A Day in the Life of a Co-op

Drexel University is known throughout the world for its cooperative program, which celebrates its 100th Anniversary this year. Here at the College of Engineering, 99% of students fulfill at least one co-op during their undergraduate careers. But what exactly does a co-op do all day? This monthly column focuses on one individual’s experiences for an hour-by-hour deconstruction of the workday.

This month, we introduce junior DeShaye Carter, who came to Drexel as an engineering student to study computer engineering and recently transferred over to LeBow College of Business. Carter is the 2018-2019 President of the Drexel chapter of National Society of Black Engineers.

Name: DeShaye Carter
Class: Class of ’20
Co-op: Corporate Operations team, eMoney Advisor, LLC; Radnor, PA
Work Performed: During her second co-op with eMoney, Carter was a desk-top support engineer with the IT Department
When: Spring/Summer 2018

7 a.m. Wake up; make breakfast or stop somewhere along the way; takes about 30-45 minutes driving to work from West Philadelphia; “the commute isn’t bad.”
9 a.m. First thing, go to desk, set up laptop, get settled; lots of free snacks and coffee are available; chat with co-workers; attend daily “What’s Hot?” meeting with team to highlight any concerns or developments and talk about IT-related matters.
9:45 a.m. Utilize portals through which some 600 co-workers can submit requests regarding problems or software/equipment they need; begin tackling these. Target between 20-30 tickets a day. Biggest problem laptop productivity – it’s moving too slow; it’s logjammed; it’s not running properly. “Those are constant battles – trying to make sure their machines are in tip-top shape.” Or, if there is an event or large meeting, make certain that all mics/projectors/screens are working. Spend most of the morning occupied with these tasks.
12 Noon Lunchtime. Either eat in the café downstairs, or bring lunch. The company has a program where different restaurants come in and set up a la carte. Frequently go out to eat at one of the local places, depending on what team wants to do.
1 p.m. More tickets throughout the day. There may also be a meeting or an event to sit in on to make sure equipment works. Work on new hire presentations and onboardings.
3 p.m. “Things sort of die down around 3 p.m.” Co-workers often assemble to play ping pong or gather for a coffee break or a milkshake break: “My go-to is Cookies and Cream.”
4 p.m. Wrap up the day, make sure the team doesn’t need anything more; administrative work, like setting up accounts for new hires; check that all ticket requests have been answered; get work ready for the following day. “Most people go home around 3, so this is the time to get ourselves together and do some other projects for our boss.”
5 pm. Drive back home, or come back to campus for NSBE meetings; oversee 60 NSBE members, events, and guest speakers. “Our organization makes sure that we’re known on campus as a resource to help with the development of the overall engineering student.”

Takeaway Message: “I’ve been pretty tech savvy since I was in grade school. I used to set up all the laptops in the computer lab at my elementary school. This co-op was perfect for me because I’m very social and I get to talk to everyone in the department. I feel like because I’ve done internships in the past, a lot of it wasn’t new. What was the most challenging for me was working 40 hours, whereas past internships were maybe more like 25 hours a week.

“Co-op has helped me to realize what I don’t want to do, what I value in a company, and where I would want to be in the future. In a way it also helped be more selective about how I spend my time. eMoney is an amazing company -- everything from leadership to the company culture to the ethics they value is amazing. I got to shadow people in other departments and see the wealth of opportunities for me to grow into. You can tell that they’ve put time into who they want working for their company. I never thought I was the kind of person to do all three co-ops at one place. But I think the place is amazing. I’m doing my third co-op there this spring.”

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