Nicholas Reichert (November 9, 2020 – May 20, 2021)
Name: Nicholas Reichert
School: Missouri University of Science & Technology
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Co-op period: November 9, 2020 – May 20, 2021
What was the interview process like?
I had a quick discussion with Mr. Colarelli about a recent opening of a Co-Op position. After a quick interview with him, I further discussed the position with Mr. Stirnemann where I was given an offer for the position.
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.
I was able to gain some experience in several skills outlined in academia like utilizing CAD software to assist in designing parts required for testing, gathering and analyzing test results, and utilizing a variety of machining tools to aid in developing test parts. Most of the equipment used during my time at Hunter were taught, briefly, in a few of the courses I took in undergrad. Being able to work with the equipment further on more complex assignments has been beneficial in showing me what skills I still need to hone for future careers.
What experience do you think will be the most useful for you in the future?
The most useful aspect I got out of my experience may have to be my experience communicating with my coworkers. It is key to have strong knowledge on a variety of concepts, tools, and software, outstanding critical thinking skills, and organization skills, but all professions vary in size, but do have a large number of departments that work together to complete many projects. It won’t matter if a company has employed the best candidates in all necessary fields if the employees struggle to communicate tasks, concerns, or updates to an assignment, the company will struggle to get things accomplished. Being able to learn how to effectively communicate with coworkers in the department I am working in, as well as members in other departments, will be very useful in the future.
How do you think the overall experience will help you in your career?
My overall experience will be very constructive to my career. It has opened my eyes to how fast the work environment is that I will be working in. I will be required to handle several related or unrelated assignments at once and need to get my tasks done as quickly as possible as accurately as possible. I will need to be sure to strengthen my
communication skills as much as possible and be able to relay information between coworkers and customers as effectively and clearly as possible. The fundamental skills learned with Creo and the variety of machining tools utilized during my term will also provide a solid base for growth in the future.
What aspect of the work did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed being able to expand my skills and knowledge with a variety of machining tools and CAD software greatly. The expansion of my skills with these tools will be greatly beneficial in the future. I also enjoyed being able to take on several different tasks with a few different projects at the same time. This helped me see that in the real world I will still be taking on a quantity of projects at once, which would force me to learn how to keep my priorities in check, organize my day effectively and know that I won’t be held to the same assignment or project every day.
What aspect of the work did you not enjoy?
I enjoyed all the work I did. There is not much I can think of that I can say I did not enjoy.
Did you learn anything?
I was able to learn how to utilize a couple different machining tools and CAD software that I have never used in the past. I was able to also learn a few new things with Excel that I had not known in the past. The greatest thing I learned is how to be confident with my work and gain better communication skills; both areas I thought I was strong in before, but learned I still had some improvement to make within.
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?
A lot of the assignments I worked on were able to be completed by a single person, but did have me report to an engineer regarding instructions and results, so although I was working through the assignments individually, I did still have a group of people I could confront if I had any questions or concerns. There were few assignments that I did work in a group on which required all employees involved to continuously stay connected with updates on assignments each of us were to complete.
In comparison, school is similar. Of course, all homework assignments were to be completed independently. However, major course projects were typically completed in groups where each groupmate was required to take on a specific task to assist in completing the project yet be flexible in their schedule and responsibilities to aid other groupmates if needed.
What were your living arrangements during co-op? This question is especially important for those that are not from St. Louis.
My family is from St. Louis, so I was able to live at home with my family during the duration of the co-op.
How was the supervision?
The supervision was good. Co-Ops were given a variety of tasks throughout their term and they were given appropriate time frames to complete their tasks and were able to ask questions when needed and provide status updates on projects when required.