Tag Archives: co-op/internship

Interviewing for an Internship

Natasha Norris

Natasha Norris,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 October 2015

Last week, I traveled to Nashville, TN for my third national Society of Women Engineers Conference and for the third year in a row, I was going to try to get an interview with the Boeing Company and hopefully, an internship.

I believe I was third in line to talk to Boeing when the career fair doors opened. It is such an intense feeling handing a recruiter your resume because you never know their personality and which cards you should play. I’ve had a few bad experiences and a few good ones, and this just time was one of the good ones.

The recruiter asked me a few questions about my resume and then concluded with “Why Boeing?” And I don’t believe I’ve ever given a more honest answer. I told her Boeing is on the top of my list, I’ve always wanted to work for Boeing. The first time I flew, I knew I wanted to work with planes and as I grew older, I knew it had to be Boeing. Your company is the number one supplier of planes to the world; you give people wings. Why not Boeing? It’s the best!

I don’t believe I’ve ever had a bigger smile on my face and fortunately, she had one too. I scored an interview.

They conducted a STAR interview. But, after the interview, they wanted to know my questions.

This is always a turning point in an interview; my advice is to always ask questions. It is an opportunity to show off your knowledge of the company and they can learn more of where you might fit through your concerns. I made sure I had a few questions lined up for the interview that were honest.

I must have impressed because 4 hours later my phone was receiving a call from Seattle, WA. I ran out of the restaurant and almost cried when the lady told me I had the internship! Dream come true! I had worked so hard to work for this opportunity all through my undergrad and it was finally paying off.

In conclusion, I just want anyone going to an interview to be completely honest with themselves and the recruiter: why do you want to work HERE? Why are we made for you and you for us?

Also, if you do not get the interview on the first try, like I did my first two SWE conferences, keep trying. Do not settle with a company you do not like, or if you do end up somewhere other than your desired company, still strive to make your dream company job happen. Yay Boeing!

Internships Off-Campus and On-Campus

Jordan Sapp

Jordan Sapp,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 21 September 2015

As many have probably heard before, internships are a very important part of a college education. It is possible to work an internship at any time of the year. Some students choose to intern only during their summer while some choose to take a semester off of school to gain field experience working an internship.

This past summer I had the opportunity to work a three month long internship with Danis Building Construction. I worked on an eight million dollar hospital renovation in Youngstown. My position was intern project engineer and I was working on site with the project engineer along with the senior superintendent. While working for Danis I learned more of the engineering that goes into beginning and completing a construction project.

This semester I came back to school to continue with class but I also managed to get another internship with a very similar company, Elford. I am working on a bit larger project with Elford, a 24 million dollar remodel and addition of a campus building, McCracken Hall.

So, I am taking classes in the mornings and then working in the afternoons. I have learned a lot this semester about time management and making sure I am able to hold firm to all of the things I am committed to.

If I were to encourage anyone to do anything while in school it would be to get out into the field and get some experience through an internship. The Russ College offers career fairs where students can interact with companies and pursue internships and jobs.

As I continue to work through internships, I am able to learn about myself, what I enjoy doing and what I really dislike doing. If you don’t get any experience before you graduate, it will be very difficult to know exactly what you would like to pursue as a full-time career.

Summer Internship in Chicago

Zach Perrault

Zach Perrault,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 2 September 2015

This Summer I was a software engineering intern at Trunk Club, a Chicago-based men’s (and now women’s) outfitter. Going into it, I assumed I would learn a lot about programming, but I did so much more than write code.

During my first week on the job, I was invited by a co-worker to join a Trunk Club beach volleyball team as part of the Chicago Sports and Social Club. I was no MVP but I still had a great time. Little did I know this was just the tip of the outside-of-work-activities iceberg.

My second week, we moved across the street to a new space, leaving behind the coffee shop and eighty-foot bar. Needless to say, we missed our amenities and decided to build a bar in the new space. One of my co-workers drafted a plan for a modular bar and proposed we build it. After several weekend trips to Home Depot and a rotating crew, we built ourselves a bar and stocked it with local coffee and brews.

One of the most fun parts was Trunk Club’s tech teams taking turns sponsoring themed parties every other Thursday. Parties this Summer included “Pokémon”, “Kentucky Derby”, and my favorite, “80s Wrestle Mania”. The 80s Wrestle Mania party consisted of 80s hair metal, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and a Rock’em Sock’em Robots tournament in which I took second place.

2nd Place

My trophy was a silver spray painted action figure screwed to the top of a piece of wood left over from the bar stuck in a plastic cup.

I had a great time during my internship and I am looking forward to returning as a full-time employee after I graduate next Spring.

Relating the Classroom to the Real World

Robert Parker

Robert Parker,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 2 September 2015

With classes again in full swing and all the students back on campus, it feels like summer break was so long ago. This past summer I had the opportunity to work a co-op session with Kokosing Construction Company working in their heavy highway division. This was not my first job, but it was my first “technical” co-op.

