Jacob Ronstadt (January 2018 - August 2018)
Name: Jacob Ronstadt
School: University of Washington
Major: Electrical Engineering
Co-op period: January 2018 - August 2018
What was the interview process like?
As I came from out of state, the interview for me consisted of a phone interview and an online aptitude test. During the phone interview I talked with Dave Voeller about my resume, some of my projects, and what projects his co-ops would be working on.
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.
The majority of the work I did was programming, using languages such as C#, C++, or python, and working on projects involving machine learning and computer vision. Although knowing these languages wasn’t required before starting, knowing the fundamentals of programming was necessary to be able to easily switch to other languages.
What experience do you think will be the most useful for you in the future?
Gaining more experience with different programming languages as well as learning how to more easily learn new languages will both be useful to me in the future.
How do you think the overall experience will help you in your career?
This experience has given me a look at how engineering is done outside of a classroom and will help me to know what to expect going into a permanent position.
How do you think the overall experience will help you in your next job interview?
Having completed this co-op I will have more to talk about in my next interview outside of school related material. I will be able to talk about the projects I worked on here and what I learned from them. Any problems I had to solve while working on various projects and how that knowledge can be applied to future work could also prove to be a good talking point in interviews.
What aspect of the work did you enjoy the most?
What I enjoyed the most about this co-op was being able to learn a lot of new things while also completing real world projects. It was also nice to be able to work without being restricted by tight deadlines such as with school. I feel this really allowed me to go more in depth when learning about new topics.
What aspect of the work did you not enjoy?
There were times when simple or repetitive work had to be done that wasn’t the most interesting but necessary for a project.
Did you learn anything?
I learned a lot about programming and some new languages which will be useful in the future. Additionally, I learned a lot about the process of engineering projects and how they are completed.
What was the dress code?
Business casual. Nice pants and a collared shirt.
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?
Most of the work was individual. There were times when I would work on projects with other co-ops which reminded me of group work done in labs at school.
What are the pros/cons of working in Saint Louis? (Maybe compare it to other places you have been)
Saint Louis was a great place to work. Having never been before this job, I found there was plenty to do on weekends and after work.
What were your living arrangements during co-op? This question is especially important for those that are not from St. Louis.
I lived in a studio apartment in St. Charles which was about a 10-15 minute drive from Hunter. I was given a list of apartments other co-ops had previously used which was helpful in finding a place.
How was the supervision?
Dave was pretty hands off in his management style and would give general directions then let you choose how you handled the project from there. He was always helpful if you went to him with a problem or questions.
Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself, Hunter Engineering, the coop program or the work?
My experience with Hunter was excellent and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a future co-op.