Just a few months ago, I was packing up all my things into my Corolla (a feat of engineering in and of itself) and driving eighteen hours to get to Houston. Now, I’m starting to look around my room in Houston and go “How on Earth am I going to get all of this back to Indiana?” While my friends at Purdue are all starting to study for finals, I’m wrapping up things at work and only have another week left (and only one more paycheck coming). As an engineer, I like lists, so I’ve broken down my experience into the best parts and the worst parts of being on co-op.
The Best Things:
1. The Work – I’ve had an opportunity to learn a lot about both the company I work for and a branch of engineering (technical sales) that I’ve never seen before.
2. The Food – This is entirely subjective, but TexMex and Texan BBQ are some of the best cuisines out there and having it at least once a week is pretty awesome.
3. The Weather – It started off really hot (Over two straight weeks of 100 degree weather), but the temperate finally moderated and I haven’t had to worry about snow at all this semester.
4. The Work (Redux) – Or lack thereof. My job doesn’t have homework. No late nights of working or studying for me.
The Worst Things: (Which Really Aren’t All That Bad)
1. The Social Aspect – In this age of Facebook/Twitter/G+, it’s easy to keep up to date with what is going on with your friends. This is kind of a double edged sword though, as (at least my friends’) posts are always about the best things that are going on at school. You start to miss school.
2. Missing Football Season – We beat Ohio State. Again. We rushed the field. Again. And again, I wasn’t on campus. Eventually I’ll be around for Purdue pulling off a huge upset in football.
Actually, the worst things hardly qualify as needing a list…I am looking forward to a change of scenery and being back on campus in January. Just in time for Big Ten basketball season. Boiler Up!
One of the reasons I chose Purdue was the professional practice program. Every February, over a hundred companies come to Purdue to recruit for freshman and sophomores in engineering to fill roles as co-op students for the next two/three years. You alternate back and forth between school and work each semester and summer, earning money while getting valuable work experience.
As part of my job this semester, I’ve gotten to work with GE in Houston. To better understand how our products work in the field, some people from my engineering team and I went to visit a drilling rig to see the field application of one of our engines. Learned a lot, even if the rig manager gave me a hard time for being an intern.
- For perspective, I’m 5’8″. The engine is about 8′ tall and ~30′ long. Runs off of natural gas and is one of the most efficient on the market (Can you tell I work with Sales and Marketing a lot?)
My name is Adam Potrzebowski and I am one of the student writers that the Recruitment team has chosen to write about my experiences as an engineering student at Purdue. As a sophomore in mechanical engineering, I’d like to be able to relate some of my experiences as a student.
Originally, I am from a small town, Westville, in northern Indiana. My dad is a Purdue alum and I grew up rooting for the Old Gold and Black. My sister graduated from Purdue a few years ago in ME. When I began looking at colleges, there was just a little pressure to go to Purdue. As I thought more about my academic and professional goals, I realized that Purdue was an even better fit than I thought. As a renowned engineering school, Purdue had opportunities that few other schools could offer. As a large state school, it had tons of resources, sports, and a lot of new people to meet. By the time I got to my senior year, I had decided that Purdue was the best choice.
Having now completed my first year, I can definitely say that my experience here has been memorable. Academics aside, I’ve been fortunate in my involvement on campus. I’m currently in the Purdue Student Engineering Foundation (PSEF) who are the student recruitment side for engineering. We give a lot of tours and help outreach in other ways as well (like this blog). I’m also active in the Professional Practice Ambassadors and the basketball student section, the Paint Crew.
Unlike the other student writers, I am actually not on campus this semester. I’m participating in the professional practice program. In this program, I alternate between semesters at school and semesters at work. The work is paid and provides invaluable work experience. Currently, I’m living in Houston, TX while working for General Electric. So far, I really enjoy my job (and the paycheck), but I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss Purdue and the fall in West Lafayette. Over the next few months, I’ll try to post more about my co-op and what kind of work I’m doing. Until then, Boiler Up!