During a time when many college students are struggling to find jobs after graduation, Drexel’s co-op program has allowed students like Anna Petrone to get ahead of the game, with experience that prepares this 2012 graduate for success no matter where she ends up.
Petrone said her co-ops prepared her for success in the field of economics and mathematics. Her experience also helped her land a position with the Federal Reserve in its two-year research assistant program.
“Having the computation skills from co-op, along with my math and economics coursework, made me a strong candidate for the program at the Federal Reserve,” Petrone said.
In her most recent co-op in the informatics department at Independence Blue Cross (IBC), Petrone handled most of the business critical data, from claims processing to risk analysis. She worked as a business analysis completing such tasks as maintaining data and performing studies for medical directors while also generating reports for customers and other departments.
Previously, while working for Energy Plus, a start-up energy supplier, Petrone learned the importance of data management. She worked primarily on generating reports and was responsible for writing an operations manual that described the database processes.
“Working in the informatics department at IBC was a perfect next step to follow Energy Plus; I went from a company with 30,000 members to one with three million. More importantly, I got to see what that required from a data perspective,” she said.
Petrone said Drexel’s co-op program allowed Petrone to find a job and her classes helped lay the framework for success during her co-ops.
“The programming classes that I took for my physics minor gave me the computer mindset needed to pick up new languages at work,” she said. “I was able to pick up SQL (structured query language) and other software tools because of the solid framework provided by my classes.”
In her new position with the Federal Reserve, Petrone will be working in the economics and research division of the Board of Governors. The department develops and maintains the quantitative models of the economy, which are used by other sections of the board.
“While I'm there, I plan to take advantage of the educational grant provided to all employees and pursue a master’s degree in statistics,” Petrone said.
“Through the co-op program I gained invaluable interviewing skills and office interpersonal skills. Drexel students are more confident when applying for jobs because of the experience we gain through co-op.”