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Ian Piskulic (May 2015 - Jan 2016)

Name:  Ian Piskulic

School: Missouri University of Science and Technology

Major: Computer Engineering

Co-op period: May 2015 - January 2016

Co-op Experience

What was the interview process like?

An engineer from Hunter is actually in my family, so I asked him to turn my resume in. I then got a call from Megan to come in for an interview. I then took a test and talked with Dave Voeller about my resume. A couple weeks later, I got an email and call from Megan saying I got the position.

Most students just want some experience but they don't exactly know what type of experience they want.  Please describe some of the work you did and what type of skills you needed.  It is important to note what you could apply from school and what you learned on the job.

Coming into Hunter, I only had one year of college completed. I felt pretty inexperienced coming in, since I was only a sophomore. My programming skills definitely improved working at Hunter. I learned C#, which is now my favorite language to use. I mainly programmed in C# as well. I also did a lot of experimental testing as well. Sometimes it was repetitive and boring, but other times I was working with new technology that nobody else has worked with. Learning Java and C++ beforehand really helped for me to just jump right into C#. If people coming in also had some experience with FPGAs as well, that would be very helpful.

What experience do you think will be the most useful for you in the future?

Making GUIs and using a language with garbage collection is the most useful thing to me. It opened a new world to me that isn’t just console based C++ programs, which is what S&T teaches a lot of. Using Visual Studio will also be so useful in the future instead of trying to program in these little terminal windows.

How do you think the overall experience will help you in your career?

With the experience I gained here, I know what to look for in a company and I know what to talk about at interviews. My experience at Hunter will help me get future internships and even job offers.

How do you think the overall experience will help you in your next job interview?

My experience at Hunter gives me something to look for in a company and something to talk about when they ask what experience I have. If they ask what I did at Hunter, I could probably talk for a good hour explaining things I did, how things work, etc. Working at Hunter also showed me more of what I like to do and what I do not like to do. This will help narrow down my choices on which company to work for and what I would like to do for that company. I feel that when I go in for my next job interview, I will be even more relaxed than before because I have all of this experience to back me up.

What aspect of the work did you enjoy the most?

I liked going out to the dealerships around Saint Louis and trying to fix their Hunter system. I also loved creating new applications in C# to get some of the tedious work done. Since I worked on multiple things, it was fun jumping between them and never sitting down being bored.

What aspect of the work did you not enjoy?

The times were I had to just sit and do lots of testing. It was tedious and time consuming, but it had to be done for one reason or another. Those types of things were

Did you learn anything?

I learned lots about C# and Visual Studio. I also learned about source control and the debugging tools Visual Studio provides. I also experimented with FPGAs and learned about socket programming as well. Of course, along the way I learned about camber, toe, and the issues that go along with that and balancing wheels.

What was the dress code?

Business Casual: A collared shirt with khakis or dark slacks.

Student often want to know if they will work alone or in a group.  Was the work you did more individual or group work and how does it compare with what you have done in school or at another job?

There was mostly individual work for the bigger projects, but still some group work. Most of the stuff I was assigned were programming assignments or FPGA stuff, so that could not really be a two person thing. However, if I ever had questions, I could always ask another coop or another engineer for assistance. The work I did here does not compare to the work I did at school. At Hunter, each application I wrote had a GUI and an actual purpose behind it. With the little console programs at school, it was just for learning and it was much harder to see how it would help me in the future.

What are the pros/cons of working in Saint Louis? (Maybe compare it to other places you have been)

The drive is tough sometimes since I am going from South County to North County every day. Overall, I loved being in Saint Louis while I worked. There is a lot more stuff to do around here than in Rolla. There is Forest Park, the Art Museum, The Zoo and more!

What were your living arrangements during co-op?  This question is especially important for those that are not from St. Louis.

I am from South County, so I just stayed with my parents there.

How was the supervision?

Andrew Nevin was my supervisor for my coop. He was always around when I had questions and very understanding. If I ever needed to take off work for something, he would let me, as long as I ask beforehand.

Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself, Hunter Engineering, the coop program or the work?

The Hunter name will make any resume stand out. The coop program is fantastic to get someone trained to be an engineer in the real world.