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Jimmy Hoerschgen (January 2023 - August 2023)

Name: Jimmy Hoerschgen
School: Missouri University of Science and Technology
Major: Computer Science
Co-op period: January 2023 - August 2023


Co-op Experience

What was the interview process like?

I heard about Hunter through people I knew who had positive experiences working as a co-op. I was recommended by them to talk to Hunter at our school’s career fair, where I had a great conversation with a current co-op. That evening I applied online to the positions I was interested in.

After I found out my application was accepted, I scheduled an interview with who would be my supervisor, Dave Voeller. During the interview we talked about what classes I had taken and what personal projects I had done. I asked questions about what kind of projects were being worked on and what languages and concepts I would want to get acquainted with if I was selected for the role.


Most students just want experience, but they may not 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 the skills you could apply from what you’ve learned in school and what you learned on the job.

It was very uncommon to go a day or two without learning something new. My supervisor knew how much technical experience I had coming in, and provided resources to fill me in where I lacked knowledge. Though the place where I learned the most was diving in and using something new first-hand.

Most of our work is written in Python and JavaScript. We use an S3 Bucket and SQL Server to store data and metadata. Before I started, I had no experience in a lot of what I was doing, but after getting my hands dirty and a little bit trial-and-error, I learned enough to get what I needed working.


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

I now know much more about programming and computer science than I did before. I’ve increased my understanding in concepts I thought I knew a lot about previously, and learned a lot in concepts I was unaware of before. I know that in the future I will be more prepared for future classes than I would have otherwise been by the lessons I’ve learned while working here.


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

This experience was the first time I have worked on a large, collaborative, project for a long period of time. I grew my communications skills as much as I grew my technical skills.


What aspect of the work did you enjoy the most?

I enjoyed learning frequently. Learning here was different than in a classroom. It was a nice change from a very structured lesson plan. I learned as I went along. It was a weird feeling to look back on code I had written towards the beginning of my time working as a co-op vs the end and seeing how much it had improved.


What aspect of the work did you not enjoy?

My time working was temporary, the project I worked on started before I started, and will end after I end. Even though I won’t get to see it to completion, I still feel a sense of accomplishment for the progress that I’ve made.


Did you learn anything?

I learned a lot during my co-op. I learned about new and interesting technologies and was introduced to machine learning. I also learned a lot of practical skills while working as a team.


Students 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?

Although most of the code I wrote was written by myself, all the code my team wrote would all work very close together. This meant we were communicating frequently. There also were multiple times where we would work on a problem together if one of us was stuck.


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

I lived in an apartment a few minutes from Hunter with two other co-ops who go to my school. We were all from outside of St. Louis and met before we started work to discuss living arrangements.


How was the supervision?

I had no issues working under my supervisor, Dave Voeller. He was very understanding if I needed to adjust my schedule. He was open and encouraging to co-ops introducing new technology to our project.


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

If you are fine with adding a semester to your time at school, I would recommend taking a co-op. I have had a positive experience overall.

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