VIDEO: What is co-op really like?

Beyond the classroom with five real UC students around the country

At the University of Cincinnati, we believe that learning is doing. We invented cooperative education (co-op) in 1906, and today thousands of UC students take their talents outside of campus to gain real work experience all over the world.

In our monthly Instagram series, “Beyond the Classroom,” we give you a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of co-op students across a variety of majors and industries.

Anusha Chitranshi, computer science

CloudOps intern, Levi Strauss & Co.
San Francisco, California

A computer science major with an economics minor, Anusha spent a recent semester on the west coast with Levi’s artificial intelligence and machine learning team.

“Through all of my co-op rotations, one thing that remains consistent is how much I’ve grown as a person and a professional throughout my experiences,” she says.

The reason Anusha chose to attend UC was the co-op program, and she values the way it prepares students to be confident as they begin their careers. Her favorite part about life in San Francisco? Soaking up the beautiful city views.

Talie Avatichi, architecture

Architectural co-op, Architrave
Washington, D.C.

Talie’s first co-op experience took her to the nation’s capital, where her architecture firm specialized in historic preservation and sustainable design for signature public buildings and museums.

Talie describes co-op as informative, motivating and eye-opening, offering a glimpse into her future career path before she finished her second year of college, which she says is extremely valuable.

“I’ve become more confident in not only my skills and knowledge, but in my decision to study architecture," she says. "I have a better understanding of the career and what I want to do with my degree after I graduate.”

Ethan McCowan, mechanical engineering

Operations engineer Co-op, Ursa Major
Denver, Colorado

Have you ever wanted to build space and hypersonic vehicles? As a fifth-year engineering student in UC's College of Engineering and Applied Science, Ethan spent a semester in the Colorado mountains helping do just that. Ursa Major Technologies designs and builds the propulsion systems for space launches, hypersonic flight and missile defense.

The biggest benefit of co-op? For Ethan, it’s the hands-on experience and collaboration with other professionals.

“Being able to collaborate with others allows for a rapid increase in knowledge gain, and has allowed me to cement a lot of the knowledge I gained in previous co-op experiences,” he says.

Alexis Rammel, interior design

Interior design co-op, Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio
Atlanta, Georgia

Alexis’ first co-op rotation took her to Atlanta, Georgia, to work at a commercial architecture and interior design firm.. In her role, she assisted with a variety of aspects of the interior design process, from photoshopping renderings to construction administration. Although it’s only her first co-op experience, Alexis says this has already made her feel more equipped, knowledgeable and confident for her future.

“I think the biggest benefit of co-op is the accumulated years' worth of work experience that put you ahead of other students after graduation,” she says.

Alexis also credits the ability to meet other co-op and intern students, network with professionals at her firm and experience the endless amount of fun that Atlanta has to offer.

Nicole Prior, communications design

Experience design co-op, HOK Network
Houston, Texas

A second-year communications design major in UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, Nicole helped create and shape experiences at HOK, an award-winning global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. She credits this co-op experience for the chance to work on a variety of different projects.

“The biggest benefits of co-op at UC are the opportunity to experience my major in the work force before I graduate, and learn and develop skills beyond the classroom,” she says.

Nicole admits she was nervous to enter the workforce for her first co-op experience, but has learned so much from her team. She loves that co-op provides students the chance to explore a new city and become a local for a few months.

Featured image at top of Anusha Chitranshi/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

Beyond the classroom

Explore more authentic peeks into the life of real UC students by following us on Instagram. From co-op and internships to campus life and the city of Cincinnati, the @uofcincy social media channels give you an inside look at real student stories.

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