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Cooperative Education Program

One of the many services which Bowling Green State University provides its students is the Cooperative Education Program. Through this program, students intern with a broad spectrum of companies in business and industry. The program is available to any student enrolled in any degree program at BGSU.

Interns work in academically relevant, supervised positions which complement the student's classroom learning while providing "real world" work experience related to their major prior to graduation. In addition to learning new and refining existing professional skills, interns report personal growth in the areas of confidence, independence, and maturity.

Opportunities for Students Pursuing a Mathematics or Statistics Degree

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics actively supports the Cooperative Education Program here at BGSU and has a strong track record for successful placement of interested students pursuing a degree in mathematics or statistics. Since 1994, we have placed students with the following companies:

  • Principle Business Enterprises
  • The Timken Company
  • Nationwide Insurance
  • The Cleveland Clinic
  • Eastman Kodak
  • Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Prudential Securities
  • Key Corporation
  • Mead Corporation
  • American Electric Power
  • Freudenberg
  • National Cash Register
  • Maritz Marketing
  • Beneficial Management Corporation
  • NASA

Why Do Companies Participate in Coop Programs?

Three-fourths of the Fortune 500 companies participate in cooperative programs throughout the US. These companies view co-op students as potential future employees and the co-op experience as part of an extended interview process. Because companies invest heavily in training co-op students, they must also see significant benefits in order to offset this real cost in today's competitive market. Companies typically target hiring two-thirds of their interns in order to "break even" on their co-op programs. For this reason, they are only interested in students who are willing to seriously consider eventual employment with their company. Students must be willing to locate at various cities throughout Ohio (Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Cleveland) and are often expected to complete a second three-month internship with the company. Students seeking only a summer job are not viable candidates for BGSU's co-op program.

On the other hand, companies with co-op programs are sensitive to the needs of students' participating in co-op and have human resources departments to help students make the transition from college to the work environment. For example, many help with living arrangements. In fact, larger companies typically have their own conveniently located apartments for rent. In addition, BGSU's Cooperative Education Program makes it easy for students to retain their full-time student status including insurance and financial aid benefits and will even fill out the necessary forms for you.

What Skills Are Companies Looking For?

Many companies participating in BGSU's Cooperative Education Program specifically advertise for students pursuing a degree in mathematics or statistics. In addition to the coursework required for these degrees, companies typically are most interested in students who have some minimal computing skills including one programming language and aptitude with personal computers such as familiarity with data bases, Windows, spread sheets, word processors and statistics packages like SASS or SPSS.

Where to Go From Here?

If you think you might be interested in participating in BGSU's Cooperative Education Program or want additional information, please contact Steve Seubert, The Director of Undergraduate Studies in The Department of Mathematics and Statistics (Room 435 in the Math/Science Building, sseuber@math.bgsu.edu, 372-2179) or Bruce Smith, The Director of The Cooperative Education Program (Room 310 in Student Services, bsmith4@bgsu.edu, 372-2451).

We will help you identify and locate companies with internships in your specific interest, help you prepare your resume, and help you practice interviewing skills, or refer you to the appropriate offices throughout the university.

Please also see BGSU's Cooperative Education Web site.