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Employee Spotlight: Grace McLaughlin, From Classroom to Co-op

Image of Grace McLaughlin

January 30, 2024

Written by: Sarah Greer

Grace is a fourth-year student at Drexel University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Animation and Visual Effects with a focus on Producing, complemented by a minor in Education. This employee profile explores her academic journey, co-op experiences, and personal aspirations.

Grace chose Drexel University for its unique offerings in animation and virtual media majors, coupled with an exceptional co-op structure. With only one year left until graduation, Grace is excited about gaining a year and a half of valuable work experience through Drexel's co-op program.

Motivated by the impactful research and community work at the Autism Institute, Grace embarked on a co-op journey with the organization. Having previously worked as a full-time preschool teacher and witnessing firsthand the benefits of the Autism Institute's research, Grace sought to expand their skill set and contribute to its mission.

Grace brings unique skills to her role, citing a passion for coordination, organization, and making connections. With an extroverted personality, Grace thrives at the front desk, where they can fully utilize their interpersonal skills.

The co-op experience at the Autism Institute has been a learning journey for Grace. From honing personal time and project management skills to developing creative problem-solving abilities, Grace is gaining insights beyond her academic pursuits.

When faced with multiple tasks and deadlines, Grace adopts a strategic approach. She ensures effective time management by blocking out dedicated time in their calendar and overestimating task durations. Also, she prefers collaborative team projects, finding motivation and satisfaction in working together to achieve a common goal.

Grace envisions a career in producing, directing, or teaching. Her current role at the Autism Institute is instrumental in honing communication skills across different departments and utilizing available resources to enhance the quality of the final product.

Outside of academia and work, Grace enjoys spending time with their roommates, snuggling her cat, and reading. Embracing a laid-back philosophy, her current motto is, "I'll see when I get there," reflecting a commitment to letting life unfold naturally without rushing into predefined paths.

Grace exemplifies a passion for animation, a commitment to education, and a genuine enthusiasm for making meaningful connections. As they navigate the final year of their academic journey, Grace continues to grow personally and professionally, leaving an indelible mark on both Drexel University and the Autism Institute.