SENIOR, BS BUSINESS AND ENGINEERING
Every year, more than 5,700 students discover their careers through the Drexel Co-op program — a signature model of education that balances classroom theory with paid job experience within a buzzing network of nearly 1,700 co-op employers in 51 countries. What does a Drexel co-op look like? In this regular feature, we ask a student fresh off her most recent co-op to show us. — Katie Clark
I worked during summer term as a program manager at Microsoft Corp. in Redmond, Washington. I worked in the cloud and enterprise business group in the identity and security services division. The company is amazing and they treat their interns really well — they organize a lot of activities for us, but they also give us real responsibilities. On this co-op, I worked on integrating the Touch ID functionality into an iOS application called Microsoft Authenticator, which allows a user to log into any account using multi-factor authentication, one of the most secure forms of electronic identity authentication. I also prototyped the user experience for an Apple Watch version of the app.
This co-op helped me decide to switch my major from computer engineering to business and engineering. Changing majors is a scary thing to do going into your senior year. But I think it’s so important that I did that while still in school, instead of having to go back for another degree. Drexel’s co-op program lets you experience what your degree will be worth in the future — and it gives you a head start. I already have a résumé with multiple work experiences and many of my fellow classmates from other schools are graduating with no work experience. Historically, there have been very few women in the technology industry; my classes at Drexel were also male-dominated. But there is defi nitely an industry shift toward bringing in more women. And I’m a part of that. After I graduate, I will be returning to Microsoft as a program manager.
This is a Microsoft Surface 3, which was given as a gift to all of us at the end of the co-op — it was an absolutely crucial device for all of the meetings and presentations that were a part of the job. When I wasn’t in meetings, I was designing prototypes for the app and figuring out ways to simplify the user experience. The T-shirt was also a gift — in fact, this style of dress is pretty standard for employees at technology companies.