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What advice would you give an incoming Drexel student?Co-Op

Responses from Drexel alumni ...

Be prepared to: Work hard, learn well, enjoy the city and be proud. - Gerald Bricker '70

Your possibilities are endless. Never limit yourself because of fear or preconceived notions about things and especially about people. Reach out to that very quiet or supper bright student who does not look like you. You will be amazed to learn that half of your Drexel education happens outside of the classroom and the library. Embrace it! Enjoy it! - Sherri L. Pray '08

I would advise new students to get involved with activities on campus. Drexel is very large and it is easy to stick with the people in your major. Take a leap from the comfort and do something new. - Kristy Adams '95

College is the time to challenge the accepted. Some of the greatest inventions of our time have come from people who wouldn't accept the traditional ways to do something. Use this time to find new ways, to find better ways but, most importantly, find your way. - Damon Kline '06

Join a lot of student organizations while you're at Drexel. It's a great way to meet people and find out what you're interested in. There is a lot going on around campus, so take advantage of it.
     Similarly, take advantage of Philadelphia: go to First Friday, festivals on the Parkway, concerts in Rittenhouse, movies on Schuylkill Banks, restaurant week, Philly Film Festival, the Fringe Festival, and all the other events and institutions in the city. - Mario Arnold '06, '08

Use the co op opportunity to explore the field that you "think" you want to work in. It is the most valuable aspect of your Drexel education. - Rick '71

My advice - take advantage of the experience, and join some groups, get involved, grab some friends and see what the city (and suburbs) has to offer! It's easy to stay close to campus and the dorms, but there's so much to see and do - you'd be cheating yourself out of lifetime memories. - Matt Zarkos '83

That first year, you will have a lot on your plate, between studying, deciding on a major (or deciding if you have chosen the right major), and getting to know new people. But despite this, I advise you take an elective you have always had interest for but have never had the opportunity to take in high school and actively pursue it. It will broaden your social group and give you the chance to understand yourself and your capabilities. It took me a while to realize that college is not about just studying or partying but also about self realization. So take art history or Japanese or classical piano. Become impassioned by what you do. Go Dragons!! - Jason Lemonds '07

Make sure to use your co-op experiences as a way to test out what you want in a career. I did mine in a hospital, a police department and the amazing Johnson & Johnson. It helped me to realize what I like in a company and in a job. Co-op is amazing!! So, take advantage of it as much as you can! - Colleen Reilly '06

College is where you'll learn the fundamentals of your career. But, there are two more important things you'll learn: (1) how to learn and (2) how to work with others. So, study, but figure out how to study effectively and quickly. What you learn today may be out of date in 10 years. You'll need to know how to keep up-to-date with your changing career. Then go out and meet people. Get involved on campus. Join organizations. Try something new. Gaining social skills is just as important for a happy and successful career. - Stuart Kopperman '79

Take responsibility for your own college experience. Those that sit back and let education happen to them are at a disadvantage to those that actively participate in class and extracurricular activities. - Marc Blumberg '04

Drexel University provides the perfect outlet for becoming a leader. As a student at Drexel you are constantly presented with the chance to lead, whether it be in the classroom, on co-op, or in student activities. If you're not afraid to take a chance, Drexel will teach you to stand out in a crowd. - Stephanie Dore '08

Study and class work is, of course, important, but be sure to take advantage of the rich cultural and social events that are available to you. Drexel's campus is really the whole of Center City and University City- get out and get to know the city and see its museums, architecture, and people! And be sure to attend Drexel sporting events and see its excellent jazz band! You only have this experience once- grab all you can from it. - Gail Tanzer '81

Use the Professor's office hours as an opportunity to introduce yourself, and not just a time for questions or problems with the course. Professors like to get to know students on a personal level and you never know the networking opportunities that could be created as well as the wealth of knowledge that our faculty has. - Heather Brown '07

Start building your network of contacts now. Keep in touch with classmates and teachers so you have some resources when it comes time to look for a job or change jobs. - Jane Pfaff '97

Find a club! Having something fun to do outside of class makes the time at college much more fun. Plus, coming from a 4 out of 5 year commuter, try to live on campus and enjoy it. It really is the best time of your lives if you spend it wisely. - Brian McNiff '07

