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Computer Engineering
Dummerston VT

Nerves at a New Co-op

Josh Kramer on Thursday, 13 January 2011. Posted in Co-op

I remember sitting in an info session for RIT a lifetime ago and hearing about the co-op program. It sounded pretty awesome, getting to make money and get experience while in college (and it is awesome!). But I remember also thinking that it meant I had to face the big, scary world sooner. Well, now that I am actually on co-op, I have found that it is no more scary than any of my other "big steps" in life, such as the first day of high school or the first day of college.

When I was driving to work on my first day, my mind kept thinking,  "Do I really know enough about engineering."  A few times that morning I got distracted by the thought of "What if my clothes are too casual? What if they're too formal?".  It was a lot like when my dad drove me to school on my first day of high school, but my concerns then  were more about me looking like an idiot and less about not knowing enough . It was also like the day I arrived at RIT, but without my parents there helping me get set up and settled in,

Yet just like going to high school and just like going to college (as you either already know or will find out soon enough), I found that I was much more well prepared than I expected. For one, when I arrived, I arrived as the new co-op, so everyone was extremely helpful at making me feel comfortable. Then, by the end of the day I was teaching the other co-op in the office (an EE major who is a year farther in her program than I am) the reason behind a repetitive task she was doing (which I learned in my first year at RIT). Also, even though I love working at Admissions, I must say that the amount of money I am making at my co-op makes my on campus job paycheck look like nothing :)

So, when you are getting ready to go on co-op, remember that it is just another step, just like the many others you have made competently before. Remember that your future employer knows you are a co-op student and needs mentoring. And remember that, as an RIT student, you are more than well prepared.

Comments (4)

  • Carolyn


    14 January 2011 at 06:46 |
    Great post, Josh!
  • Jen


    22 January 2011 at 15:55 |
    What company is your co-op with? What sorts of projects are you working on? Why were you further ahead than the other co-op student - does she go to a different college? Why do you think you're better prepared? Last question - why did you choose electrical engineering? Both electrical and mechanical sound like great programs...
  • Josh Kramer

    Josh Kramer

    22 January 2011 at 19:30 |
    Hey Jen! I'm working for the Department of Defense down in the DC area. I got the co-op by going to the twice-a-year Career Fairs in the Field House. A few of the things I'm doing have let me directly use things I learned in the classroom, which is really cool! Other things I'm picking up as I go, which is also really exciting, and I can't wait to bring those skills back to RIT.
    The other co-op student goes to another school. Her school doesn't require co-ops like RIT does, but she chose to do one regardless. I felt I was better prepared because when she was bringing me up to speed a lot of stuff she told me I already knew.
    I chose EE as my major after I took a 2 year electronics course at my high school. I learned about analog circuits and a bit of digital, and really enjoyed it. If you are debating between electrical and mechanical, you may want to try our Engineering Explorations program (email the Admissions office for more information about that). If you are leaning one way or the other, you can also major in one and minor in the other; an option not that uncommon.

    Good luck deciding!
  • Karen


    05 February 2011 at 11:13 |
    What company is/was your co-op with in the DC area?

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