How You Can Help
When surveyed, many students report that the number one reason they chose Drexel University was the cooperative education program (co-op). Co-op is a great opportunity that can be a bit intimidating, but the Steinbright Career Development Center is here for you and your student throughout the entire process. Prospective students and their families often ask what they can do to prepare for co-op, and we provide them with a series of recommendations.
Here are a few ideas to get you started to ensure that your student is co-op ready:
Before applying for co-op, it is important for your student to have a professional direction they would like to explore. Talk with your student about careers, majors, and aspirations. Participation in the co-op program will then prove more beneficial in fine-tuning your student's goals. Below are a few ideas on how your student can go about gaining direction.
Encourage your student to:
- Start with their passions. Passion and interest for a subject or field is important in beginning to think about a potential career path; e.g., "I really enjoyed Mrs. Dunn's Literature class so I think I would like to major in English." But remember, not all career paths are linear and one passion may lead to an unexpected career.
- Research careers within their interest. Students can begin by exploring our career guides or searching something as simple as: "Careers in [your major here]" as an advanced search limited to .edu and .org domains. Researching companies appealing to them and reading job descriptions on employment sites also help students explore terms, concepts, and expectations. Once a few career ideas have been developed, a good resource for more detailed information is the Occupation Information Network (O*NET). This website gives students an easy way to broadly research potential careers in their major field of interest.
- Conduct an informational interview with an industry professional. The informational interview gives students a chance to ask about the daily routine of a job. While interviewing, students can also gain a better understanding of the challenges and rewards associated with these jobs, other career-related opportunities that are available, and the education and certifications required. Informational interviews can give students the opportunity to begin thinking about fit, ensuring this type of job aligns with your student's values, skills, and goals.
Lay the Groundwork for Success
While it is important to gain a broad understanding of career opportunities, your student should also recognize that they can make steps toward their career aspirations in the types of activities they choose to take part in during high school. Involvement in extracurricular activities, such as summer jobs, clubs, athletic teams, and volunteer experiences; as well as academic honors, such as taking AP courses, participation in Honors programs, and completing a senior/capstone project, are just a few examples of things that can both benefit your student's personal development and be used in the future, on their résumé.
Then, when they arrive at Drexel, your student will receive assistance in crafting their résumé during COOP 101, which will set them even further on the path to success.
Hit the Ground Running
Finally, encourage your student to start their time at Drexel strong. Truthfully, your student's GPA really does matter, so they should make the most of that very first quarter. And always remember, a student's digital footprint can carry forward for many years and Human Resource recruiters do check on their candidates, so it is important that students who are applying for co-op jobs monitor their social media. Finally, joining campus groups and professional organizations, along with taking advantage of support services offered by the University, will prove very helpful in ensuring that your student hits the ground running at Drexel.
For more information on getting your student co-op ready, visit our Professional Pointers.
Still have questions regarding Drexel's Co-op program or the services we provide at Steinbright? View our FAQs.