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Connor Coward (January 2013 - May 2013)

Name: Connor Coward

School: Missouri University of Science and Technology

Major: Computer Engineering

Co-op period: January 2013 – May 2013

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

Current Location:
I’ll be going back to Rolla next fall.

What was the interview process like?

I talked to Pat Hutsler at the career fair and gave him a resume. Pat called me a few days later and set up an interview near St. Louis. During the interview, I took an aptitude test and talked with Dave Voeller for a while. At the end of the week I received a call from Pat offering me the position.

What did you do?
During my co-op I worked on a wide variety of projects. However, most of my time was spent working on imaging code, researching new automotive tools and technology, and creating software to streamline the testing of Hunter's software.

Would you do it again?

What did you like?
I enjoyed having the freedom to work on a wide variety of projects. The work ranges all the way from pure coding way down to electrical hardware design and everything in between. Also, since co-ops at Hunter are often assigned tasks to research new technologies, I was able to "play" with some of the latest gadgets during my co-op.

What did you not like?
The only real negative was spec testing for a couple weeks. Another co-op and I took shifts and we got through it pretty painlessly though.

Did you learn anything?
After my co-op, I am definitely a far better programmer than I was coming into it. Also, I'm now a lot more familiar with software, technologies, and techniques that are actually used in the industry. That's something you can't learn in the classroom alone.

Did the experience help you in your career?
I guarantee it did. Having several months of work experience coming out of college can't possibly hurt.

Did it help you in any job interviews?
I haven't had any other job interviews since working at Hunter, but I will definitely be talking about my experience here at Hunter next time I do.

What was the dress code?
The dress code is business casual -- collared shirts and khaki pants. I actually didn't mind the dress code at all. I enjoyed being able to dress professionally every day.

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

The work was largely individual, but the other co-ops and I almost always consulted each other and the engineers for ideas and advice on our projects.

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

Working in St. Louis was very convenient for me since I grew up here. It's definitely a lot bigger of a city than Rolla, and certainly has much more to do.

What were your living arrangements during co-op?
I lived with my parents locally during my co-op.

How was the supervision?
Dave is a good boss. He does his best to make sure that co-ops always have interesting projects to work on. Even on the rare occasions when I was assigned a boring task (like spec testing) he still made sure I was working on one of the more interesting projects for at least half the day.

Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself?
Taking a co-op at Hunter was one of the best decisions I've made. I would highly recommend it to any engineering student.