Co-Op Program Maintains Strong Placement Record
Since the Accounting department launched its co-op program in 2007, more than 200 students have gained a competitive edge in their professional endeavors.
Through the program, students have an opportunity to earn experience in public, corporate, governmental and not-for-profit settings. More than 30 host companies and organizations participate, including all of the Big 4 accounting firms, six regional accounting firms and numerous corporations.
Many employers use the Rider co-op program to recruit prospective employees. About 60 percent of co-ops turn into full-time offers, according to Dr. Marge O’Reilly-Allen, chair of the Accounting department.
“Students actually chose Rider because of our co-op program and many students work more than one co-op,” O’Reilly-Allen said. “Some work in public accounting positions, which almost always turn into full-time positions, and then do a corporate co-op at Johnson & Johnson or AIG to add to their experience.”
O’Reilly-Allen said the program has been so successful because students appreciate the opportunities and work hard on their soft-skills and accounting courses prior to beginning co-op positions. In addition, O’Reilly-Allen and Anne Mandel, CBA career placement director, have close relationships with all of the co-op firms. Through their annual meetings with firm representatives, they stay updated on the type of skills firms are looking for.
“From the moment freshman Accounting majors arrive on campus we discuss the world of work and courses that will be helpful,” O’Reilly-Allen said. “We provide coaching throughout the program. Students meet and network with accounting professionals from day one at Rider so they know about the various firms that employ our students. Students also self-select firms at which they want to work.”
During their co-op, students are required to take IND-398 – Professional Development Seminar, which enables students to deal with the many issues that accounting professionals face.
Host companies are impressed by the quality of the students that Rider produces.
“The growth of our program speaks to the quality of the students that we place. Our students are not only technically proficient, but they have been coached in the soft skills,” O’Reilly said. “Employers know Rider students to be hardworking and professional.”
For more information about the co-op program or to learn how your firm can get involved, contact Dr. Marge O’Reilly-Allen, chair of the Accounting department, at [email protected] or Anne Mandel, CBA career placement director, at [email protected].