I know it's tempting to seek out the parties during the first weeks of school now that you have freedom, but it's in your best interest to buckle down right away, and save the partying for a Friday or Saturday night. With only 10 week semesters it's easy to get behind right away.
     Try and be prepared for class. You'll get more out of your lectures if you pre-read the material being covered before the lecture.
     Join a Fraternity or Sorority, they are a great support network academically and socially, and the friends you make help with the homesickness.
     Use the kitchens in the dorms and cook your own food instead of going out to eat when you aren't using your meal plans, you'll save a lot of money that way, and you can make those comfort foods you miss so much that mom's not there to make for you. - Jackie Taylor McClure '87

When I came to Drexel I was told to look on my right and my left, during orientation. I was told that only one of us would graduate ... I guess many more graduate today. However, to answer your specific question I would say listen, listen, and study study study ... technology is all about learning facts and being able to put them to practice.
     PS - the student on my right transferred from engineering to business administration so he could graduate ... he ended up more wealthy then this engineering graduate. - William H. Teat '74

Make sure you read "The Truth About Drug Companies" by Marcia Angell at some point during your clinical rotations. The pharmaceutical industry provides some of medicine's most powerful tools. At the same time, it threatens the integrity of medical education and research, and undermines rational patient care. This book is your vaccination against the more insidious aspects of this powerful agent. When it was first published, this book was required reading for Genentech's upper-level management. Future physicians dedicated to rational, quality patient care must also learn about the powerful economic interests currently at play in healthcare, which in a very real way will shape your careers, and touch the lives of every one of your patients. - Joseph A. Mott, M.D. '90

As an IT Executive of 16 years, when I interview a recent grad with no valuable internships or co-ops, I rely 70% on the GPA and 30% on the interpersonal skills. Of course being future Drexel grads, you will have a significant advantage over because you have a strong co-op program. What this means to you is that during your co-op experience be sure to make a strong positive impression on your employer and be assertive in asking for challenging projects that will be marketable when you graduate. For Drexel grads I base a hire decision on 40% GPA, 30% Co-op, and 30% interpersonal.
     All that said, my college years were fabulous! I studied hard, partied often, and played as many sports as I could. Getting that extra .5 added to your GPA by exclusively focusing on academics may get you more money after graduation, but money and happiness are related to each other only for the poorest of our society.
     Learning should be a joy, just as socializing and physical fitness can be. In my case, I had a healthy balance will resulted in me meeting my wonderful wife!
     Best of luck, and remember to open up to absorb all that Drexel has to offer. - Bradley Pedrow '93

1. Join Greek life, and get involved in non scholastic campus life.
2. Start your independent co-op search early.
3. Don't take the first co-op you get offered because your scared you won't find one in other rounds.
4. Taco Lou's sounds like a good idea after a long night on the town, but in the long run it isn't worth it.
5. Take every thing you can from the Quakers; Penn parties are almost always free.
- Collin Vincent '06

Go to class! Keep in close contact with your professors. Stay on top of your GPA - once it's down, it's hard to get back up. Take the road less traveled and know yourself. Taking on new challenges is the best way to learn - make sure to stretch yourself. - Michelle '06

Keep your mind open to the many possibilities. Don't be afraid to switch majors early on. It's supposed to be difficult, but if it's TOO hard, maybe it isn't right for you. Get a degree in what you do well, then learn how to adapt it to the job of your dreams. - Scott Hull '87

Have a specific goal in mind when you go to college and work toward that goal. College is not only about the education (if that's what you're going for); it's not only about the partying or social events (if that's what you're going for); and it's not only about flirting with Mr. or Mrs. Right-Now (if...). Use college as an all-around experience and do as much networking as you can. You never know when Mr. Engineer will need Mrs. Graphic Designer, Mrs. Business Major or, better yet, Mr. Dean of Students to help his venture off the ground. With so many goal-oriented people in attendance, Drexel is a vast playground of contacts and future business relationships. Milk that not-so-cheap tuition for all it's worth, starting from day 1! - Eli Gassert '05

Living in Philadelphia where I was born, I was a commuter student. I think I missed a lot by not living on Campus. If you also are a commuting student, find time to join organizations on Campus and make life-long friends.
     Also, you need to carefully balance the "fun" time with the study time. (believe me, I know!) Once you fall behind in your homework or reading, it tends to snowball and making up lost time is next to impossible. I saw a lot of friends flunk out because they spent too much time in the Student Union building. You're on your own now, possibly now for the first time in your life. You need to remind yourself to not blow this big chance now that you've made it to Drexel. Be mature and keep the "fun" moderated but still enjoy this part of your life. - Richard Blumenstein '69

