about menu

John Ollie (May 2003 - January 2004)

Name: John Olle

School: University of Missouri-Rolla

Major: Electrical Engineering

Co-op period: January 2014 – August 2014

Current school/company and what you do:

The Boeing Company

F/A-18 Advanced Mission Computer Hardware Team - Software Engineer

My role is to be the link between the hardware and software teams on the Mission Computer project. I also coordinate software testing with our parts supplier.

Current Location:
St. Peters, MO

What was the interview process like?

After meeting Hunter at the Career Fair at UMR I was invited to have an on-campus interview with an HR rep ( Shari if I remember correctly). After completing the on campus interview I was invited to the facility in St. Louis. I met with HR again and answered more questions in addition to taking a test. Finally, I met with Dave Voeller and he asked a few questions and we talked about my experience and accomplishments. The interview setting was comfortable and I wasn't grilled with nearly as many tough questions as I have been in other places.

What did you do?

I worked on several projects while at Hunter. The three main projects I took part in were evaluating Software QA testing software called TestPartner from Compuware, creating a Visual SourceSafe software tool to identify modified files in the database, and bringing up a handheld measurement tool.

Myself and the other EE co-ops at the time worked for several weeks with the QA software and came to the conclusion that it would not be a good tool for Hunter to effectively test software. After that I used Visual C# to create a software tool to assist the programmers in code management using MS Visual SourceSafe. The tool retrieved information from the database and generated a report for the engineers to use to make sure bug fixes were incorporated into the correct releases of software. The handheld measurement tool was developed from some previous co-op work. The project was interesting in that it involved both hardware and software design and many engineers were involved at different levels of the system.

Would you do it again?
I greatly enjoyed my time at Hunter and would love to relive the experience. The environment was very comfortable and also challenging. I was able to gain important technical experience in addition to real world job experience.

What did you like?

The work atmosphere at Hunter was great. I had a lot of fun while working there and became friends with many of the engineers and other co-ops. The engineers are extremely helpful and can be approached at almost any time and will offer assistance. Many of them will take time to teach you valuable information that cannot be learned in a school environment. I also liked the fact that Hunter was on the cutting edge of many technologies and was striving to constantly improve their product. I was able to see some very interesting technologies being implemented and still talk of the advanced technology that I observed while working at Hunter.

Hunter also has a great workout facility and racquetball court. You can find someone to play racquetball with you or join the wallyball league.

What did you not like?

Seeing a certain unsightly picture far too often. Eating too much chinese food and feeling sick the rest of the day. Haha

On a serious note, I was very satisfied with my experience at Hunter and cannot think of anything that caused me a problem while I was there.

Did you learn anything?
I gained valuable technical experience during my time at Hunter. I picked up the programming language C# and learned a ton of digital electronics information from Gerry Friton, Hunter's electronics expert.

Did the experience help you in your career?
Yes. The experience I took from Hunter was used immediately in my senior design project. I made use of the architectures I had become familiar with at Hunter to construct a successful handheld video game that was fun and challenging to design. I also believe that I will benefit from my co-op in my current job and future positions.

Did it help you in any job interviews?
My projects at Hunter were a major discussion point in every interview that I have had. Employers look highly upon job experience and each one I spoke to was impressed at the difficulty of the work entrusted to the co-ops at Hunter.

What was the dress code?
The dress code for the co-ops was business casual. Generally slacks and a polo shirt were what I wore to work. The ME co-ops often wore jeans and a t-shirt since they were working with the machinery.

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

The work is group work as a whole but you do your role mostly as an individual. You will always be corresponding with your boss as your task will be for them but you may also be working with other co-ops and engineers on a team. It is similar to the atmosphere that I work in now. I currently work on a team where I have specific individual responsibilities and collaborate with the rest of the group through meetings and phone conferences.

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

I'm from St. Louis and currently living here so I like the environment. It is a good sized city with nearly everything that you could want to do. It is a great sports town as you will see through Hunter.

What were your living arrangements during co-op?
I lived in an apartment just across the MO river in St. Charles. It was fair priced and it took 10 minutes to get to work.

How was the supervision?

Dave was a great boss and was definitely easy to get along with. He remembers his college days well and can easily relate to your position. He likes to play racquetball and is touted as the best, although I never saw him in action. I wanted to play him but didn't get the chance. He also takes a yearly trip up to Alaska to fish which shows that he can step out of the engineering box. He'll help you out and make it easy to transition into the position.

Scott is (at least was) the West Garage main man and the overseer of co-ops that entered his domain. He'll act the same during the first moment you meet him as he will the rest of the time you know him. He will do his best to make your co-op a fun experience and will help you anytime that you need. He also enjoys keeping the engineers modest as his job is to find their mistakes and he does it very well! (Dave will agree)