The conference room at Drucker & Scaccetti's Center City office features a painting of Drexel's campus. Employees of all levels, including interns, are Drexel Dragons.
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Co-op cycles usually take place during fall/winter terms or spring/summer terms for Drexel students. But employers with special reasons can customize co-op cycles, creating a winter/spring cycle.
That’s the case with tax accounting firm Drucker & Scaccetti, which has been hiring Drexel accounting majors to work January through June for the past 16 years — often inviting them to work for a second winter/spring cycle or even hiring them full-time upon graduation.
Drexel students, meet Drucker & Scaccetti.
Located in Center City, Drucker & Scaccetti has about 70 employees. The firm focuses on tax and business consulting but doesn’t offer auditing services. Most importantly, all interns are given the same work as first-year associates: students will work on tax preparation, compliance and research and consulting projects, all while working closely with tax professionals across the firm.
Drucker & Scaccetti hires four to eight students from all universities each tax season, with two or three coming from Drexel.
Let’s just say it pays to be a co-op at Drucker & Scaccetti.
The average co-op salary typically exceeds $20,000 for the period. During tax season, co-ops also earn overtime at time-and-a-half, increasing the total amount paid to up to $28,000 for the duration of the winter/spring cycle. During the seven or so weeks of tax season, co-ops may work up to, but no more than, 60 hours per week.
Co-ops who stay late during the week and come in on weekends can chow down on all the free catered meals offered. But watch out — there’s a running joke in the office that the freshman 15 creeps up on new and existing employees in March and April.
The Interview Process:
Interviews for co-ops take place in the summer, which means that Drexel accounting majors are hired before students from other area universities. This creates a bit of a challenge for Drucker & Scaccetti when it comes to choosing how many co-ops are hired from Drexel versus other universities.
Here’s a tip: if you interview and get placed as a qualified alternate, make no assumptions. It could mean that the firm wants you to work with them, but they just don’t have enough spots to offer through Drexel’s official co-op system.
“If we knew someone from Drexel was really interested, we’d probably take the extra Drexel student,” said Diane DeCesare, a Drexel alumna and shareholder with the firm. “If you are chosen as a ‘qualified alternate’ but really want to work with us, please reach out and we will try to make another spot available.’
Such is the case with Dylan Haughey, a junior accounting and legal studies major in the LeBow College of Business. Haughey was listed as a qualified alternate when he applied to Drucker & Scaccetti for his second co-op. Not only was he hired, but he returned to the firm for his third and final co-op this term.
“I didn’t really expect the amount of exposure coming in. I thought it’d be very specialized and I’d only do one task. But I’ve done everything from personal returns to business returns to trusts and gifts,” said Haughey.
Students from other universities often end their internship after mid-April, leaving only Drexel co-ops at the firm until June. The fact that Drexel co-ops have the opportunity to stay and receive additional experience is a huge benefit for both intern and employer.
“Co-ops actually get to see the ramp-up to tax season, the real crunch of tax season and then what happens afterwards when we’re not strictly doing tax returns,” said DeCesare.
“We take our intern program seriously. Our goal is to make full-time associate offers to as many interns as possible, so we strive to give them the entire associate experience. All interns participate in a full training program so they are prepared if we offer them a full-time position,” said DeCesare, who was actually hired full-time after completing one of her co-ops at the firm’s predecessor institution as a Drexel student.
Currently, 10 full-time employees are Drexel alums and three interns are Drexel students. Many more have circulated through the office over the years — and will continue to do so.
About the Drexel Co-op program: More than 98 percent of eligible undergraduate students at Drexel participate in the co-op program, balancing full-time classes and up to three different internships during their time at Drexel. Students can choose from more than 1,700 employers in 33 states and 48 international locations — plus endless possibilities through self-arranged placements.