Philadelphia might be known as the cradle of liberty, but these days, the City of Brotherly Love is earning national stature as a cradle for something else altogether — innovation. Each year, Philadelphia is named one of the most innovative, high-tech cities in the nation by the likes of Forbes, Inc. and Business Insider. As the headquarters for companies like URBN, Boeing, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), there is no shortage of opportunities for college students enrolled in a personalized cooperative education (co-op) program to get incredible work experience as undergrads, and to land job offers before commencement. More hands-on and comprehensive than a standard college internship, a co-op program allows students to practice a curriculum that combines in-classroom education with full-time, real work experience at a variety of internationally-known companies located in and around the City of Brotherly Love.
Wondering what a co-op experience could look like? Here are just a few examples of the some of the real work opportunities available through Drexel University’s co-op program.
Use your technical skills to build the world’s tallest K’NEX structure
During Sean O’Brien’s time at Drexel University, he took his childhood imagination and turned it into real-life work experience. Fascinated by the K’NEX ferris wheel he saw in his local toy store at a young age, the Drexel student jumped at the opportunity to join the company as a co-op. Not only did he get to work for his dream employer, he was encouraged to apply his knowledge and vision to the field that truly inspired him: product design. During his co-op experience with K’NEX, O’Brien helped develop the K-FORCE Build and Blast, a now-trademarked building set, and a Science Technology Engineering and Mathematical (STEM) focused toy line just for girls.
Build your brand with Urban Outfitters
Arguably the biggest fashion house in the Philadelphia area, and an international trendsetter, the URBN brand is comprised of five very different clothing, accessories and home goods retailers: Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Free People, BHLDN and Terrain. Through a co-op with the company, students can get a first-hand look at what it takes to succeed in the fashion industry by gaining hands-on experience working with buyers, stylists and designers — or even designing a look or a line for themselves.
Re-imagine the future of streaming with SiriusXM
Through Drexel’s co-op program, you can evaluate technology by testing and troubleshooting the same SiriusXM hardware that helps consumers get radio signal around the world. With digital streaming radio gaining traction as one of the most profitable and evolving technologies to date, there is no shortage of opportunities (and no idea too big to test).
Come up with a new Crayola crayon (Bluetiful, anyone?)
Looking for a colorful career? Look no further. Crayola headquarters, situated in Easton, PA about an hour and a half drive from Philadelphia, is a creative workspace where imagination is applauded. Here, co-ops can work on the art team developing new colors and products, or in cutting-edge marketing and sales, helping to add a new chapter to the brand’s colorful story, or assist the philanthropic efforts of one of the most feel-good companies in the world.
Fly jets (or at least, learn how Boeing got so good at building them)
As one of the leaders in the aerospace development and research for over 100 years, Boeing is a company built on innovation. While on co-op with Boeing, you’ll not only get a first-hand look at how commercial airplanes are manufactured, you’ll see how the U.S. Air Force operates its defense flyers, learn about Boeing’s first space taxi and work side-by-side with the industry leaders who are shaping the future of aerospace technology.
What’s even more exciting than working for some of the world’s leading tech or manufacturing companies? Choosing a comprehensive higher education that can help you get your foot in the door and explore a handful of opportunities to find the best fit. For more information on Drexel University’s co-op program, visit drexel.edu/AmbitionCantWait.
Portions of this article were first published at PhillyMag.com on January 8, 2018. Copyright © 2018 Metro Corp. Reproduced with permission.