From a Co-op’s Perspective

Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in Staff | No Comments
A co-op student drafting structural engineering documents.

2014 Co-op Student | Christina D’Amico

When I was searching for a new structural engineer co-op position I was looking for a different type of experience from my previous locations. I knew I wanted to work with structural engineers and at a company that used Revit for its modeling and drafting. I also wanted to work for a company that could see the value of the co-op program. I chose to interview with Schaefer because it was exactly what I was looking for in my last two co-op rotations with its high level use of today’s technology and understanding of the co-op program.

Now that I am here I know that my first thoughts about Schaefer were true, but there is so much more. Schaefer has been very helpful to me in every possible way. My coworkers give me many opportunities to develop and learn about what interests me. I enjoy working closely with a mentor and other structural engineers that have also recently been through the co-op process.

During my time here I have received great constructive feedback on my work and outstanding advice on how to improve to be successful. I have been able to contribute on a large variety of projects that keeps every day exciting. I have been challenged with working on small projects by myself or by collaborating and contributing to large projects with other modelers. I have also been able to go on site visits and receive lesson plans to develop a strong understanding of structural engineering in the real world. Schaefer gives a lot of opportunities to learn how my classes relate to the real world as well as learning about potential career goals.

Outside of all of the learning and growing, my fellow colleagues at Schaefer offer a lot more. Everyone embraces all new employees which is especially welcoming for students. Everyone I have interacted with is genuinely interested in my education and my development at the company. The many social activities also keep every day in the office exciting. I have really liked the lunch time social activities because they give a fun break in the middle of the work day. It is also fun to get to know everyone at events outside the office. I have learned about many outside A/E/C organizations and activities within the community that I can continue to be a part of after my co-op term.

Overall this company is an extremely well rounded place for a structural engineer co-op. Every day at Schaefer ranges from challenging and interesting projects with solid constructive feedback, to fun euchre games at lunch. Any co-op student here should be excited to come into work each morning like I am. Even after just one semester at Schaefer I feel I have gained a stronger foundation for developing my career after college and am looking forward to my next co-op semester here.

Read about another Schaefer co-op’s experience.

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