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David Allen (May 2010 - January 2011)

Name: David Allen

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

Major: Computer Engineering

Co-op period: May 2010 -January 2011

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

Current Location:
St. Louis, MO

What was the interview process like?

I met with one of the previous EE/CompE Co-ops at the Spring MS&T career fair and handed him my resume. Within a couple weeks I was contacted by Pat Hutsler about scheduling an on-site interview. During the interview I spoke with Pat again, took a short aptitude test, and met with Dave Voeller from the Engineering department. I was offered the position shortly after the interview.

What did you do?
While at Hunter Engineering, I have been involved in a wide array of projects that ranged in difficulty and depth. A short list of the more memorable tasks include: Testing and configuring graphics software for a workstation for Hunter's graphic designer, driver testing, shortening the test process for hard drive release through automation and code (graphic interface), chemical testing a touchscreen monitor, fault testing electronic boards, long term battery tester via LabView, new cable configurations for machinery, and updating some software tools using C++ & C#.

Would you do it again?

What did you like?
I liked: getting interesting and challenging projects, the variety of work, learning technical aspects of a lot of diverse electrical devices, working alongside engineers with a lot of experience who were congenial and were very knowledgeable whenever I asked them questions, and working on some real life products.

What did you not like?
Thus far I don't have many complaints. Some tasks I was given were not the most interesting for me either because they were not very technical in nature, were just given higher priority than anything else, or drawn out. Working alone was sometimes a drawback.

Did you learn anything?
It would be hard to list everything I've gained knowledge of at Hunter but I'll give it a shot. I learned about Hunter products and how they function. Also, I taught myself C# and a bit of LabView as well as expanded my knowledge of certain electronics and how they function. I learned a lot from talking with experienced engineers about how they work as engineers and the different machines they have worked on at Hunter.

Did the experience help you in your career?
I believe it will help me having the Hunter Co-op experience to draw from in the future. My experience here has helped to solidify my choice to become a Computer Engineer and has allowed me to get some exposure a few of the different directions I could go with my degree.

Did it help you in any job interviews?
I've had two phone interviews already in which I was able to draw from my experiences at Hunter thus far including the interview process.

What was the dress code?
I began work right as the summer dress code or polo shirts and slacks took affect. Fall hit and the dress code changed to dress shirts and slacks.

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

.Some of the work I was doing individually, some with the other co-ops, and occasionally an engineer's guidance. A lot of what I've had to do involved figuring it out on my own and being resourceful.

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

There is a lot that goes on year round in St. Louis. I have family around here so it was nice being able to meet up with them a bit more than when I was busy at school. St. Louis is a very easy city to travel around and get away from on the weekends if you want. The climate is a little nicer than my hometown in northern Illinois near Chicago.

What were your living arrangements during co-op?
I lived in an apartment with one of the other ME co-ops as my roommate near Maryland Heights & Creve Coeur about 10 minutes drive (morning and evening) from Hunter south down Lindbergh. Searching for an apartment was a little chore but I think the one we ended up renting was a good choice.

How was the supervision?
It was very light. Dave would come and check up on my work but for the most part he let me work on my own. I tried to keep him up to date via the task list on Outlook or talking with him.

Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself?
I have enjoyed my time here at Hunter so far and hope to get a bit more done before I leave. I'd like to thank everyone at Hunter for giving me the opportunity and the experience to work here.