Drexel’s Vice President for Cooperative Education and Career Development Ian Sladen, at the podium, addressed local high school students and shared the stage with Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro; Superintendent for the School District of Philadelphia William R. Hite, Jr., EdD; and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell.
This week is the state’s first-ever Career Week, which was hosted by the Office of the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and The School District of Philadelphia with partners including Drexel University, which is the only institution of higher education involved with the week-long event.
Career Week was created to show local high school students viable post-graduation career options in various fields and professions, and the educational celebration started with several activities at Drexel.
On March 25 — the Monday of Career Week — over 200 sophomore, junior and senior high school students visited the University City Campus for discussions and panels related to career opportunities.
The day started with a Career Week “Presser” featuring Attorney General of Pennsylvania Josh Shapiro; Superintendent for the School District of Philadelphia William R. Hite, Jr., EdD; Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell; and Drexel’s Vice President for Cooperative Education and Career Development Ian Sladen.
During his talk, Sladen discussed the benefits of thinking ahead to future career plans and explained Drexel’s co-op program in which students can gain up to 18 months of professional work experience before graduation.
“We already know that your career is going to be very fluid and everchanging,” he told the students, who were hand-picked by their teachers and principals to represent their high schools. “So now is the time to begin to understand the types of industries and organizations in which you wish to work and how these opportunities align with your interests, abilities and education.”
Sladen also urged the students to take advantage of the “once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity” of Career Week, especially while at Drexel.
“I encourage you to ask about our cooperative education program, the importance of career exploration and to discuss your own career aspirations,” he said.
Afterwards, the high school students heard from representatives from Career Week’s partner companies and organizations, like Aramark, the Franklin Institute, GSK and the Philadelphia Inquirer. They also attended a panel discussion titled “Jobs vs. Careers” that featured current Drexel students and Director of Diversity Initiatives & Community Relations Bernetta Milonde from the University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. For lunch, the students participated in networking activities and ate alongside representatives from Drexel’s various colleges and schools as well as the Steinbright Career Development Center. The day’s events ended with tours of Drexel’s University City Campus with Drexel Student Ambassadors.