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Dave Vorhies (January 2005 - July 2005)

Name: Dave Vorhies

School: University of Missouri-Rolla

Major: Computer Engineering

Co-op period: January 2005 - July 2005

Current school/company and what you do:
I am currently a third-year Computer Engineering student at University of Missouri Rolla.

Current Location:
I currently live at the Kappa Sigma house in Rolla, MO.

What was the interview process like?

I turned in a resume to Shari Fischer at the career fair. In about a week, I was contacted to set up an on site interview. I came in to St. Louis on an afternoon. Once there I filled out some information about myself and took a brief aptitude test. After the test, Dave Voeller came in to interview me. The questions were very broad based. I was asked about coursework and projects that I had done at school. What my interests were and plans for the future. After those questions, Mr. Voeller described some of things that I would be involved with during a co-op. We spoke for nearly an hour and it was a quite pleasurable experience. After the interview, I was reimbursed for my travel expenses. Within a week I received an offer from Hunter.

What did you do?
During my co-op, I worked on a great variety of projects. The majority of the work that I received was software based. I worked with a Google® API to aid engineers’ ability to search for specific results. I tested spec installation software for oversea and domestic accounts. I improved and expanded existing co-installer software, adding plug and play features while improving stability. I wrote software to calculate coefficients and values for complex equations used in development projects. I researched new security features included in Windows XP®.

Would you do it again?
There is no doubt in my mind that I would not hesitate to work at Hunter Engineering Company again. This has been an extremely rewarding experience with numerous skills that will be useful later in my career. Dave Voeller genuinely cared about what I got out of the co-op experience. He actively worked to find me projects that were not only useful to the company but that also coincided well with my areas of interest.

What did you like?
I really enjoyed all of the design work that I did. Projects like the co-installer and the tools that I developed for the engineers gave me a great sense of satisfaction knowing I was a contributing factor to Hunter’s success. In addition, I experienced a very relaxed environment with extremely friendly coworkers. I was also extremely pleased with onsite workout facility and racquetball court available for quick workouts at lunch. The occasional company tickets to a Cardinals game was also a very nice perk.

What did you not like?
I have no complaints concerning my time at Hunter. The only problem that I faced was adjusting to waking up early every morning, but I would expect this at any full time job.

Did you learn anything?
I learned a great deal at Hunter. My lessons were varied and all beneficial. They ranged from practice handling numerous threads in a single project to basic organizational skills. I learned an incredible amount about vehicle alignment. Perhaps the most important thing I learned was how to go to a colleague for help. During the numerous times that I would get stuck on a project, I found that speaking with Dave Voeller or the other engineers could either solve the issue or point me in the right direction.

Did the experience help you in your career?
I am still working to complete my degree so the answer to this question remains to be seen. However, I am fully confident that this will help me in my career in an immeasurable amount.

Did it help you in any job interviews?
I have not held any interviews since working at Hunter. In spite of this, I know that I will be very confident in my next interview and will draw on my experiences here to answer questions.

What was the dress code?
The dress code employed for the co-ops was a relaxed business casual. Dress shoes with a pair khakis or slacks and a collared shirt was all that was necessary.

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

All of my work at Hunter could be described as either. Most of the tasks I would complete on my own, but there were always people working around and on similar things.

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

I am currently a student in Rolla, Missouri, so when I moved to St. Louis it was a very pleasant change. I am originally from St. Louis so during my co-op I stayed with my family. It was an extremely good stay. I loved being close to downtown to go to Cardinals games, or to go to the landing. In addition the numerous restaurants and activities gave me more opportunities than I had time to do.

What were your living arrangements during co-op?
During my co-op, I stayed with my family in Fenton, which is in southwest St. Louis County. The commute was a little long due to some traffic on I-270. Fortunately after talking with a few coworkers, I found one that lived near my area and we worked out a carpool.

How was the supervision?
The main people that I worked with were Dave Voeller and Scott Hillman. Dave Voeller is the electrical engineer that I report to. I developed a good rapport with Dave. As long I was completing my projects and doing a good job he never had to take on a hard line. Instead he took on more of a role of a mentor, giving me advice and challenging me with new projects. Scott Hillman is in charge of the quality department which is the area my station was located in. Tasks I did for him included testing and setting up different tests for Hunter equipment and or software. He too was a great pleasure to work with.