Crush Your Co-op: 7 Tips
BY ARIANA STROMAN
Six months ago, I began my first Drexel co-op, and the time has come and gone faster than I could have imagined. My experience was fantastic, and I’m excited to pursue my next opportunity. But before I do, I want to share seven pieces of wisdom that I learned while on co-op.
Some are funny; some should be taken very seriously. Whether you’re starting a new internship or co-op, or you’re a veteran, you’ll hopefully find a mix of humor and truth in these tips that will help you get the most out of your experience.
1. Do not put food in your mouth before you leave your desk or the office kitchen. You are absolutely bound to run into someone in the hallway that you have to (or definitely should) say hello to.
2. Do not email co-workers, outside representatives, or anyone for that matter, at odd hours of the night. Every time a student or prospective member emailed me after 7 p.m. during the week or on the weekends, I noticed, and it made me question their professionalism!
3. You will miss every second of summer vacation you did not spend outside, relaxing, vacationing, or hanging out with friends. Let’s be honest here, at Drexel you get one summer vacation as a 5-year student. Don’t waste it! I loved my internship and it helped me land co-op jobs; however, I should have made more time for friends and the beach.
4. Do not be afraid to admit you made a mistake. No one is perfect, and no one expects you to start a job knowing 100 percent of everything. If you mess up, apologize and learn from it. Your honesty will be appreciated more than someone being upset.
5. If the vice president of your department (or any authority figure) wants you to do something and you don’t know how to do it, ask questions or Google it. I learned how to code Excel spreadsheets via Youtube. Do what you have to do to get the assignment done; don’t give up or say, “I can’t”.
6. Smile! Even on your worst days, colleagues will notice if you’re the one flashing them a smile day-in and day-out.
7. Your coworkers can make or break your experience. I was lucky enough to have fun, caring and hard-working colleagues, and they definitely made my experience ten times better. When you go to an interview, see how you interact with the interviewers because it may be your dream job description, but it may not be the appropriate work environment.
Ariana Stroman is a pre-junior studying marketing and entrepreneurship with a certificate in brand and reputation management. She is involved in LeBow BRIDGE, Campus Activities Board and the Honors Program. She hopes to turn her passion for event planning and fitness into an entrepreneurial venture.