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Cooperative Education (Co-op) unites the classroom and the workplace, allowing students to engage in real-world applications of their academic pursuits. Through two full-time, paid experiences (creating one year of full-time work experience within the four-year degree), Co-op has proven to be an instrumental way for students to discover and live their professional passions. Co-op is available to full-time, day, undergraduate business students (with a 2.75 GPA or better) majoring in Accounting, Business Administration, Business Intelligence, Family Business & Entrepreneurship, Finance, Financial Planning, International Business, Leadership, Ethics & Organizational Sustainability, Managing Human Capital, Marketing, Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Marketing, Risk Management & Insurance, Sports Marketing. The pay range for Co-op students is $10 to $20 an hour.
The Food Marketing Department administers a separate Co-op Program for its students.
The Co-op Program includes two full-time work terms: 1) from September to December of the sophomore year and 2) from January to August of the junior year. For both terms, students’ resumes are sent to the University’s Co-op employers, and Co-op students subsequently interview for the posted positions. Because of changing job market conditions and variations in students’ skills and abilities as they relate to employers’ needs, the Co-op Program cannot guarantee jobs. However, the Director works diligently with students to help them engage in the most successful job search possible.
The first work term is a more general experience, introducing students to the fundamental demands of work and providing them with workplace tasks that meet their introductory-level skills and knowledge. The second work term is comparatively more in-depth, allowing students to participate in higher-level responsibilities. Students may work for the same employer for both work experiences or opt to work for different employers.
Co-op students enroll in two summer semesters (the summers following the freshman and sophomore years). The summer semesters, which run from mid-May to mid-July, replace the semesters that students work. Contrary to what one might expect, Co-op students commonly report enjoying the summer semesters, particularly the cohesiveness and collaboration among the students in the Program and the academic success that often results.
A Co-op student’s schedule proceeds like this:
Students who participate in Co-op can expect to:
- Learn a host of job-search skills, from writing an effective resume to interviewing well.
- Apply classroom knowledge to the workplace and workplace knowledge to the classroom.
- Engage in relevant, challenging, paid work rotations (current pay range is $10 to $20 an hour).
- Utilize their technical skills.
- Discover how to earn trust in the workplace.
- Experience the day-to-day rewards, successes and challenges of the workplace.
- Build confidence and maturity.
- Test a career choice while still in college.
- Learn the value of teamwork, effective communication and presentation skills.
- Gain ethical and professional insights.
- Receive first-hand understanding of and knowledge in a given profession.
- Participate in the usual University activities, such as student government, Greek life, study abroad, select sports, honor and professional societies and so forth.
- Gain one year of full-time work experience in four years without extending the graduation date.
- Be substantially more competitive job candidates upon graduation.
- Be a full-time, undergraduate, day student in the Haub School of Business.
- Register for Co-op, ideally by November 1 of the freshman year.
- Agree to the terms of the Co-op application (please visit the Co-op Office for a copy)
- Have completed the first semester of the sophomore year before starting the first Co-op work term.
- Have completed the junior year before starting the second Co-op work term.
- Maintain a minimum overall grade point average of 2.75; a 3.0 or above is highly preferred, and may be necessary to remain in the program if student enrollment needs to be trimmed to match the number of Co-op job opportunities. Of note: Some Co-op employers require a 3.0 or above for interview consideration.
The terms Co-op and internship are frequently used interchangeably, but there are some important distinctions in how these terms are defined at Saint Joseph's University:
More lengthy work experience (one year)
No classes should be taken during work/students focus exclusively on work
Less lengthy work experience (two to four months)
Classes can be taken during work/students typically balance work and school
May be paid or not paid. May be for one to three credits or for not credit
Students can join Co-op by completing a short application that is available at the Co-op Office in Mandeville 314 or at classroom/campus information sessions.
Students should register for Co-op during the first semester of the freshman year (usually by or near November 1). Students may enroll later; however, the advantage to enrolling early is wiser course selection: the Co-op Program guides students into specific courses for the spring semester to prevent scheduling conflicts with the courses that need to be taken during the summer semester. Additionally, Co-op students enjoy a host of special programming (resume writing and interviewing workshops; social gatherings; networking nights; site visits to companies, etc.). Only registered students will know about and be eligible to participate in these events.
Because of changing job market conditions and variations in students’ skills, abilities and academic success as they relate to employers’ needs, the Co-op Program cannot guarantee jobs. However, the Director works diligently with students to help them engage in the most successful job search possible. During those times when student enrollment exceeds the number of potential Co-op job opportunities, the Director will typically counsel students whose grades are between 2.75 and 3.0 to delay enrolling in Co-op, improve their grades, and seek enrollment in Co-op for the second work term.
For each work rotation, the Co-op Program submits student resumes to dozens of companies that post Co-op positions with the Co-op Program. Companies then select students for interviews, which may take place on campus or at the employers' location. Companies then make independent hiring decisions and notify students accordingly.
All students in the Co-op Program are provided with instruction on resume writing and with direction on interviewing effectively.
Bank of New York-Mellon
Catholic Leadership Institute
F X Duffy
Morgan, Lewis & Bokius
McNeil Consumer Group/Johnson & Johnson
Penn Mutual Management
Phelan, Hallinan and Schmieg
Philadelphia Insurance Companies
Porter and Curtis Insurance
Smart and Associates
Susquehanna International Group
Unites States Liability Insurance
While on work assignments, Co-op students are classified as full-time. Full tuition must be paid for the two summer semesters (which replace the fall semester of the sophomore year and the spring semester of the junior year). There are no tuition charges for the two work terms.
Students who are contemplating Co-op must meet with their financial aid counselor to investigate how, if at all, Co-op will affect their financial aid package. Typically federal loans and grants are affected by the first Co-op work experience; the Financial Aid Office can provide good alternatives to students who find themselves in this situation.
On-campus housing is available to Co-op students during the summer semesters and during the work experiences for students who are eligible for it.