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Adam Saplin (January 2006 - August 2006)

Name: Adam Saplin

School: University of Missouri-Rolla

Major: Electrical Engineering

Co-op period: January 2006 – August 2006

Current school/company and what you do:
I am an Electrical Engineering student at UMR and will have three semesters left after my Co-op at Hunter.

Current Location:
I’ll be back in Rolla in a few weeks when my co-op is over.

What was the interview process like?

I interviewed with Shari Fischer from HR, took a short aptitude test, and then interviewed with Dave Voeller from Engineering. The interview was enjoyable and Dave was easy to talk to. I was offered the position on the next business day after the interview.

What did you do?
My favorite project was automating a lift to cycle up and down in order to test its durability. Another enjoyable project was making a demonstration for an OLED display. There were also a lot of little projects and testing procedures which took up a lot of my time there. I learned to use LabView and was able to use it in a couple of my projects, which I think will help me in the future. Additionally, I was able to learn quite a bit about suspensions, alignment, and tire problems.

Would you do it again?

What did you like?
Dave did a really good job finding projects which fit my abilities. There were a lot of people there whom I really enjoyed working with. Also, it was nice to wear business-casual every day.

What did you not like?
I would have appreciated having sick days or paid holidays, but I may just be spoiled from my previous internship. There were a couple of days I really should have stayed home and rested but I came in anyway because I didn’t want to give up the money. Some of the tasks were also repetitive and unsatisfying.

Did you learn anything?
From learning LabView to struggling through C and C# code and programming microcontrollers, I learned a wide variety of things which will help my in the future. I would strongly suggest Hunter to anyone who is interested in working in the automotive industry. I had a lot of chances to look over shoulders and learn about alignment, suspensions, and general vehicle maintenance.

Did the experience help you in your career?
I’m sure it will, but it’s too soon to say for sure. Did it help you in any job interviews? Yes, I had another interview a few days after accepting the job at Hunter, so I was very relaxed. Seriously, though, I’m sure my experience will help me in future interviews; I just have not applied for any positions since my Co-op at Hunter.

Did it help you in any job interviews?
I have not yet returned to school, but I am sure it will.

What was the dress code?
It was business casual, thankfully. More than once I managed to get grease or hydraulic fluid all over my pants and I was thankful for not wearing dress pants.

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

It was almost all individual work, but it was essential for me to ask for advice or assistance at times. I have two weeks left at Hunter, so I don’t yet have anything new to compare it with.

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

I didn’t enjoy the congestion or the traffic. I found it stressful and inconvenient to get most places because of the number of stop lights and amount of traffic. I think I would prefer to work in a smaller city or town in the future. I also didn’t appreciate how developed and populated parks in or around the city were. There is a lot to see and do, though, and I think anyone who enjoys cities would like St. Louis. I highly suggest going to the City Museum with a few friends if you have any childishness left in you.

What were your living arrangements during co-op?
I lived in an apartment in Maryland Heights for most of the co-op, and it was definitely worth it. It was a very short drive to work. I stayed with my parents in Troy, IL for the summer, though, and the commute took nearly an hour each way.

How was the supervision?
Dave was helpful and liked to keep up to date with what I was doing, but he always let me work on my own without constant supervision. There were a few times when I was completely stuck on something and Dave made me seek out help to get moving again.

Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself?
I decided to co-op simply because I was tired of constant studying and needed a break from school. I suggest it to anyone who’s starting to feel burned out, who needs money, or who just wants to have some extra free time.