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Caleb Chou (January 2001 - August 2001)

Name: Caleb Chou

School: Washington University in St. Louis

Major: Electrical Engineering/Business Management

Co-op period: January 2001 – August 2001

Current school/company and what you do:
CRB Consulting Engineers. We do engineering consulting for the biotech and pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, everything from lab scale to large scale. I design/specify control systems and process instrumentation for our client's facilities and occasionally do some power/electrical design as well. We also help our clients purchase expensive custom equipment and often check the equipment for them.

Current Location:
St. Louis, MO

What did you do?
I worked on a hand-held measurement tool developed initially by a previous co-op. My work involved advancing the hand-held tool's functionality by adding an infra-red data transfer system that included a protocol I developed and tested from scratch. I also attempted to make some of the previously written assembly code more accessible for future additions and edits. In addition, I got to help out with some testing in the garage and worked with Jared (the co-op after me) on another proprietary system.

Would you do it again?
Sure! It was a pretty good job to land at that time and I gained a lot of valuable experience.

What did you like?

Getting to develop and test things that I cared about. The development cycle in engineering or really any business is something you really don't get to learn about in school. In the co-op, I think I matured professionally quite a bit.

Racquetball court and work-out facility was great. Getting schooled by Dave at racquetball hurt my self-esteem, but helped me get in shape

What did you not like?
No flex time! The company is definitely "old school", which is both good and bad, but tends to be not so good for co-ops that aren't going to be around very long.

Did you learn anything?
I learned many things at Hunter, some technical and some non-technical. Besides learning some new technical things regarding hardware and software, the most impact came from the non-technical learning experience I received. I learned how work was conducted in a professional setting and how information, new and old, was organized and disseminated throughout the company. Being able to actually work with other engineers was a great experience, one much different than working on homework with a colleague.

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

I chose to stay in St. Louis after I graduated from Wash U because I actually have come to like it quite a bit! It really is a big city with a small town feel, like everybody says, and there are ways to take advantage of that.

What were your living arrangements during co-op?
Apartment in U City. It was about a 10-15 minute commute that worked out very well.

How was the supervision?
In all honesty, Dave is indeed a very cool guy and it is one of the main reasons anyone should consider being a co-op at Hunter. It's hard to find good bosses that you can really learn a lot from and have fun with.