Student Enjoys College, Work
by Sami Daggett
Fred Morlan, a pre-pharmacy major at WVU Parkersburg, has a job at Kroger pharmacy where he works 16 hours a week. He is able to work while still going to school, and even gets college credit for his hours worked. This is all accomplished through cooperative education.
Morlan, who has been working at Kroger for over four months now, was told about co-op through his Chemistry professor. When he’s working, Morlan takes new prescriptions and manages stock, as well as several other things that keep him busy. “I do a little bit of everything.”
Because he works 16 hours a week, Morlan is receiving four college credit hours this semester towards his major. This is a huge help for students. His only other classes this semester are Organic Chemistry 2 and Microbiology.
Morlan has been a student at WVU Parkersburg since the fall of 2009. “I was pretty much set on Pre-Pharmacy, then after taking the classes, I realized I was set on it.”
When asked if he would like to stay with Kroger after graduating, Morlan said, “I wouldn’t be opposed to working at Kroger. I really like it there. Plus, that’s a few years away. I don’t have anywhere else in particular I would rather work.”
Most students consider their co-op jobs to be a great experience. Morlan adds, “I think it’s a very positive thing to be able to learn first-hand about your career path and know you’ve made the right decision before graduating.”
Morlan believes co-op jobs aren’t for lazy students and can take up a lot of time, especially when students also have other classes at the college. Going into pre-pharmacy only adds to Morlan’s stress, saying, “What do I do in my spare time? That’s a good hypothetical question.”
Al Edwards, head of the co-op department believes that even though it can put more stress on students, in the long run, co-op is completely worth the time students put into it. The on-the-job training is something students are unable to gain on campus, but definitely something that is needed.