Category Archives: Co-op

Meet a Wildcat Co-op: Phillip H.

I recently asked Communication major Phillip H. some questions about his co-op experience. Phillip will be graduating this semester with a Bachelor of Science in Communication with a concentration in Integrated Marketing Communication. As a part of his degree requirements, Phillip completed a co-op experience. Through co-op, students gain relevant work experience and apply academic theory to the professional world, all while earning academic credit. Read on to learn more about the reasons Phillip took advantage of this valuable WilmU program!

Phillip Headen Headshot Describe your co-op experience: where did you work, and what did you do there?

I worked at Vantage Labs, an educational technology company in New Hope, PA. I was assigned to the Digital Sports business unit, where I worked on marketing projects for their various web-based software products. This included working with the company’s customer resource management (CRM) system, Excel spreadsheets, research and analysis, strategizing and creating marketing campaigns, as well as contributing to product design and overall direction.

What would you like to accomplish after you graduate?

I would like to work in marketing for the time being, while I continue to convert my interest of web engineering into well-honed skills, so that I can eventually work in product development.

Do you feel co-op has helped you get closer to attaining your goals?

My co-op experience was very beneficial. Not only did it give me experience with contributing real work to an organization, it also helped me understand the little things about the business world that most people entering the workforce might ignore. Things such as HR, interoffice communication, and professional etiquette, are all important factors to understand and consider. I now know what things I want and don’t want in my career, so it is easier to narrow down my future goals.

What made you decide to pursue a co-op position?

I wanted a co-op position because I know how important it is to have work experience when you are entering the job market. In many instances it can also lead to a full-time position before you graduate.

What has been your favorite part of your co-op experience?

The best part of my job was getting to make real, sustainable contributions. My impact was one that I could immediately see, and will be beneficial for a long time whether I continue to work for the company or not.

Would you recommend the co-op program to other students? Why or why not?   

I would definitely recommend that all students try and participate in the co-op experience. The experience is very rewarding, and hopefully his or her position will allow them to do meaningful tasks. It will also standout on your resume to future employers.

What’s stopping you from building your future? Learn more about Cooperative Education at: or send an email to

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Co-op


Mat Marshall - second photo
Mat Marshall’s co-op position was on Senator Carper’s staff.

Think you know everything about co-op? Here are some surprising facts:

  1. Online students from a distance, not just those who live locally, can participate in Wilmington University’s co-op program. If you cultivate your own co-op experience where you live, our office can help you and your employer through that process.
  2. Transfer students: Do you have a co-op or internship at your current school? You can bring that relationship with you and turn it into a WilmU co-op experience!
  3. Employers say they make full-time job offers to 50% of their interns and co-op students upon graduation (California State University, East Bay).
  4. Students who completed co-ops have higher starting salaries upon graduation than non-co-op graduates (Eastern Kentucky University).
  5. Wilmington University requires co-ops to have a minimum GPA requirement of 2.5, but many employers request that co-ops have GPAs of 3.0 and higher. Keep those grades up by attending class regularly and seeking help when you need it! Did you know that WilmU offers free tutoring services to ALL students through the Student Success Center? Learn more here:


To learn more about the co-op program, visit or contact



Meet a Wildcat Co-op: Charlie C.

by Lauren Haas

charlie1If you’ve browsed the Wilmington University website recently, you have likely come across the professional work of undergraduate Web Information Systems major Charlie C. He is currently participating in the Co-op program as a Web Communications Assistant in the Web Communications Department right here at WilmU! Charlie plans to complete his Bachelor’s degree this summer, and after graduation, he plans to continue onto a WilmU Master’s degree.

In his role, Charlie handles content updates and design changes on the University website. He says, “The more experience I gain with the team, the more responsibility they give me.” This increased responsibility gives Charlie a feeling of accomplishment: “It shows that they trust me and have faith in my ability.”

Charlie reports to University Webmaster Chris Rubacky, who said: “Charlie was referred to us following the sudden loss of another web team member.  Fortunately for us, he was immediately able to fill this role due to his extensive knowledge in web design and development.  The entire Web Communications department is extremely thankful to have found Charlie through the Cooperative Education program here at Wilmington University.  He has become an indispensable member of our team.”

Charlie’s co-op experience has moved him closer to attaining his career goals. Prior his current position, he worked as a freelance designer, and was actively seeking opportunities to gain real-world experience in a corporate setting. “Through this program I have experienced a real team atmosphere. I sit in team meetings and help on important projects. Also, I am gaining experience in my own field by working with different programming languages.”

When asked if he would recommend the co-op program to other students, Charlie says there is no question: “I think it is an amazing and wonderful thing to offer students. You gain real world experience while earning credit. … Through the co-op program I am not an intern, but a part-time employee. In today’s [job] market, any competitive edge you have over another will help you, and this program does just that.”

