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Student Co-op Experiences

Alexander Manley '22

Alexander Manley HeadshotAlexander Manley ‘22 is a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Air Defense Artillery. At Drexel, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and Political Science with minors in military science and Middle Eastern and North African studies.

Tell us about the project you were involved in.
Alexander: I worked as a Research Project Management Co-op for Drexel Solutions Institute (DSI). As a result, I worked on a variety of projects with their respective teams and Drexel University staff and partner organizations.

What did you learn by working with external partners?
Alexander: My co-op with DSI greatly improved my time management and organizational skills. I also gained a significant understanding of how research projects function on a corporate level. It was a privilege to be a part of many high-level discussions regarding their direction.

For you personally – what is the value of participating in projects that involve external partners?
Alexander: The corporate partners I was exposed to were run by many experienced professionals and I was fortunate to learn directly from them through our discussions and my observations. I also gained a more realistic understanding of what was necessary to ensure the success of such large corporations.

How has this opportunity impacted your Drexel experience?
Alexander: My DSI experience was my third and final co-op. It was a phenomenal opportunity to work with my University and experience one of the unique aspects of Drexel’s network that didn’t typically work with my academic fields.

What was your favorite part about participating in this opportunity?
Alexander: The insights I gained from working with corporate partners were excellent as were working with the student/faculty project teams, and the individual skills I developed defined my DSI experience and were truly beneficial to my personal development!

How has this project shaped your academic career beyond co-op?
Alexander: My experience with academic professionals in DSI has become a significant factor in my considerations for pursuing my graduate education in the near future (See below for elaboration.)

Did participating in this project affect your career interests?
Alexander: Upon graduation from Drexel and within a year of my DSI experience, I immediately began work with the United States Army. There, I am in a leadership position and oversee the management of dozens of soldiers and equipment that is worth millions. The time management and professional skills I developed through DSI have been instrumental to my success!