Jonah Wiggenhorn (May 2021 – December 2021)
Name: Jonah Wiggenhorn
School: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Major: Computer Science
Co-op period: May 2021 – December 2021
What was the interview process like?
After applying and submitting my resume online, HR contacted me for a brief phone interview. Next, I had two separate virtual interviews with two hiring managers. During the interview, I learned about their team projects and discussed my relevant experience and skill set. After the interview, HR contacted me to inform me both hiring managers would like to extend an offer. I was able to choose between the two teams based on my stronger interests.
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.
The main projects I worked on were front-end applications that were designed by another team member. Much of my time was spent implementing features and fixing bugs. I helped to maintain existing back-end APIs, researched, and designed. The general skills and knowledge I learned in school translated the work at Hunter, however a lot of the technologies and programming languages used were completely different. Most was learned on the job. For example, an application I worked on was written in Typescript with React, which I had little to no exposure from school.
What experience do you think will be the most useful for you in the future?
I believe the most useful experience for my future is working on projects with technologies I was previously unfamiliar with. This caused me to learn and adapt quickly by reviewing documentation and asking questions.
How do you think the overall experience will help you in your career?
Through my work at Hunter, I’ve become familiar with several technologies and programming languages including Azure, .NET, Docker, Typescript, React, Blazor, and more. I’ve also gained a lot of insight into the underlying paradigms that translate across programming languages, such as inversion of control and model-view-controller. The programming and general skills (like working effectively on a team) will certainly help me in all my future career endeavors. Additionally, I now have a better idea of the type of work I enjoy and will seek out in the future.
What aspect of the work did you enjoy the most?
The work I enjoyed most was the programming, specifically implementing new features in software applications. Adding new functionality to a program and seeing it work as intended is both rewarding and fun.
What aspect of the work did you not enjoy?
Various research-oriented tasks were slightly less engaging to me personally, but still taught me a lot.
Did you learn anything?
I learned a ton. I feel I learned more in 7 months of working at Hunter than in 3 years of college.
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?
My work at Hunter was mostly individual but also involves regular team collaboration for planning, designing, and troubleshooting. On the average day I would spend approximately 1-3 hours in meetings or calls with teammates and the rest working alone. It was not too different from group work I’ve done in school.
What were your living arrangements during co-op? This question is especially important for those that are not from St. Louis.
I was already living in Alton, IL, which is a roughly 30-minute commute.
How was the supervision?
Each member of the team I worked on would be assigned work for a 2-week period and then participate in short daily status update meetings. My supervisors treated me like a colleague and were extremely helpful and receptive to questions or comments.
Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself, Hunter Engineering, the co-op program or the work?
I greatly enjoyed working at Hunter and would highly recommend the co-op program to any students who have the opportunity.