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Johnson & Johnson Finance Co-op
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Joseph Nola

Major: Economics (B.S.)
Minor: Business and the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Monroeville, Pennsylvania
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I first learned of this opportunity through a friend who had completed the Johnson & Johnson Finance Co-op the previous year. He liked his experience, and it had put him in a great position professionally. However, I actually learned about this specific opportunity at the Spring Career Fair at the Bryce Jordan Center. I had a great talk with one of the Johnson & Johnson representatives (my future manager) at the fair about my experiences, my resume, and my interests. I interviewed the next day and was offered the position within about a week.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My position with Johnson & Johnson is a 6-month Co-op. Thus far, it has been a great experience and opportunity for me. As with most co-ops, I spent the first few weeks feeling out my position and learning the details of our team, our role, and our various processes. However, now I am really getting a feel for my responsibilities and making significant contributions to our team. I work with the Global Portfolio Team, and our function is to manage, organize, analyze, and report on Johnson & Johnson Consumer’s entire global portfolio of projects. We run analytics on project pipelines, provide insights, and improve processes to ensure the Consumer Group’s strategic goals can be met. I have had the opportunity to meet with Senior Directors, managers, and even the CTO (Chief Technology Officer), to attend various orientations and co-op events, and gain critical professional experience as I move forward with my career.

"I have had the opportunity to meet with Senior Directors, managers, and even the CTO (Chief Technology Officer), to attend various orientations and co-op events, and gain critical professional experience as I move forward with my career."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This co-op experience has had a tremendous influence on my future academic plans because it has actually convinced me to strongly consider attending law school after graduation (I discuss that further in the next question). As a result, I may be taking many more law based classes when I return to Penn State to verify my interest. In addition to that, this job has given me a lot of experience with business etiquette and structure, which is actually important academic knowledge I had not yet experienced in my coursework. I have learned a lot about Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint, and even how to manage databases. These are crucial academic skills I can take with me from this co-op.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

This opportunity has actually had a huge impact on my future career plans. I would love to work at J&J with the Global Portfolio Team after I graduate, but this position has actually helped show me what I do not want as a career. Technically, I am a “Finance Co-op”, so I have had a lot of interaction with the finance/budgeting department. I have had finance orientations, learned about Financial Development programs, and spoken to my finance friends about their work. This opportunity has helped me to realize that I want to pursue law school. I will take the time this fall to apply to some of the top law schools in the country. But no matter what path I choose, this opportunity has made me excited for my future.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would recommend this experience to other liberal arts students. If you can receive a position on the Global Portfolio Team (there aren't many people on the team), it is engaging work and allows you to network and learn about business practices and portfolio management. If you are interested in the position I described, then I would certainly recommend it. In terms of a Johnson & Johnson Co-op in general, I would definitely recommend that as well. There are so many opportunities in R&D, Marketing, Finance, really any role, and they look for majors of any kind. For instance, my roommate is a chemical engineering major in a Marketing Co-op. In the co-op, you get to meet a lot of other co-ops your age, as well as senior people at one of the largest companies in the world. The people and culture at J&J are great. The only downside is that I am going to miss the football season this fall.

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