Meet Today s Co-ops

Here's a sampling of the who, what and where of some of our current co-op students:

And more:

Helping to launch a shuttle
Electrical engineering co-op Jide Akinyode is currently working at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston where he’s been running analysis and simulation tests on a robotic arm for the just-launched shuttle, STS-114.

  • Says Jide, “I feel a lot more confident in the things I am learning and what their values are….”

Expanding a hospital
Construction management junior Christina Alsup is helping to build a new patient-services tower going up at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati.  She’ll continue working for her current employer, even when she’s not on co-op, throughout her senior year.

  • Says Christina, “Since I began co-op, there’s been a huge improvement in my grades.  Everything really makes sense because you apply what you’ve learned on a co-op term to a project you may have in class.  Better yet, I know I’m ready for the job market.  I have friends [who didn’t co-op] who graduated from college four years ago yet still don’t have jobs in their field.  I love the co-op experience

Designing new homes in Hilton Head
Pre-junior architecture student Kelly Anderson is on her first co-op right now, working for Johnson & Associates, an architecture firm near Hilton Head, S.C., where she’s essentially working as a project manager.

  • Says Kelly, “If you want to go after more work, you just go and do it.  You can be something of an independent project manager.  I know they really need me.  I’m doing a lot of things I haven’t done before and working to meet deadlines practically every other day.  You’re working on something one day, and the next, it’s being sent off to be built!” 

Brainstorming new electronics
Industrial design senior Omar Bailey is currently on co-op with Hewlett-Packard Mobile Devices in Houston, Tx., where he is designing portable electronics.  His previous co-ops have taken him to apparel makers in Boston, Los Angeles and Portland, Ore.  His next co-op in early 2006 will be in Europe. 

  • Says Omar, “This [work assignment] is school to me.  When I’m on co-op, it’s just a different school.  From my co-ops, I know I can handle anything.”

Envisioning what's in store
Interior design pre-junior Kyle Barker recently returned from his first co-op assignment with Chute Gerdeman, a Columbus, Ohio, firm specializing in retail design.  He’ll return to work for the firm in the fall of 2005.

  • Says Kyle, “It’s very fast paced in retail design.  People want the work fast.  Chute Gerdeman let me design, and I loved doing the fixtures for the stores.  If they stay in the plans, I’ll be able to walk in the store and see my work.” 

Getting ahead by researching engine heads
Mechanical engineering technology junior Jasmine Baylor transferred to UC because of co-op and is now on her first co-op quarter with Honda of America Mfg., Inc., in the Anna, Ohio, engine plant.  She’s helping to test the aluminum-die cast for making an engine head for a new Civic.

  • Says Jasmine, “The first thing they had me do was spend three days on the line doing the work factory workers do.  It was about 500 degrees, and I felt I spent the whole time bent over with my whole upper body in the die cast.  But I’m so happy!  I have an awesome supervisor who’s always asking what I think about our test data.  Just today, they invited me back for winter quarter!”

Linking the company with customers
Marketing student Matthew Fisher is currently working for Wear Magic, a specialty apparel firm in Springdale, Ohio, where he serves as a liaison for clients and company production and design staff.

  • Says Matt, “The best part about co-op is that I’m getting experience.  I’m getting class credit.  I’m getting paid.”

Doing a quality job
Materials engineering junior Kristen Kesse is currently working her fourth term with Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America in Erlanger, Ky., where she troubleshoots quality issues in terms of the raw materials used in manufacturing automotives. 

  • Says Kristin, “On co-op, if you can handle the work load, you get more.  I like the fact that I’m trusted.  I get more and more responsibility each time I return for a new term.  My grades have improved since I’ve co-opped because I can apply what I’ve learned to real-life…experience.  If you can’t apply what you learn, then what you learn is useless.”

Pointing the way 
Graphic design senior Karen Kolodzaike is recently back from six months of co-op work for Solomon Sports in Annecy, France, where she designed ski poles that will come on the market in 2006 and 2007.  Right now, she’s at work for Arrowstreet Graphic Design in Boston where she’s designing signage for a hospital parking garage.

  • Says Karen, “Co-op’s given me choices.  With the professional experience I already have, I can practice graphic design right away [after graduation], or I can take some time to travel.” 

Germany bound
Electrical engineering junior Emily Martini is now on her fourth co-op at General Electric where she hopes to work full time upon graduation.  But before that happens, Emily will return to school for intensive German language training.  Why?  Emily’s next co-op in the spring and summer of 2006 will be in Germany.

  • Says Emily, “Right now, I’m working on communications network project that, when implemented, will save GE a lot of money.  For the project, I’m focusing on our units in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.”

Tackling big projects
Architecture senior Jeremy Schlicher, a former offensive lineman for UC’s Bearcats for the past four years, is on his final co-op with local architecture firm, GlaserWorks, where he is working on plans for UC’s new Richard E. Lindner Varsity Village.  Jeremy invested the money he earned on co-op into a house which he redesigned, remodeled and then sold.  He’s now doing the same with a second home.

  • Says Jeremy, “This co-op is exactly what I want to do with my career when I graduate so I have found that it has been a great co-op….I’m a very lucky person.  Everything came together for me at UC.  They had a highly ranked architecture program, a Division 1A football program and co-op

Living, learning, working in France
Graphic design student Paige Strohmaier is working in Annecy, France, for Salomon (maker of sports equipment and apparel) until mid-December 2005. She's creating graphic and logos for different styles of skis -- when she's not hiking, mountain climbing , swimming, jogging or skating in this medieval French town on the border with Switzerland. Next on her "to do" list is obtaining a bike so she can see more of the region.

  • Says Paige, "The French are a very warm and welcoming people, and though my knowledge of the French language is very basic, they encourage me to use it every day, and it has definitely helped to further my skills!  This is an amazing experience in a dream destination, and I am savoring every minute of this co-op term."

Helping build the tallest skyscraper in Beijing
Architecture student Paul Vogeler is on his first-ever co-op, working for KPF Architects in New York City.  On this initial co-op, Paul is helping to design the tallest skyscraper in Beijing, slated for completion in 2008.  He’s also helping to design the entire city of Songdo in Korea.  The city will be built on a 3,000-acre landfill.

  • Says Paul, “The best part is being a real part of the design team.  The most challenging part is learning all this new software.”

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