Tim lives and works on the West Coast. He earned a BSN from Washington State University in December 1999, and has been employed by a large urban hospital as an Oncology Certified Registered Nurse since 2000. Through progressive leadership roles, he currently acts as nurse manager for two inpatient oncology units. Despite no formal business education, in his spare time Tim also co-founded a microbrewery in 2010. Tim is a dedicated father to three children and spends many nights a week cheering from the sidelines. To assist him in excelling in his current role and continued growth in his career, Tim chose to continue his education with an MBA concentrating in Health Care Administration. Wilmington University offered just the right balance of quality, flexibility, and affordability. Classes have been engaging and enlightening given his daily work role. With all this, Tim still maintains a GPA of 4.0. Please join me in congratulating Tim on being our featured student of Fall Block I!
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.
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.
John Repici lives in Burlington, New Jersey and is a graduate of Burlington County College. He chose Wilmington University in 2013 to continue his education because of the excellent price and convenience. This past Fall he was in four courses (first semester at Wilmington) and was fortunate enough to be on the Dean’s List for the semester. This summer John will be in his final five courses and is very proud to be the first individual in his family to earn a college degree. John is completing his Bachelor’s degree in just one academic year after transferring in his Associate’s degree. Immediately after graduating, he will continue at Wilmington for either an MSM or MBA with a marketing concentration. Congratulations John for being chosen as Summer Block II student of the block! Your accomplishments are impressive!
And almost 300 years later, Wilmington University offered its first online course. In the fall of 2007, a BBM 300 level class was given a trial run. The course wasn’t promoted, it was just quietly introduced. At the conclusion of the course, staff members were enlisted to call each student to get feedback.
Wilmington University has come a long way since then. After this trial period, we started promoting online programs in 2008. Our first programs offered fully online were Human Resource Management and Business Management.
Today, in the spring of 2014, Wilmington University offers over 80 online programs – undergraduate and graduate, concentrations, and certificates. These programs cover a huge range of subject matter, from behavioral science to computer security, sports management and health care administration. Even traditional degree programs include classes online.
Learn more about online learning on our web site: http://www.wilmu.edu/onlinelearning/index.aspx
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.”
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.”
Jennifer 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.