What’s stopping you from building your future? Learn more about the Office of Cooperative Education at: or send an email to

Meet a Wildcat Co-op: Kaitlin M.

by Lauren Haas

kaitlin1Last month, I asked Video and Motion Graphics major Kaitlin M. some questions about her co-op experience. This is an exciting time for her, as graduation is coming up next summer! Kaitlin is well on her way to her career goal: to edit feature films.

Kaitlin began her co-op experience in Summer 2014 at Harvest Ridge Winery in Marydel, DE. She is learning real-world, practical skills on the job while earning college credit toward her degree. Read on to learn more about how Kaitlin is making the most of her education here at WilmU.

Describe your co-op experience: where do you work and what do you do there?

I currently work at Harvest Ridge Winery in Marydel, DE as a video intern. My main responsibility is to use multimedia outlets to promote the winery. I take pictures and video of the winery, as well as special events, to post on their YouTube channel ( and other social media sites. I have also started a mini web series for the winery called Harvest Ridge Uncorked, and I am currently working on the fourth episode.

Do you feel co-op has helped you get closer to attaining your goals?

Yes! This co-op is very challenging, but it provides a great opportunity for me to push my creativity. I have also seen just how demanding and time consuming the editing process is, which is something I would prefer to experience now as a student rather than a professional. I’ve learned with editing you have to work on it every day. This co-op gave me the chance to practice my editing skills, really develop them, and I feel I am getting closer to finding my own voice as an editor.

kaitlin2What made you decide to pursue a co-op position?

This is my second Bachelor’s degree, so this time around I wanted to be involved as much as possible. I thought the co-op would give me the opportunity I was looking for to practice my film making skills. I thought it would also help me build my connections and resources that I will later need down the road.

What has been your favorite part(s) of your co-op experience?

My favorite part about the co-op experience, honestly, is seeing my finished product. I never thought I would actually have the time, energy, and talent to create a five minute program, let alone a ten minute program! Seeing the progress I am making makes me feel I am getting closer to my dream of working in the film industry.

Would you recommend the co-op program to other students? Why or why not?

I would absolutely recommend the co-op program to other students, and I have! It challenges you and gives you an opportunity to apply the skills you learn in the classroom. I’ve really discovered new things about myself that I may not have realized if I didn’t apply. You really don’t have anything to lose and everything to gain when applying for a co-op position.

What’s stopping you from building your future? Learn more about the Office of Cooperative Education at: or send an email to

Meet a Wildcat Co-op: Sergio C.

Sergio CSergio is a Behavioral Science major who expects to graduate next summer. After graduation, his goal is to join Delaware’s Probation and Parole department. Further down the road, he would like to join a local police department. Along his path toward achieving those goals, he obtained a co-op position at the Ferris School for Boys, a level 5 correctional/treatment facility for adjudicated males ages 13 to 18. He completed his co-op experience just this past summer.

I asked Sergio what made him decide to pursue a co-op position, to which he replied: “A situation at work motivated me to pursue the co-op program.  I’m a security guard at a local commercial building. One day, my supervisor and I responded to call regarding an intoxicated individual.  Long story short, we detained an intoxicated juvenile carrying an open container.  I felt bad for the child because he spilled his life story with us.  A month later, I received an email about an opportunity at Mowlds Cottage [a six-week transition program that follows a stay at Ferris School]. This opportunity allowed me to observe the rehabilitative process from the staff and juvenile point of view.”

When asked his favorite part of his co-op experience, he says: “My favorite part is hearing stories from each of the employee about their goals and motivations to work with at risk juveniles.  I spoke with the staff and I found the majority are passionate about helping the children to succeed.  The staff wants the children to leave the lock-down facility with better career and education skills, confidence and coping skills.”

Sergio says he recommends the co-op program to students with similar career goals and a passion to help children attain a better pathway in life.

What’s stopping you from building your future? Learn more about the Office of Cooperative Education at: or send an email to

Meet a Wildcat Co-op: Mat M.

2Mat Marshall - center of photo in glasses
Mat, seated at center, at a meeting held by Senator Carper of Delaware.

I had the opportunity to ask undergraduate Government and Public Policy major Mat M. a few questions about his experience as a co-op. He expects to graduate in May 2015, after which he would like to manage Democratic political campaigns in Delaware and beyond. Reading about the co-op program on our website helped Mat solidify his decision to transfer to Wilmington University.

Read on to find out how Mat is opening doors in his political career and enriching the value of his education through cooperative education.

Describe your co-op experience: where do you work and what do you do there?
I work for the U.S. Senate as Senator Carper’s Deputy New Castle County Director. I take meetings with constituent groups, staff the senator while he is in the county, and handle small business outreach.

I also work for Senator Carper’s campaign committee as its Political Director, where my duties range from fundraising and donor management to working with the Democratic Party to support its ticket in the 2014 election. Both jobs are being used for co-op credit.

