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Dylan Crocker (June 2010 - January 2011)

Name: Dylan Crocker

School: Missouri University of Science and Technology

Major: Electrical Engineering

Co-op period: June 2010 - January 2011

Current school/company and what you do:

I am a full time student in the Electrical Engineering program at MS&T. When I return to school I will have 2-3 semesters left before finishing my Bachelors.

Currently I am working a co-op for Hunter Engineering Company.

Current Location:
I currently live in Maryland Heights, MO with my wife. We will be moving to Rolla, MO at the end of the year.

What was the interview process like?

I talked with a previous co-op student at the MST career fair and gave him my resume. A few weeks later Pat Hutsler called me to see if I would come to St. Louis for an interview. He also informed me that I would be reimbursed for the trip.

When I got to the interview here at Hunter I had to take an aptitude test and then interview with Pat and Dave Voeller separately. The interviews were not hard and the environment was comfortable.

What did you do?

I worked on a LabVIEW project developing a touch screen interface application for programming and controlling Hunter's environmental test chamber. This project involved getting the program to work with sensors so it had both a hardware and software aspect which was fun.

I also worked on developing several C# programs for automating certain hardware and software test procedures.

These were my two bigger projects; there were several small projects interlaced with those. These projects included hardware and software testing and product research, and another LabVIEW application.

Would you do it again?
If I were going to do another co-op before graduation I would definitely be interested.

What did you like?

I really liked the learning environment! Every project I worked on required me to step outside my current realm of knowledge. This was scary at first but Dave always just encouraged me to go and learn whatever I needed to know.

Of course the projects were fun as well! The projects were all real projects that would benefit the company in some way. Even though I am a co-op I felt like I was given real engineering projects.

The workout facility was nice to have available.

What did you not like?

The housing reimbursement was not very substantial.

Only having 45 minutes for lunch made it difficult to do anything during the break like go out to lunch or go to the gym.

Did you learn anything?

I learned so much that I could not write it all down!

I learned a lot about LabVIEW and C#. I also learned a lot about programming in Windows and using Windows APIs, various hardware components, and vehicle alignment.

Also, exposure to the real world engineering work environment was a great learning experience. I got to see firsthand administrative people, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, computer scientist, and designers all working together to develop projects. Not only did I get to see all this but I got to be a part of it! I got exposure to working on engineering projects with others and for others which was a great learning experience.

Did the experience help you in your career?
Absolutely! I have learned a lot about real world engineering that you can't learn in a class room or lab. This experience will be invaluable as I start my career. Plus this co-op really helped my resume!

Did it help you in any job interviews?
I haven't had any other job interviews since starting my co-op here at Hunter; however, throughout my time here I have gained a lot of experience from which to draw on in upcoming interviews. This was something I struggled with in previous interviews.

What was the dress code?
The dress code was business casual: collared shirt and slacks. As a co-op I was not required to wear a tie - even though the engineers were.

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

I did mostly individual work, but I had to work with other co-ops on several projects and with the engineers for some projects

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

Working in St. Louis is fun - especially for a short time. There is a great wealth of stuff for my wife and me to do. However, we both prefer living outside the city.

What were your living arrangements during co-op?
My wife and I lived in an apartment in Maryland Heights about 15 minutes away from work.

How was the supervision?
Dave was big on not micromanaging me which was nice. He basically pointed me in the right direction and said “go do it”.

Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself?
I have gained a lot of engineering confidence from working this co-op. Being given hard projects and then successfully working solve them (of course with help along the way) was really great.