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Mechanical Engineering
West Sand Lake NY


Patricia Schiotis on Sunday, 17 June 2012. Posted in Co-op

This summer, I am spending my time in Cincinnati, Ohio cooping at GE Aviation. New place, new people, new experiences.  After one week, I already know this summer is going to be amazing.   I started work on Tuesday, and have had nothing but good experiences thus far.  Here is a recap of my first week.

“I drank the kool-aid… AND I LIKED IT.”  Yes, this is what was said during my orientation for GE Aviation.  I knew from all the on-boarding presentations that this is going to be interesting, yet fun, summer journey.   After the presentations, I was picked up by two other coop students working in my area.  This is a new feat for me since at both my previous coops, I was the only coop in my department.  Both these kids have already been there for about a month, since their universities got out earlier than RIT.  They took me to a Cincinnati favorite “Skyline.”  Skyline is a chili based place that is known for the 3- or 4-ways (chili and cheese over pasta) and their Coney’s (chili on a hot dog).  Although I am a very picked eater, I decided that I would try a 3-way, actually is was not that bad!  Skyline is also the officially chili of the Cincinnati Reds, the local MLB team.  After lunch, I was taken back to my office, which would be my work home for the next 10 weeks.  As the other coops were giving me a tour of the building, one thing that stood out to be was the name of the laminator… Harry Plotter.  I knew right away that this was the place for me.

After work, my roommate and fellow RIT student and I, decided to sign up for a gym membership at the GE employee gym.  When we were filling out the paperwork, the lady who said the kool-aid statement was there, so we were able to strike up a conversation with her.  The gym is right on the main GE campus, so I have no excuse not to go to the gym every day after work!

Another highlight of my first week… my first Reds game!  For those of you who don’t know, I am an avid baseball fan, with my team being the New York Yankees.  Really, I just love the sport so a Reds game was top on my bucket list this summer.  But here is the kicker… I got to go to the reds game with my department with GE… during work hours, FOR FREE.  The Reds were playing Ohio rival, the Cleveland Indians, and successfully completed a sweep of the series!  Week 1 is not even over yet, and it has already been more then I could ever imagine.

So I left the Reds game and went back to GE to pick up my car, but my roommate convinced me to go to the coop “ultimate Frisbee” game.  Mind you, I have NEVER played ultimate before but again, this is the summer of new experiences, so I went.  My goal of the game was to not dominate the Frisbee field, but chat with everyone there and make friends and learn about their experiences.  My team quickly caught on as I begin picking the brains of the attendees, but I did make a catch! Now penciled in, every Tuesday and Thursday after work, will be the Frisbee games.

This brings us to Friday, the last day before my first weekend.  For lunch, the coops in my department went to a cook-out outside of a local supermarket, delicious.  Then after work, Kate (my roommate) and I went to the gym yet again.  We were there for about an hour when we got sucker in to attend the boot camp class.  It was hard, but totally worth it.  Of course no experience is complete without me chatting with the attendees (current GE Aviation employees) and getting to know their experiences.  But this was not the highlight of my Friday gym date.  I wore my RIT infamous “Tiger Den” shirt, given out by RIT athletics every orientation week and some lady screamed from across the gym “HEY RIT GIRL COME OVER HERE.” She was mid workout on the rowing machine, but went on and on about how her son graduated from the software engineering program and how great RIT is.  Of course, we talked about hockey, specifically the Men’s frozen four journey a few years back.  She actually made the trip from Cincinnati to attend in Detroit! She also kept mentioning how great of a school RIT is, and how great the students are.

Kate and I decided to start a weekly tradition of going out to eat friday after work.  Our first location, Olive Garden.  After getting lost, we finally reached the restaurant at about 9pm.  Since arriving to Cincinnati, everyone we have encountered has been super friendly, including our waiter.  Although they were busy when we got there, he still kept up with us.  We mentioned how we are from Rochester, NY and go to school at RIT.  The random girl at the table behind us, clearly on a date with her boyfriend, joined our conversation saying how she almost went to school there, but didn’t want to leave her family.  And went on to say how great of a campus it was and she loved visiting there.  Then when we were leaving around their closing time, our waiter gave us about a dozen breadsticks, alfredo dipping sauce, and a giant tub of the mints given out at the end of the meal!

The advice was the same from all the people I’ve met in my first week, “learn a lot, and HAVE FUN.”  Everyone keeps mentioning how that since we are on coop, we should not only be learning from our experiences but going out and exploring the area.  Since I have never been to this part of the country, I have already created a long bucket list of things to do.  I plan on enjoying my time her in the nati and spending my last summer as a college student going on new adventures, making new friends, and learning as much as possible from my co-workers.  Graduation is less than a year away, and I know that this is my last opportunity to act like a kid before entering the real world!