Advantages of Professional Practice

As a Professional Practice student you will have the opportunity to:

  • apply the fundamental principles and theories you have learned in the Purdue classroom to actual work in your field--making your academic work more meaningful. Your assignments will not consist of "make-work" projects, but will be challenging projects necessary to the operation of your employer's business.
  • acquire about eighteen months of actual experience in your field while earning a degree.
  • earn a substantial salary while acquiring your education.
  • get to know and work with professionals in real problem-solving situations.
  • learn to work with and understand people at all levels of the employment environment.
  • learn some of the many and diverse functions that professionals perform. In this way you may develop your own interests and abilities along certain channels. This experience will help you choose electives in your senior year.
  • lessen the adjustment from academic to professional life.
  • learn to know more about yourself. In a work environment you gain insights into your ability to work better as an individual or in a group-oriented career.

Top 6 Reasons to Pick a Co-Op Program vs an Internship

Things you should know before making your decision whether or not to participate in a co-op program.

  • Purdue will help you find a job as early as the summer after your freshman year!

    As a freshman seeking a summer internship, you would be competing with juniors. Because of this, many freshmen don't get summer employment that corresponds with their major. In the co-op program, freshmen and sophomores are actually given preference over juniors! The co-op program is designed to grow with your education. Your first session will cover basics, but your subsequent sessions will continually become more and more in-depth as you learn more and take higher-level classes.

  • More is better...

    As a co-op student, you receive 18 to 24 months of work experience, compared to the 9 months interns can accumulate. In addition, internships offer a maximum of 3-month assignments, which don't allow interns to get in-depth training. So, as a co-op, you'll have more experience on your resume and more money in the bank.

  • Better work assignments/increased responsibilities.

    As an intern, the company will place you where they need you, not necessarily where you want to be. The work assigned to interns often consists of the tasks that no one else wants. As a co-op student, you will have more control over what work assignments you are given. The company has an interest in giving you diverse experiences, since you will be returning three or four more times after your first work session. You will be given quality assignments that challenge you with increasing levels of difficulty each time you return. This makes YOU a much more marketable graduate!

  • First to get permanent job offers.

    In over two thirds of the cases, co-op students receive job offers from their employers. Statistics also show that co-op students receive more job offers than interns.

  • More maturity and professional development.

    You'll have the benefit of working with professionals who help you learn the world of work before you graduate. This lets you try out different approaches with people, work, and situations while you are still a student. These skills will put you ahead of other new college grads that are just starting careers.

  • Enjoy the same benefits as regular employees.

    Some co-op students can accumulate vacation time, retirement benefits, and more (although this depends on the policies of your co-op employer). If you decide to work for your employer after graduation, you can start out with up to three years of seniority! Most interns, on the other hand, receive none of these benefits.

Purdue University Office of Professional Practice, Potter Engineering Center, Rm 114, 500 Central Dr, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-7430

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