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Tyler Ryan (January 2014-May 2014)

Name: Tyler Ryan

School: Missouri University of Science and Technology

Major: Computer Engineering

Co-op period: January 2014 – August 2014

Current school/company and what you do:
I am a Computer Engineering student at Missouri S&T and will have three semesters left
after my Co-op at Hunter.

Current Location:
I’ll be interning at Garmin after my co-op is over and then returning to Rolla.

What was the interview process like?
I was contacted by Pat Hutsler after he saw my resume on MinerJobs. We talked a little at the Career Fair and I had an interview the next day. At the interview I took a short aptitude test and we went over my resume. A couple weeks later I was asked to come to Hunter for an on-site interview with Dave Voeller. We discussed my background and Dave went over several projects co-ops had worked on.

What did you do?
Most of my work was in programming, using mainly C#/C++. I made various small applications for research tasks, helped solve version control issues, and worked with different camera vision projects. I also researched new ways to conduct automated testing. Outside of software, I investigated products Hunter acquired to see how useful they were.

Would you do it again?

Yes

What did you like?

I liked the ability to work at my own pace and work on various interesting projects. I found that this really helped me learn a lot of new things and kept me from getting bored doing the same thing or doing something unimportant and tedious. Another thing I liked was the atmosphere: it was really open and friendly, which helped with transitioning into the job.

What did you not like?
The first couple of weeks were tough because I felt like I barely knew what was going on or what to do. As a result, it took some time before I was able to get into interesting work. Luckily, there was no expectation to immediately understand everything, and the engineers and QA guys were extremely helpful.

Did you learn anything?
Absolutely. A lot of my work used C#, which I had no experience with beforehand, so now I feel like I know it really well. I also learned how version control is being used in the industry and common best practices. One of the biggest things I learned was figuring out how to troubleshoot complicated problems. Most projects I worked on involved something I was unfamiliar with, so I was able to learn new techniques and ideas on almost a daily basis.

Did the experience help you in your career?
I'm sure this will help me in the future. I've learned a lot about the industry, the technologies, and also what things interest me. I feel a lot more confident going forward.

Did it help you in any job interviews?
I haven't had any interviews yet, but I know this experience will help and will give me a lot to talk about.

What was the dress code?
Business casual (dress pants, polo shirt). No need for ties

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

It was mixed. Sometimes I was working on my own on tasks and sometimes I was working with the other co-ops. Usually, if there was some complicated work that needed to get done, a couple of us would work together to get it done faster. It was also easy to quickly ask for some help from the other co-ops if you were stuck on something. I haven't yet been at another similar job, so I don't know how it compares.

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

Having grown up in St. Louis, it was nice to work here. Plus, you can go to Blues games and even get some free tickets to Cardinals games.

What were your living arrangements during co-op?
My family lives in St. Louis, so I lived with them, which made things pretty convenient.

How was the supervision?
Dave is a really good boss. Most of the time, he won't interfere and will let you work at your own pace. If you ever need advice or get stuck, he's more than willing to help out or suggest other people who can help. He also does a great job of finding interesting work for the co-ops to do.

Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself?

Hunter is a great place to co-op whether you have no experience or lots of experience. There's always something to do, the environment is friendly, and you will learn a lot.