Mat Marshall - second photo
Being on Senator Carper’s staff has opened many doors for Mat.

Do you feel co-op has helped you get closer to attaining your goals?
Absolutely. My experience with Senator Carper’s staff could never be replicated in a classroom. That’s not just because of the kind of work I have in my own portfolio. A huge part of the value in my experience has come from working with the colleagues, friends, and mentors I’ve found on Senator Carper’s staff. I work every day with people whose passion for public service, diversity of experience, and collective knowledge has taught me more in the past two years than I’ve learned at any time since I took an interest in politics. It’s important to get a college education for the contextual and foundational understanding of your work, but nothing will teach you to do a job better than doing a job.

What made you decide to pursue a co-op position?
I’ve been interested in politics and public service since an 8th grade internship with the City of Newark’s Parks and Recreation Department, and I’ve been steadily involved in campaigns and internships since then. By the time I transferred to Wilmington, I was Senator Carper’s driver and had been working with his team for about a year. It was just a matter of connecting the dots that I could use my work experience to earn credit.

What has been your favorite part(s) of your co-op experience?
Strictly speaking, my favorite part of the co-op is the fact that I get to go to work and earn credit at the same time. But the co-op has enhanced my work experience, because it pushes me to search for a deeper analysis in the work that I do.

Would you recommend the co-op program to other students? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Frankly, it would benefit every college student to round out their education with work experience. The co-op program not only allows you to advance your career by getting work experience before earning your degree, it also gives you a deeper understanding of everything you’ve learned up to that point, and a broader perspective on everything that you learn thereafter.


What’s stopping you from building your future? Learn more about the Office of Cooperative Education at: or send an email to


Meet Khushbu P., a Wildcat Co-op!

Khushbu P. is yet another Wilmington University student who is busy expanding her future through a co-op experience at SSD Technology Partners. A Computer and Network Security major, Khushbu desires to work in the information security field after graduation, in hopes of landing a position with a government agency. She feels her co-op experience has helped her get closer to attaining that goal because of the hands-on experience she is immersed in from day to day.

Obtaining this hands-on experience was the very reason Khushbu contacted Office of Cooperative Education director David Caffo about co-op opportunities. Her advice to other students who might be considering the co-op program? Take advantage of the free elective space in their programs. “Most students don’t use free electives to their benefit, and I thought the co-op program was a wonderful idea. It gives students the opportunity to see how the real world works, to get experience to put on their résumés, and this helps them land a job faster.”

What’s stopping you from building your future? Learn more about the Office of Cooperative Education at: or send an email to

Meet Vienna O., a Wildcat Co-op!

Vienna, an undergraduate Information Systems Management major and Math minor, obtained a co-op position within Wilmington University’s Office of Institutional Research. When asked what prompted her to pursue a co-op position, Vienna cited her busy lifestyle: “I love being on the move and constantly doing something, so the co-op position seemed like the perfect solution.”

Vienna’s post-graduation goal is to obtain a full-time job working for Disney, and she feels her co-op experience has helped her toward attaining that goal because of the valuable workplace skills she has gained. Vienna says she has learned relevant computer skills, has become more detail-oriented, and has become a more confident and skilled communicator thanks to her co-op experience. Through her work as a co-op, Vienna feels she is a useful and helpful asset to the University. Wilmington University co-ops like Vienna contribute significant work to their organizations – work that is also relevant to their field of study and/or career focus.

When asked if she would recommend the co-op program to other students, Vienna says, “Absolutely! This experience has been so wonderful and I have gained so much. I hope that everyone else gets the chance to have a similar experience.”

What’s stopping you from building your future? Learn more about the Office of Cooperative Education at: or send an email to


Meet Jennifer S., a Wildcat Co-op!

JenniferSJennifer is an undergraduate Marketing major who is currently in her senior year at Wilmington University. She heard about the co-op program from the instructor of her Consumer Behavior course, and decided to pursue a co-op position in order to gain relevant work experience for a career in marketing. “It was a good way to get my foot in the door,” Jennifer says.

Jennifer obtained a co-op position right here at WilmU, in the University Relations/Marketing department, and the experience has been very rewarding. Jennifer says, “I really like that this department includes me. I get invited to every meeting.” She has been developing her skills in advertising, particularly Google Analytics and Google AdWords. By promoting these valuable skills through the social networking site LinkedIn, potential employers have already reached out to Jennifer – and she has not even graduated yet! In addition, the co-op program’s flexibility has allowed to keep her two other jobs while attending school full-time.

Jennifer’s story is a great example of how a co-op position provides hands-on experience related to a student’s major field of study or career focus. Gaining practical on-the-job experience, developing confidence, gaining professional contacts, and testing applications of academic theories are just a few of the ways students can benefit from a co-op position.

What’s stopping you from building your future? Learn more about the Office of Cooperative Education at: or send an email to