From Co-op Student to Vice President

Almuthanna Abuasi started as an intern at Emergency Response Protocol (ERP), doing support work and “helping out with anything the IT staff was doing.”

That led to a co-op program, working on project management assistance. Abuasi was still working on his bachelor’s degree in web information systems at Wilmington University when he was offered a full-time job in May 2014 at ERP, which develops interactive tools for first responders as well as security software for schools, companies and other facilities.

“I worked during the day and went to school at night,” he recalled. “I really appreciated the convenience and flexibility of being able to work and study at the same time.”

He completed his degree in May 2015. Today, Abuasi is a vice president at the company. Since he came on board ERP has hired another WilmU co-op student. In his role as a corporate leader, he knows the importance of keeping skilled individuals in the pipeline.

“We are always in contact with WilmU,” he said. “We are constantly looking for interns.”

Abuasi’s success is a prime example of the real-life benefit of co-op programs, said Dr. David C. Caffo, Director, College of Online & Experiential Learning.

“The co-op program truly embodies the mission of the university,” he said. “This is the quintessential example of how the program works.”

Dr. Caffo notes that real-life work experiences yield a triple benefit: for WilmU, for the student and for workplace that gains the skillsets of the student.

Abuasi said that’s why he recommends WilmU to others interested in IT careers.

“The co-op model is something that should be used at all universities,” he said. “It’s crucial for employers to be able to groom potential employees and WilmU does an excellent job of doing that.”