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Stories from
Co-op

Above: Photo of Jo Volpe Jamieson ’70, Humanities and Technology Program (College of Arts and Sciences)

From the Navy Research Flight program to testing labs all around the world, Drexel students past and present embark on amazing journeys with renowned organizations, and they all have a story to tell. Read their co-op stories below and learn more about our transformative cooperative education program from those who know it best.

“The experience and portfolio I gained while working in my co-ops led to me getting job offers before even graduating from Drexel. Having real-world graphic design-related experience helped me build a solid foundation for my entire creative career. […] Upon graduating I've been Art Director for a national company, owned my own design business, and today am a Marketing Director for a tech startup developing new antennas for space and smart cities!”

Julie Bonne ’01
Nesbitt College of Design Arts (Westphal College of Media Arts & Design)

“I was […] able to gain mentors in the field of higher education and student affairs who helped guide me to my current career, where I serve as the Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at The College of New Jersey. I was able to take so much of my college involvement and turn it into my career and subsequent work volunteer opportunities, and for that I am forever grateful to the Drexel co-op experience.”

Aimee Wardle ’14
LeBow College of Business

“I worked with the locals to restore Greensboro's historic Main Street as well as immerse myself in a new environment and southern culture. I truly feel like I left my print on the organization [Project Horseshoe Farm] while gaining skills and developing passions that I wasn't able to learn in a classroom setting.”

Brooke Pieke ’19
College of Arts and Sciences

“After I graduated, I had two years of experience in the health care field and believe this set me apart from others applying for jobs. The skills I learned during co-op and the overall experience set me up for the position I currently have.”

Madison Young ’17
College of Nursing and Health Professions

“Co-op was a great, formative experience. Having 6 months in a professional environment at Susquehanna International Group allowed me to more fully understand the industry I aspired to work in full time.”

James Morrison ’07
LeBow College of Business

“From the strong start Drexel provided me, I have been able to continue my career success. I moved on to work for Tesla in their Fremont factory to help launch the Model 3, and I am now the youngest department manager with my new company back home in NJ. I owe my success to Drexel and I wouldn't change a single thing in my journey thus far.”

Ross Miller ’16
College of Arts and Sciences
Lara Bros

“Even though that seems to be unrelated to what I'm studying, I've learned that it's never too late to change your course and pursue experiences that will help you achieve your goals and a more all-encompassing experience.”

Lara Bros ’21
Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

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This past summer, I completed a Co-op at NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale, FL in the Development Department. It was probably one of the most enriching experiences I've ever had in terms of my professional development. Working in a fast-paced museum environment that dealt with everything behind the scenes helped me to be more assertive and confident. During my time at the museum, I worked on a project where I basically planned out a trip to New York City for high-level donors, which I later got to see the results of! It's really fulfilling to follow things through and see them come together in the end, especially with major events like that which can help cultivate relationships with the museum that will keep people supporting and coming back. I worked on interdepartmental projects that had me racking up followers on the museum's Instagram and planning for high-caliber events like Art Miami Week.

Having this experience really put me in the thick of it. I found this opportunity independently and I feel that it has helped me to make more thoughtful choices regarding where I want my career to go. I wanted to learn how funds are developed because I'm highly interested in the non-profit arts sector, and one day hope to work within the frameworks of social justice by combining my love for art with my longtime passion for prison reform. Being able to network and come up with a budget is something that I've learned is so important when trying to fund small community projects, or just seeing what it takes to plan a party like an exhibition opening! Even though that seems to be unrelated to what I'm studying, I've learned that it's never too late to change your course and pursue experiences that will help you achieve your goals and a more all-encompassing experience. It's helped me to realize what I want to do and what I don't, and that's so valuable.

Moleen Madziva

“At that time, the company was one of the top innovators in telecommunications technology and I was really inspired to work with first-class engineers on state-of-the-art projects. What I appreciated about the team I worked with is that they considered me as their peer and hence I got to work on tangible projects as a system tester.”

Moleen Madziva ’00
College of Engineering

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I was born in Zimbabwe, where I had a nourishing childhood in a rural community that prided itself in hospitality, compassion, and creativity. Our lush natural environment provided a rich scenic landscape and one of my fondest memories was foraging for wild fruit. On the same note, this was a very arduous time because being black meant that I had terribly limited civil liberties in a colonized country that practiced segregation. Those unfortunate policies made access to education very challenging but once the opportunity arose, I was determined to never look back.

Landing on the Drexel University campus in 1995 exposed my insecurities as a learner but I knew that my relationship with this place would give me more than anything that had ever been taken away from me. In 1999, I was fortunate to be selected by Lucent Technologies (a Bell Labs innovation) for my third co-op. At that time, the company was one of the top innovators in telecommunications technology and I was really inspired to work with first-class engineers on state-of-the-art projects. What I appreciated about the team I worked with is that they considered me as their peer and hence I got to work on tangible projects as a system tester. It was a laid-back work environment that fostered a dedication to a standard of aptitude I had not experienced before. On any given day, I could have been in a meeting discussing system requirements with folks who hold patents that have shifted the industry profoundly. I found myself emulating my colleagues and began to grasp the development life cycle of a project. In this role, we were tasked to evaluate the complete system against the specified requirements. In order to contribute to a successful project launch, I was groomed for the highest levels of integrity, curiosity and excellence. This shaped me into an engineer who is intentional about how I participate in teamwork because I am aware of the influence my intellect and character have on the world.

Two decades later, I now work for the esteemed Neuromodulation business unit at Abbott Labs as a Field Clinical Engineer supporting investigators and serving patients who participate in our medical device clinical studies. In honor of my native Zimbabwe, I earned a PhD in Sustainability that has given me the tools to run a non-profit whose ambition is to alleviate poverty in my village.

It goes without saying that the Drexel Co-op century has created and hence invested in an educational legacy that actively shapes the world every day. My time at Drexel strengthened my wings so I can fly high and proudly so, as a Drexel Dragon. I’m keenly grateful to everyone I encountered in my co-op years because their mentorship and support molded me into the leader I am today. Of special mention: Dave Keenan, Alan Plofker, Sammy Cheng-Robles, Tom Grace, Ephi Rubin and Kevin Scoles – thank you all for believing in me and for your part in lifting up minority women in STEM.

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