What was the interview process like?
I talked to Hunter Engineering Co. at the Fall Career Fair where I was able to talk to a couple of the current co-ops. After the career fair I was asked to have an on-site interview with Dave Voeller. At the time I didn't have a way of getting to St. Louis so instead they let me have a phone interview with Dave Voeller. He asked me some questions about my resume and I was able to ask some questions about Hunter.
Most students just want some experience but they don't exactly know what type of experience they want. Please describe some of the work you did and what type of skills you needed. It is important to note what you could apply from school and what you learned on the job.
I mostly worked on coding, research, and testing. Most of the coding I did was in C#. Knowing C++ from school made it fairly easy to transition to using C#. Early in my coop I got to do some image processing which I got to get some experience using OpenCV. The rest of my time at Hunter I mainly worked with SDKs and APIs and would implement them to see if they would be useful. I also got to do some testing on some products Hunter was interested in using as well as some testing on the product we were helping develop.
What experience do you think will be the most useful for you in the future?
I think getting to work with engineers on actual projects was the most valuable experience. I learned a lot about the work that goes into developing a new product.
How do you think the overall experience will help you in your career?
I think this coop overall really helped me get more comfortable working in an engineering environment.
How do you think the overall experience will help you in your next job interview?
I think this experience will help me be more confident and less nervous at my next job interview.
What aspect of the work did you enjoy the most?
Working under Dave was nice since he is Manager for R&D we always got interesting tasks to work on. I really liked working on code. I was able to learn a lot because I could talk to other coops and engineers if I had any issues. I learned a lot about code architecture and I think my code in the future will be much easier to work with.
What aspect of the work did you not enjoy?
I personally didn't like testing but it's a very necessary thing.
Did you learn anything?
Yes. I learned about coding, testing, and communication. I was able to spend time working with a new programming language (C#). It was really nice getting some experience using Visual Studio as well. I got to work with OpenCV for a little while and spent a lot time using different SDKs and APIs. We had some big tests while I was here which took some planning to prepare for. Communication is something I personally lack on so it was nice working in groups because it forced me to work on that skill. I'm probably forgetting a lot of things which reminds me that taking notes can be extremely helpful as well.
What was the dress code?
The dress code is business casual. I wore a collared shirt and khaki pants most days.
Student often want to know if they will work alone or in a group. Was the work you did more individual or group work and how does it compare with what you have done in school or at another job?
I would say it's something around 50/50. A lot of testing we would do in groups just because it would make it easier. Coding is done individually but I would sometimes try to get feedback from other coops or engineers. Research was mainly an individual assignment. My previous coop heavily emphasized working individually and I always found it hard to get help there. While cooping at Hunter I never felt I couldn't ask questions.
What are the pros/cons of working in Saint Louis? (Maybe compare it to other places you have been)
I'm not a big fan of big cities but there are lots of things to do in St. Louis if that is what you are looking for.
What were your living arrangements during co-op? This question is especially important for those that are not from St. Louis.
I lived at Kensington Square Apartments in Florissant, MO.
How was the supervision?
It was much better than my last coop. At my last coop I would always run out of things to do. Dave gave us a plenty to work on. You will always have something to work on. He checks up on us at least once or twice a week. This makes it much easier to work. At my last coop my supervisor worked right next to me and so I always felt a lot of pressure when working.
Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself, Hunter Engineering, the coop program or the work?
I felt like it was a good coop experience that will actually help me with a full-time engineering position in the future. Also when I started I was scared I wouldn't know enough but it's ok. Dave doesn't expect you to know everything. You just have to be able to obtain the knowledge that you need. I learned a lot of stuff by using the internet especially sites like Stack Overflow. You also will more than likely be working with other coops so they will be able to help you as well.