Drexel University is a private research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, best known for its cooperative education that’s been offered since 1919, in partnership with over 1,500 companies and institutions to give their students a taste of the real world even before they graduate.
While many other schools offer similar experiences, the Drexel Co-op experience is a full six-months, instead of the more common two to three-month co-op opportunity. They are usually related to the students’ chosen area of study, and the students not only earn credit for it, they are also usually paid, and appear on their academic transcripts.
Though Lebow College of Business at Drexel offers an undergraduate business program that is comparable to other 4 year programs, with the Co-op, the program becomes five years, with the extra year being focused on work experience.
Tracy Venella, from the Class of 2016, said that while at LeBow, she was required to complete three 6-month co-operative experiences within a role related to her major in Accounting, and that she benefited immensely from the experiences, and is now working as an Audit Senior with Campbell Soup Company.
Another 2016 alumnus, Bradley Shaw, shared with Poets&Quants that he, too, had three co-op experiences related to his major in Marketing & Legal Studies. He also shared that while he had over $100,000 in student debt burden at graduation, his current debt burden has been reduced to under $40,000, and he is now working as an Assistant Manager in Strategic Partnerships at Destination Maternity.
LeBow College of Business received 5,235 applications to join their undergraduate business program in Fall 2018, and 3,874 were admitted, giving the program a 75 percent acceptance rate for direct applicants. In total, the full-time enrollment for all business majors in Fall 2018 was 3,053.
About 87 percent of students in the incoming Fall 2018 class submitted their SAT score, and the average score was 1,262. Of the 13 percent of students who submitted their ACT scores, the average score was 27. The incoming Fall 2018 class had an average high school GPA of 3.6.
The school estimates that the total four-year cost of attending, covering tuition and fees, is $198,839, with additional expenses such as food, lodging, transportation, and supplies adding another $64,004. However, to help lessen the cost of attending, 97 percent of incoming Fall 2018 business students received scholarship support with the average scholarship amount being $28,675. About 40 percent of alumni from the Class of 2016 told P&Q that they believed their business degree was worth its cost in tuition.
A MASSIVE 13 MAJORS TO CHOOSE FROM
At Lebow College of Business, students can choose from 13 majors and co-majors and must fulfill a liberal arts core and a general business base.
The majors available are Business & Engineering, Economics, Accounting, Finance, Marketing, International Business, Legal Studies, Management Info Systems, Operation Supply Chain Management, Business Analytics, Organizational Management, Sport Management, Real Estate Management & Development, Technology Innovation Management, and General Business.
But regardless which major a student chooses, he must complete the Business Core, which includes a class in accounting, economics, law, management information systems, finance, international business, marketing, statistics, organizational behavior, and operations management. Business students must also complete 21 liberal arts courses, ranging from classes in composition, psychology, and business communications in the first and second year, to literature, critical reasoning, and fine arts in their third and fourth years at Drexel.
Brian Ellis, Associate Dean for Academic Programs Administration, and Lisa DeLuca, Director of Undergraduate Career Services shared that the school has been stepping up their intentional efforts on diversity and inclusion recently.
The school reported that 66 percent of their incoming Fall 2018 students were first-generation college students, 14 percent were international students, and 9 percent of students were from underrepresented minority groups.
To better support their study body, LeBow College of Business recently developed six areas of focus to intentionally infuse diversity and inclusion. The areas the school has identified are Resources, Pressure Points Series, Student Voices, Diversity Case Competitions and Conferences, Faculty and Professional Staff Development, and College Bylaws.
LeBow’s Pressure Point Series has seen the school host dialogue by inviting guest speakers to engage in conversation on topics that are pressure points in today’s society. In October 2017, the school invited sports journalist Kevin Blackistone to the campus to engage in conversation about sport as a social institution, and the relationship between race and sport.
In 2018, the college hosted their 2nd annual Diversity and Inclusion Case Competition, where 18 undergraduate student teams took the role of management consultants or members of the board of directors and had to negotiate the best course of action for an organization.
Over 60 percent of alumni from the Class of 2016 told P&Q that they were engaged in a “signature experience” while at LeBow, from taking part in classroom simulations, consulting projects with real companies, and other hands-on learning experiences.
At Drexel, business students can help manage the Dragon Fund, LeBow’s student-managed equity portfolio, that was started in fall 2007 with $250,000. Since then, it’s grown to over $1.8 billion as LeBow undergraduates manage it through the Applied and Advanced Portfolio Management courses where they work in sector groups and become proficient at using Bloomberg and FactSet, connect with industry professionals and Drexel’s alumni network. Students who worked with the Dragon Fund have gone on to work at Barclays, BlackRock, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Nomura, and JP Morgan. Finance major Ashley Saidler, Class of 2016, is now working as an Investment Management Associate at Blackrock after participating in the Dragon Fund and said that the LeBow business program prepared her exceptionally well for the world of work.
Another notable experience that LeBow students can have is by participating in the LeBow BRIDGE program. BRIDGE scholars come from all majors at Drexel, and as part of the program, are guided through community service, financial literacy, and social engagement even as they maintain their academic excellence. Activities that they engage in include off-campus visits to companies across Philadelphia, including KPMG and Comcast; cultural immersion trips, where they travel to Washington D.C., and California; and educational workshops such as Ernst & Young Dress for Success Workshop, students are holistically prepped to jump into the world of work. Scholars also engage in social activities including Sunday dinners and alumni networking events, and civic engagement activities such as mentoring at local middle and high schools.
Drexel University also offers over 100 semester abroad opportunities to students, and LeBow students can also choose from 10 business-specific travel opportunities. Some opportunities, like the Drexel in Berlin + London program, offers students with the chance to visit two cities in just one summer, and each of the programs is dedicated to a specific area of interest. For example, Drexel in China is focused on Shanghai Business, Language and Culture, and Drexel in Singapore is focused on Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
The school shared that 6 percent of their students have a global experience before graduation, and 25 percent of alumni who responded to the P&Q survey said that they were part of a global immersion, trip, or project while at LeBow. From Germany and Spain to the Czech Republic, and Hong Kong, alumni said they studied abroad, interned abroad, and worked on projects for foreign companies while abroad.
A little closer to home, alumni also said that they learned about urban homelessness and poverty in Chicago over spring break, and visited the New York Stock Exchange and met with alumni who were working there. An alumnus who now works as a Senior Strategy Strategist with local government said that she remained in contact with professionals she met on the visit to the stock exchange and that it’s helped her broaden her network.
MANY STUDENTS COMPLETE UP TO FOUR INTERNSHIPS DURING UNDERGRAD
LeBow College of Business students get out and about a lot. With its popular co-op program, the school shared that 87 percent of students from both the classes of 2017 and 2018 had at least one business-specific internship before graduation. Most of the alumni from the Class of 2016 shared with Poets&Quants that they had done between 3 and 4 internships while working on their undergraduate degree.
The school also shared that about 58 percent of students in the classes of 2017 and 2018 found full-time jobs just months after graduation. The average salary for 2017 business majors from LeBow with full-time jobs was $57,860, with 10 percent of the group receiving an average signing bonus of about $7085.
The average salary fell slightly for the Class of 2018 to $57,185, but 24 percent of the group received an average signing bonus of $7,069.
Eighty percent of alumni from the Class of 2016 said that they would recommend the undergraduate business program at LeBow to a close friend or colleague, 86 percent said their first job after graduation was in their desired role and 72 percent said that their first job was at their desired company.
The school counts among its list of top employers companies including Deloitte, Vanguard, IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers, JP Morgan Chase, Comcast, Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, KPMG, and Johnson and Johnson.