Focus on the fundamentals as you will come back to these throughout your career, as you apply them to the technologies of the moment and of the future. Remember to take time to make meaningful relationships with fellow students and with faculty, building a network for the future. - David Orloff '66, '68, '74

Realize that you need to study harder and more frequently than you ever have before. Never give up on understanding a concept. Also, doing well is its own reward. It can all be fun with the right attitude. Good Luck! - John J. Hohenstein, MBA '82, BSEE '99, MSIS '06

As an integral adjunct to every aspect of your studies focus on how to effectively communicate your ideas - both upward and down - and how to be a "salesman". - Ed Kutler '46

Explore as much of Philadelphia as you can, even if it's on your own. Do as many as things as you can. Try some things you might not normally do, and don't be too picky. It takes away from the experience. Do some things with friends if you can, but do some things on your own too. Also, don't wait too long for people that are unreasonably unresponsive. - Stan Hwang '03

Study as you go, do your best, get involved in school activities and enjoy your Drexel experience! - Teresa C. Cartularo ' 81

Get involved! A Drexel education isn't cheap so make it worth every penny! Be active in campus activities, join an organization or two that interests you, find a way to be connected. It's tough to go back and forth from class to co-op and being involved on campus is the best way to still feel like a student who is part of the Drexel community. - Sarah Bakermans '08

Your studies MUST have the highest priority in your life. At this time, your job in life is to study and learn. The payoff will come later.
     If money is a problem, loans and scholarships are preferable to working while trying to study.
     College social life can be tempting. Devise a plan up front to help maintain the study discipline.
     Reading assignments can be crushing. Take a speed reading course as soon as possible. You can "get behind" so fast it will boggle your mind.
     As a freshman wound up on academic probation because I failed to understand the significance of what I just wrote for you.
     Course loads can be crushing too. In the movies, Dirty Harry once said, "A man's gotta know his limitations." Be cognizant of your limitations. If the course load to too heavy, for heaven's sake drop something and come back to it later. When you make the decision in time, a drop will NOT affect your cumulative average. If you stay in the course and perform poorly, your cumulative average will suffer and haunt you your entire time at Drexel.
     Build a relationship with the faculty advisors and mentors provided for you. These people can help you "learn the ropes". There are "ropes" to be learned at Drexel and everywhere else.
     Be warned. Teaching ability is not the primary factor in the hiring of professors at colleges. This includes Drexel. Over time, you will learn who the really good ones are. Gravitate toward these professors. Hopefully you will learn this sooner than later. When you run into one of the less skilled teachers, you must study more, seek tutoring and pray. Stay close to God, whatever your religion may be.
     God bless, you picked one of the finest colleges. I wish you the best. - John Poiron, '70 BS in Bus Adm/'72 MBA

Don't begrudge Drexel for the quarter system; it is simply preparation for the hard and fast deadlines that become reality after graduation. - Taryn Gillison '00

Start to do class work immediately. Don't get behind. Work constantly or you may flunk out. It gets easier as time goes by. College is fun, but don't forget why you are there. - Dr. Stephanie M. Garlick '69, BS

Get involved! Join campus activities groups and attend meetings with friends who have joined other groups. Best of all, create a group if Drexel doesn't already offer a group that suits your tastes. You'll have a richer experience and you'll learn a lot about yourself by joining campus activities groups. - Douglas H. Sell, Jr. '04

I would tell them to read my book, "What Greenspan Can't Tell You: The Inner Workings of the Investment Markets", so that they get the leg up on students from other schools! - Fred Press '85

Take advantage of the city! I came to Drexel having grown up in a rural area, and not having much experience being in a city, so it was culture shock for me when I got here. But I loved it! There is so much to do, all the time. You can always find something that relates to your interests going on, whether on- or off-campus. City life is part of the Drexel experience. - Cameron Wicks '06

Take a little time to get to know the campus and Philly too before classes get going full swing. Work hard but have a little fun as well. 4 (or 5) years is a long time to spend someplace without finding some fun stuff to do. - Peter Mitchell '81


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