Keynote Presentation: Maximizing the Benefits of co-operative Education at J&J
Dominic J. Caruso, VP Finance and CFO
Mr. Caruso is a former Co-op student (accounting at Drexel). He seemed to have chosen Co-op to verify his career choice for himself. Through good mentors at work and good advising through the Co-op office, he gained a better understanding of the variety and complexity of the business and the profession.
There are 114,000 employees at J&J. Engineering is fairly big at J&J...perhaps there's room for some BMEs?
Co-op students are more valuable and are engaged more deeply than interns (summer students). They bring more experience to the Co-op role and that experience is valued at the time of full-time hiring, being preferred as they stand-out. In fact, their retention rate is higher because they are making an informed decision about J&J. Significantly, they see higher performance and faster promotion rates for Co-op students.
There are seven, top-tier schools that they use (Drexel, Rutgers, etc.). They are looking for talent in Commerce, IT, engineering, etc. 40% of the 1500 new hires were Co-op students. They have noticed that there has been a decline in the number of acceptances for Co-op offerings recently. One theme from focus groups is that students are pursuing internships rather than Co-op. There is a perceived benefit to get through the Bachelor's degree and get onto Master's level study, faster.
Johnson & Johnson are very willing to work with Faculty to improve curriculum. But, they're not too sure what "real world experience" means.
In response to a question from P. Jarvie (UW), Mr. Caruso replied that J&J values students who have had multiple opportunities and experiences and therefore the more familiar model of Co-op is recognized as beneficial. They're quite satisifed when a student chooses J&J after seeing other experiences.