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Campus & Community

How to be Awesome at Co-op

May 8, 2015

The 2015 Cooperative Education Award student winners, from left, Edmund Lynn, Pepco Holdings, Inc.; Lia Arakelian, Bimbo Bakeries; Hailey Smith, Steinbright Career Development Center; Danielle Cole, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Nicole Dykstra, Philadelphia Zoo; Colleen Blaho, recipient of the Bentley Systems Career Networking Award; Alexandra Zeitz, High Street on Market; Casey Sneider, The Math Forum; Alexander Koszycki, Sanofi; and Rishon Benjamin, Inolex, Inc.
The 2015 Cooperative Education Award student winners, from left, Edmund Lynn, Pepco Holdings, Inc.; Lia Arakelian, Bimbo Bakeries; Hailey Smith, Steinbright Career Development Center; Danielle Cole, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Nicole Dykstra, Philadelphia Zoo; Colleen Blaho, recipient of the Bentley Systems Career Networking Award; Alexandra Zeitz, High Street on Market; Casey Sneider, The Math Forum; Alexander Koszycki, Sanofi; and Rishon Benjamin, Inolex, Inc.

There are a lot of numbers involved in the annual Cooperative Education Awards at Drexel. There were 183 nominations for students this year, the 25th year for the awards, and 53 nominations for outstanding employers. A group of five co-op coordinators ultimately manage the whole process as a committee, with two in particular who serve as co-chairs. In the end, nine students and two employers were chosen as winners this year.

The number that’s most important, though, is the one, exceptionally meaningful experience had by both the students and the employers.

That’s what the Cooperative Education Awards are all about — giving well-deserved recognition to students who really stand out and make the most of their co-op experience as well as employer partners who provide a valuable and rewarding experience.

“It’s so important that we recognize students who are performing really well and exceeding expectations — they are the best examples of what co-op should be,” said Dana Esposito, a co-op coordinator in the Steinbright Career Development Center and also one of the co-chairs of the awards.

Since we’re talking numbers, check out some of these provided by President John Fry at the awards ceremony:

  • This year, more than 6,000 students participated in co-op, with a 98.2 percent employment rate for those seeking co-op jobs.

  • They worked with more than 1,700 employers from the private, public and nonprofit sectors.

  • 86 percent report that they would consider hiring their student for a future co-op or full-time position.

  • 46 percent of last year's graduates accepted job offers from a former co-op employer. 

  • 695 students went on co-op outside the Philadelphia region.

  • 212 students took part in a co-op experience abroad, across 49 countries.

Click here for videos of the student winners, the co-op employer winners and the Cooperative Education Awards Faculty of the Year.