When I started looking at colleges, I was unsure as to what I wanted to do with my future. All I knew was that continuing my education was the most important goal for me at that moment. I was drawn to Drexel for many reasons, but mainly by the co-op program. I would be able to gain experience from internships, and hopefully have a better idea of what I would like to do with my future, while still attending school.
While searching for my first co-op, I kept an open mind, and applied to a variety of internships. I looked into many nonprofits because fellow sociology majors recommended getting some under my belt. One that stood out most to me was a position at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center. I was not so sure that I would pursue dog training after school, but it was a different and exciting opportunity that I would probably never have again. I also had some prior experience with dog training. After attending my interviews and finding out the offers I received, I decided on Penn Vet.
Although I am not planning a future career in dog training, I did end up discovering my long-term goals during my co-op cycle […]. I have decided to pursue work with military families, and I aspire to become a military social worker.
Throughout the co-op, I learned so much, and made many unforgettable friendships with the staff, other interns, and especially dogs. I was able to assist in the training of the dogs, work on projects with specific dogs on my team, collaborate with other volunteers, and gain experience in recording data, which can transfer to data collection in any social research that I might choose to do in the future. I was able to attend many field trips with the dogs during my co-op, including Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Six Flags’ Hurricane Harbor, the Philadelphia Zoo, and the boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey. I also back-up fostered my favorite pup, Riley (pictured), a diabetic alert dog, who attended his first Philadelphia Phillies game with me.
Penn Vet was such an enjoyable environment that even the housekeeping work was fun. Any little service that you could offer the center was always greatly appreciated. Although I am not planning a future career in dog training, I did end up discovering my long-term goals during my co-op cycle, based on outside experiences. I have decided to pursue work with military families, and I aspire to become a military social worker. For my next co-op, I will be working with Cradles to Crayons, another nonprofit organization that gathers a variety of items for children, from birth through age 12, living in low-income situations. I wanted to support families in need this time around, and I hope to work with a military-linked organization for my final co-op.
Regardless of my future, I will talk about my experience with my co-op for as long as I can. Penn Vet is a place where I know I am always welcome. I am grateful that I was able to have such a positive experience with my first co-op at Drexel, and I look forward to my other two.