Name: Micah Horsch
School: Missouri University of Science and Technology
Major: Computer Engineering/ Electrical Engineering
Co-op period: May 2016 – January 2017
What was the interview process like?
I was contacted by Megan Pieper after talking to a Coop at the Missouri S&T Career Fair and I was told that I had an interview the week after. I went to the Hunter Engineering, Bridgeton office and talked with Megan for a bit, after this I took an aptitude test and ended with doing an interview with Dave Voeller that same day. The next week I was contacted by Megan and told that I had 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.
I have done three years of schooling already but the most hands on experience that I have done has definitely been with Hunter. I worked a lot with writing C# programs to automate processes, and I have spent a long time understanding Axis Cameras. I have helped solve issues that we have run into in the field and worked with a lot of the engineers that are at Hunter. I had no previous knowledge of C# before working at Hunter but have done a few years of C++ which helped me understand the programming language even better. People skills would also be helpful because you are not going to know how to do everything, but if you know who to ask then the task at hand becomes a lot easier.
What experience do you think will be the most useful for you in the future?
The most useful thing that I have learned is how a company operates and how people can work together to finish a task by completing their own individual tasks. I got to help out in many different areas and got to see how one project would affect another and how engineers work together to finish a product. This will help me in the future because I know what will be expected of me from a job later on.
How do you think the overall experience will help you in your career?
I think that this coop will help me get more internships and a future job by getting my foot in the door of other companies' interview processes because of my experience at Hunter. I know what I can talk about in interviews and how to act professionally.
How do you think the overall experience will help you in your next job interview?
I think that my experience will show in my next job interview because they will see that I have had experience working in an engineering company and have a good idea of what to expect and what is expected of me. I have learned a lot from Hunter that I can use to my advantage when trying to apply for a job in the future.
What aspect of the work did you enjoy the most?
The aspect of work that I like the most was definitely getting to see what I could do to help the company. I was continuously working on projects that were interesting and applicable to my field. I was never bored with what I was doing at Hunter.
What aspect of the work did you not enjoy?
There were a few times when I had to do a lot of repetitive testing, trying to get a different result. This was done when I was investigating a problem or bug with our software that required me to do so. This would not happen a lot but when it did it was tedious.
Did you learn anything?
During my time at Hunter I learned a lot about C# programming, it was a language that I had not learned before but have gotten a lot out of and have learned a lot about. It is a very useful programming language because the syntax was close to C++ and the functions that are in it are fairly easy to use. I learned about Visual Studio which contained a compiler and debugging software so I could find what was wrong with programs that I wrote. I also learned good time management skills and how to work with different kinds of people.
What was the dress code?
The dress code was business casual which consisted of a collared shirt with khakis/dress pants, a belt, and dress shoes.
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?
Most of the time I would do individual work, such as programming a executable/script for Dave Voeller or figuring out what software we could use to make processes we were working on automated, and finding the limitations to some of our software. There were times when I got stuck or couldn't figure out an answer to a problem that I encountered and had to ask engineers or other coops for their help or where to look for an answer. The work that I have been doing at Hunter does not compare to what I have been doing at school because each program that I write here has applications to the real world that encompass more than I learned at school and I was not just writing a quick program to do one task and then stopping, I would see how I could make my program do a multitude of things and keep adding onto it. It was great seeing how far I could take some of my programs.
What are the pros/cons of working in Saint Louis? (Maybe compare it to other places you have been)
I have never lived in a city as big as Saint Louis before, there is so much to do here that I have never done. There are many interesting places to visit, such as the Delmar Loop, the St. Louis Zoo, Forest Park and a lot of other parks. The drive to work was not that bad since I was taking 170, but if it was raining then expect to go slow on any highway that you take.
What were your living arrangements during co-op? This question is especially important for those that are not from St. Louis.
I stayed with a friend of mine that goes to Washington University in University City (north of Clayton). The drive was not bad on the way to work in the morning.
How was the supervision?
My supervisor was Dave Voeller, who is the Manager of R&D at Hunter. He always has projects and ideas that he needs tested or worked on. He is constantly working on problems or a project but always has time to answer a question or talk about a new idea he has. Dave has a hands off way of managing which I thought was great because it allowed me to work at my own pace and not have to worry about meeting deadlines. He is the type of person that asks you to do something, does not worry about how long it takes to complete but expects it to be done right. Dave Voeller, Jason Smith, Bill Heine and Dan Eberhart were the core Engineers that I worked with and they are all very good at what they do. If I was stuck on a problem I just had to ask one of them and if they didn't know the answer they would point me in the right direction. The supervision was one of the things that I admired about Hunter Engineering.
Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself, Hunter Engineering, the coop program or the work?
Hunter Engineering is a great place to get experience in the real world. There are always many different types of projects that you get to work on, most of the time it incorporates a mix of hardware and software. After working at Hunter I feel confident that I will have what it takes to do a great job at whatever I want to do once I graduate college.