited for. However, you must also keep in mind that your job should be major-related.

With any job search, it helps to know yourself well and to pursue your interests, which usually play a significant role in driving your skills. If you have any questions about this process, never hesitate to reach out to your academic advisors or co-op coordinators!