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Drexel University Co-Op Program

The Drexel Co-op is a long-standing program in which undergraduate students at Drexel University alternate periods of full-time professional employment with periods of classroom study. Many of the students in the program, majoring primarily in biology, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, and physics, are interested in gaining access to biomedical research. A significant number in fact wish to carry out co-ops in anticipation of research and/or study in a postgraduate setting. We believe that ITMAT can facilitate the placement of these students among laboratories or related settings represented by its membership. The scope of research and educational activities encompassed by ITMAT, including the emphasis on translational medicine and therapeutics as a career trajectory, is particularly pertinent in this regard.

Relevant features of the Drexel Co-op program include:

  • Each co-op experience is a 6-month commitment on the part of both student and employer.
  • Co-op cycles operate 12 months of the year, allowing employers to fill positions year-round.
  • Over 90 percent of Drexel undergraduates are enrolled in the co-op program. The majority are enrolled in a program that allows for up to 18 months of degree-related work experience through 3 separate 6-month work experiences.
  • Co-op students gain on-the-job skills and knowledge during their work periods so that, if hired full time following graduation, they begin at a higher level of responsibility and productivity than inexperienced graduates.
  • Employers have the opportunity to become involved in the educational process, helping students along their career paths.

Identifying a student to work with your group operates in much the same manner as any other hiring process. It begins with the submission of a job description, which can include required or desired qualifications pertaining to educational status and/or experience. Applicants interested in your work are screened by you, and those you choose can be interviewed. Employment of a student must be congruent with existing policies of the institution. At Penn, for example, the designation is a Temp Co-op. Salary is negotiable, however guidelines are provided by Drexel.

A packet providing an overview of the Co-op program and sample job descriptions can be accessed here [A Hiring Guide for Science and Engineering Majors]. For further information, please contact Mark Gress, Jr., Employer Relations Coordinator, at the Steinbright Career Development Center (gress@drexel.edu).

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