I was located in Bowling Green, Ohio working on I-75. Our section of the highway construction was nine miles long and consisted of four bridge replacements and adding a third lane to both northbound and southbound sides. I worked directly with the project engineer doing take-off quantities; tracking and ordering materials; and completing erosion control inspections, force accounts, change orders and much more.

During the first part of my co-op I was kind of frustrated with the tasks that were being assigned to me. I felt more like an accountant than a civil engineer. None of my tasks consisted of structural analysis, differential equations, physics or any of the classes that I’ve worked so hard to pass. But that’s when I realized, that’s one of the purposes of a co-op. The theory is meant to be learned in the classroom and the reality is meant to be learned in the field. They go hand-in-hand. Even though it wasn’t obvious at the time, I still was used some of the things I had learned from classroom in the field. I still had to do calculations and most importantly I had to use my engineering mind to find a solution to an issue and then find out where the funding was coming from.

Back at school and in classes, I can see what I learned in the field coming up all the time in my classes. I understand blueprints, I understand the language and I can visualize the sequencing of the job.

Beginning the Job Search

Katie Logue

Katie Logue,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 1 September 2015

Classes and extracurriculars are well underway, and it hasn’t quite sunk in that this is my final Fall semester. My time at Russ College has flown by, and I honestly can’t figure out where the past four years have gone.

This summer I completed my fourth co-op rotation at DuPont in Washington, WV. Although participating in the co-op program that many times delayed my graduation by a year, it was well worth it. I worked in the Mechanical Development Group and gained overall about a year and a half of experience with all kinds of mechanical equipment. I learned so many things that I wouldn’t have necessarily been able to see in a classroom. Now, as I am already beginning my job search for after graduation, I’m truly realizing the value of this experience.

I didn’t realize how time-consuming and stressful applying for jobs could be or just how early in the semester this process would begin. Not only have I spent several hours editing my resume, corresponding with recruiters, and filling out applications, but next I’ll have to find time in my schedule for plant tours and interviews. Although I’m very excited about this next step in my life, it is challenging to stay focused on school and other responsibilities while job hunting.

I know that this will likely be my last stressful semester, and by the time Spring semester arrives, I will have accepted a job offer, my senior design project will be nearing prototype completion, and I will have a much less strenuous course load. Sometimes it’s hard to see very far into the future, but I know all the hard work and responsibility has been worth it, and I will look back on this time one day an miss all these great things that are going on in my life right now. My goal for this year is to embrace every opportunity and truly enjoy my senior year.

Summer Internship in Food Manufacturing

Leigh Ann Tumblin

Leigh Ann Tumblin,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular engineering

Athens, 30 August 2015

This summer I worked for General Mills at the Totino’s plant located in Wellston, OH, about 40 minutes away from Athens. This was my second rotation at this plant, and I learned so much about engineering and manufacturing related to the food industry.

I worked on several projects over the course of the summer. My main project was to conduct cooling studies on the cheese processing system and recommend changes that would increase the system’s capability. I also designed a water recovery system to recycle the plant’s wastewater effluent in the refrigeration system; when implemented, it could save the company $100,000 every year!

In the picture below, you can see me taking measurements of our pizzas for a baseline study. This allowed us to understand how our equipment applied toppings and see where changes should be made.

Testing Pizzas

One of my favorite things about working at the Totino’s plant is that people recognize and love the brand whose production you are always working to improve; I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t love a good pizza roll? It makes your job more enjoyable when you know that all of the planning, researching, trialing, and analyzing make it so you can put a smile on your customers’ faces. I’m really glad I interned at this company because the knowledge you gain in industry is invaluable.

Summer Co-op at Basic Systems

Melinda Nelson

Melinda Nelson,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 28 August 2015

This summer I interned at Basic Systems, Inc. in Cambridge, Ohio. They design natural gas compressor stations for companies across the country. Natural gas is a field that has really come alive around the Cambridge area, which is where I am from. It was very exciting for me to be able to be a part a company designing the types of stations that are used in the industry I see every day around my home.

Going into the job, I had taken one introductory AutoCAD course, and at Basic, AutoCAD is the main tool we used. Needless to say, I was a little nervous about knowing enough to get the job done! I quickly learned something about employers, though: they don’t expect you to know everything on the first day. What they do expect is for you to ask questions and learn by doing the work.

Throughout this experience I learned a lot about what actually goes on in an engineering workplace. Unlike the typical engineering description, “doing math and science”, the engineers at work act as project planners, customer representatives and budgeters. It was cool to see how much of the skills we learn (besides math and science) go into getting the job done in a way that makes the customer happy (which is the ultimate goal!).

Working wasn’t all I did there, I also got to visit a compressor station (my favorite part!!) that was designed at Basic Systems. It was cool to see how the designs come to life in the field. The accomplishment of delivering a product to a customer is very rewarding.

Site Visit: Rockport Compressor Station, Rockport West Virginia.

A lesson that I took away from this experience that will forever remain with me is that in life, since you can’t know everything, continual learning is a necessity. I am really glad I had the opportunity to work an internship this summer.