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Truman Craig (January 2020 - June 2020)

Name: Truman Craig
School: Missouri S&T
Major: Computer Engineering
Co-op period: January 2020 – June 2020
Co-op Experience

What was the interview process like?

I was called by Megan Pieper saying Hunter had seen my resume on Handshake and asked if I would like an interview on campus after the career fair. I agreed and the day after the career fair I was interviewed by Dave Voeller where he asked me what type of experience I had working on projects and how I go about solving problems and learning new technologies required for a project. He then went over all the projects Hunter was working on and asked which ones I was most interested in. A few days later I was then called by Megan offering me a 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.

Almost all the work I did was research based so I had to figure out what technologies to use and work though learning them on my own. Coming into the co op I knew C++ and JavaScript, however everything I used I learned while working on my project. I was dealing with machine learning so I had to learn Python, TensorFlow, and SQL to do my research and a lot my job required figuring out and making the technologies work. The most important thing was being able to find documentation and videos on the technologies so I could apply them to my project.

 

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

Learning Python will definitely be the most useful for me if I ever have to use it in the future as well as getting the opportunity to experiment with large amounts of real world data and machine learning that I would never have gotten on my own or at school.

 

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

I believe the overall experience helped me explore different areas of engineering and know more specifically what area and positions I would like to peruse in the future.  

 

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

The overall experience definitely gave me a major project I can talk about in detail and the different steps I took towards solving real world problems. It also allows me to elaborate on the process of learning new technologies and working with others on managing a project.

 

What aspect of the work did you enjoy the most?

I enjoyed learning and implementing the new frameworks the most as well getting to try my ideas on the project.

 

What aspect of the work did you not enjoy?

I was not a fan of having to document everything I did in order to hand off the project to someone new because even though I could write about it, it still took months for me to understand what I was doing. 

 

Did you learn anything?

The main things I learned were Python, TensorFlow, and SQL as well as many different techniques applied to machine learning.

 

What was the dress code?

The dress code was business casual.

 

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?

The work started out with a partner however with both of us trying learn two different projects at the same time it ended up being easier and more efficient for both of us to work separately on a single project. Compared to school and other internships, any other time I worked with a partner it usually involved each person working on a separate part of the project.

 

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

Bridgeton was a little out of the way of St. Louis so it was more like working in a large town. There wasn’t a whole lot of interesting things around unless you went into the city but there were a few fun, unique restaurants. I did miss out on getting to know the area much though due to covid

 

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

I stayed with my sister who lived in St. Charles so I had about a 20 min drive to work each day.

 

How was the supervision?

Dave was great in allowing to research a topic in my own way at my own pace. Every now and then he would check in for update on the project and near the end we had a marathon like sessions where I tried to go through most of the project with him.

 

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

Hunter definitely allowed me the chance to explore a different side of engineering and experiment with technologies I would never have got the chance anywhere else, and although I’m not too keen on research, it allowed me to compare what areas of engineering and development interest me the most.

 

How did Hunter adapt to the COVID pandemic for your personal situation?

Hunter adapted extremely well to COVID, before they were even required to Hunter set up accounts for us to remote into our PC’s and work from home. I worked from home for about 3 months and the only downside was that our hours got cut from 40 to 32 a week.

 

Was there something you would have liked to have done regarding COVID that was not done?

I feel like everything regarding COVID was done very well and there’s nothing I would have done differently.

 

How did Hunter try to keep you safe during the COVID pandemic?

I worked from home for 3 months and when we did come back in they provided facemasks for all employing to wear.

 

If you could have changed how Hunter handled the COVID pandemic, what would you have changed?

 

I wouldn’t have changed anything.

Did you feel like your safety was a priority?
I felt my safety was Hunter’s number one priority. Even when we went back to work, Hunter implemented safety precautions greater than those of the CDC. All employees were to remain 20 feet apart and were screened each morning they went into work.

 

How was Hunter’s communication and updates during COVID?

Hunter released a video update every week outlining how the business was doing and what steps they would be taking each week. They put a lot of emphasis on making sure everyone knew what was going on and that they’re safety was a number one priority.

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