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Aaron Hall (May 2011 - January 2012)

Name: Aaron Hall

School: Missouri University of Science and Technology (formerly University of Missouri-Rolla)

Major: Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering

Co-op period: May 2011 - January 2012

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

Current Location:
Living in Rolla while at school.

What was the interview process like?

Pat Hutsler found my resume on MinerJobs (MS&T career center website) and contacted me about an interview. I drove to St. Louis (which Hunter paid for) and interviewed with Pat. He went over a few details about the Co-Op with me and gave me an aptitude test. After that, I interviewed with Dave Voeller. We talked about my resume and some of the projects I have worked on and might be working on at Hunter. Dave offered me the job at the end of the interview.

What did you do?

I was the only EE Co-Op while I was at Hunter, so I had a lot of projects. My major project was writing computer vision applications in C++ using the OpenCV libraries. I also wrote a multi-threaded C# application to program a micro-controller based vehicle simulator.

I designed two circuit boards while at Hunter. One was designed to inflate a tire autonomously and the other is used to switch between two types of alignment cameras. The camera board was originally designed for Mercedes-Benz and is now a Hunter product. The inflation board may be used on future Hunter products.

Some smaller projects included writing documentation for Hunter's schematic capture software, researching various tools for measuring tread depth, and helping to renovate the garage.


Would you do it again?
Definitely.

What did you like?
I was able to work on a lot of different projects while at Hunter which was really nice. I did more programming than I had ever done before, so that was great experience. Most of the people at Hunter are very nice and helpful and willing to teach you about working as an engineer. It was fun working in the garage because I was able to work on my car a bit, so I got experience using Hunter equipment.

What did you not like?
Lunch breaks are kind of short and not having paid holidays (Christmas, New Year's, etc.) was kind of annoying. I had to give a presentation to the president and vice presidents of the company about one of my projects. It turned out fine, though it was definitely nerve-racking. Good experience, but scary.

Did you learn anything?
More than I could write down. I learned a lot about programming and source control; I taught myself C#, VisualBasic, and a lot of C++. I learned a lot about the circuit board design process (at least how Hunter does it) and was able to hone my surface mount soldering skills. Probably the most valuable thing I learned was how engineering works in the 'real world'.

Did the experience help you in your career?
I gained a lot of valuable experience while at Hunter and I am sure it will be beneficial.

Did it help you in any job interviews?
I have not had any job interviews since my Co-Op, but it will be great to be able to talk about all the projects I worked on at Hunter.

What was the dress code?
Business casual. Dress slacks and a collared shirt. We got to wear polos in the summer.

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

Almost all of the work was individual. Though I did have to consult with other engineers to clarify projects or get help when I was stuck.

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

Since I live in St. Louis, it was nice being home to see my girlfriend and visit other friends. There is lots of stuff to do including the City Museum, Missouri Botanical Gardens, The St. Louis Zoo, Ted Drewes, and Cardinals games.

Traffic can be bad at times, especially when driving from Affton to Bridgeton.

What were your living arrangements during co-op?
I lived at home with my parents in Affton, MO.

How was the supervision?
In my opinion, Dave manages very well. He is always around to answer questions and help with projects, but most of the time he would just let me work. As long as I was making progress on my projects, he was happy. He uses a 'tasklist' in Microsoft Outlook to keep track of all his Co-Op projects and this works very well.

Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself?
All of the work that I did at Hunter was very challenging and very rewarding. It was nice to work on projects that benefit the company. Dave puts a lot of effort into his Co-Op program and it definitely shows. I would recommend Hunter to any EE, CompE, or CS student interested in a co-op.