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Andrew Devenport (May 2006 - December 2006)

Name: Andrew Devenport

School: University of Missouri-Rolla

Major: Computer Engineering

Co-op period: May 2006 - December 2006

Current school/company and what you do:
I am currently a computer engineering student from the University of Missouri – Rolla.

Current Location:
I am located in Rolla, MO while I finish school.

What was the interview process like?

The interview was much less stressful than other interviews I have had.  First I took a very simple test that asked questions ranging from English to Math.  I have to assume that the purpose of this test is to ensure that you aren’t a complete flake.  Then I was interviewed by Shari Fischer and later Dave Voeller.  Both Shari and Dave were pleasant people to deal with.  The interview was very straightforward and relatively short.  I don’t recall any of the dreaded “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” type questions.

The coop experience has not only helped me in interviews but also in the career fair setting.  The UMR career fair after my co-op was the most comfortable and confident career fair that I have been to.  With the experience I gained from Hunter, I did most of the talking without prompt from the person at the booth, as opposed to offering short answers to their questions.  That overall confidence carried over into sit-down interviews as well and I had much more to talk about with the interviewer. 

Another nice aspect of working at Hunter was that my bosses offered plenty of resume and interviewing advice.  They were honest and told me what they looked for in an interview/resume which helped me formulate a better game plan in my job hunt.  I also got invited to work their booth at the UMR career fair which allowed me to stand on the other side of the table and observe and take notes on other people's interviewing skills and apply that to myself.

 

What did you do?
My main project in my time with Hunter was  a new wireless sensor.  The project went through many iterations while I was there and could potentially end up being a real product at some point, which is pretty exciting to me.  I also developed a piece of software to monitor part of a vehicle.  I also did testing/research on various products.

Would you do it again?
Yes. I would definitely do it again.

What did you like?
I enjoyed everything for the most part.  The nicest part was that I was working on some cutting edge projects and getting a lot of valuable experience from it.  Another nice aspect of the job was the fact that my desk was in the R&D garage.  This may not seem like it would be all that great, but it’s a much more exciting than working in a cubicle in a quiet office.  It made work a lot more fun.  The environment in the garage was very much a young environment, so I was able to relate with my fellow employees much more than I could during my previous co-ops.  Also nice is the fact that Hunter usually hires several co-ops at a time, so you don’t feel like the odd-man-out in the process.  I was for the most part very busy and hardly ever begging somebody for some tasks which is always nice.  Dave Voeller tries to give you tasks that will not only benefit the company, but benefit yourself as well.  I didn’t spend my time fetching coffee for my boss.

What did you not like?
Probably the only aspect that I didn’t enjoy was when I had to do product testing.  Also the lack of flex-time was kind of annoying but Dave was very understanding if I needed time off for anything.

Did you learn anything?
I learned several things.  I learned how to program in Labview which could come in very handy later on.  Also I learned the basics of programming wireless communication for a microprocessor.  I was able to get familiar/hands-on time with many components that I haven’t gotten to use in school.  Aside from industry related learnings, I learned a lot about automotive maintenance.  I myself was not much of a “car guy” going into the co-op, but the people in the garage are very helpful and will answer your questions/teach you everything you need to know most of the time.  I learned how to align my car, and before I worked there, I didn’t even know what automotive alignment angles were.

Did the experience help you in your career?
I can only assume that it will.

Did it help you in any job interviews?
 I haven’t had any interviews yet, but I imagine that the experience will help greatly and provide me with conversation material for an interview.

What was the dress code?
The dress code was nice pants and a collared shirt.


Was the work more individual or group work and how does it compare with what
you are doing today?

Individual for the most part.

What are the pros/cons of working in Saint Louis? (Maybe compare it to where you
are now)

I grew up in St. Charles which is about 30 minutes away from St. Louis, so I stayed at home so I could save money on rent/utilities.  Hunter Engineering owns part of the St. Louis Cardinals, so they often times give away free tickets to the games.  I got third row seats to a game and I also got tickets to a playoff game.  So if you enjoy baseball, you have a chance to see the best team .  There’s plenty of places to catch live music around town.  The bigger ticket events run through UMB Bank Pavilion and the Scottrade Center.  If you are more into independent music and beer that doesn’t cost $10, there’s the Creepy Crawl, The Pageant, Mississippi Nights, Pops, Lemp Arts Center, Blueberry Hill and several other places that typically get some of the larger names in independent music.  The Loop is a street (Delmar) in University City is where most of the college crowd hangs out.  You should definitely go to the City Museum while you are in town as well.  Its basically like a Chuck E. Cheese but with some really interesting architecture.  If you go on a late Friday or Saturday night, most of the kids are gone and they open up a bar and every now and then have some live music.

What were your living arrangements during co-op?
I stayed with my parents in St. Charles.

How was the supervision?
The supervision was excellent.  As I said earlier Dave tried his best to get me projects that he thought I would find interesting.  He’s a very laid back guy and easy to talk to.  In the garage, my supervisor was Scott Hillman.  He was also a great guy to work for and made the experience enjoyable.

Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself?
I would just like to re-iterate that working for Hunter Engineering was a very awesome experience.