Andrew Bailey

Author: Andrew Bailey
Company: S&C Electric Company
Company URL:
School: Electrical Engineering
Hometown: Porter, IN
High School: Chesterton High School, 2008
Expected Graduation: May, 2013

Much is said about Purdue's engineering programs. But after the metrics are weighed and all the schools ranked, too often overlooked is the relative value of Purdue's programs. Any Purdue engineering student can have an academic experience that rivals other premier schools but with a comparatively lower cost. Additionally, I've found that Purdue has especially strong ties to numerous companies in many industries, which is thanks in strong part to the Co-Op program. When I first looked into the Co-Op program myself, I had actually been facing doubts about my engineering major. Then I realized that Co-Oping was just the opportunity I needed to get some important career questions answered.  

S&C Electric Company is a manufacturer of high voltage switching and protective equipment. This equipment is essential to ensuring safe and reliable power distribution. My first two terms have already introduced me to many different positions within the power engineering field, specifically in consulting, analysis, and manufacturing. These experiences were as challenging as they were diverse. However, a consistent theme emerged from them all: good communication is imperative. It's not only within the context of the team, either; exchanging information and requests with customers coupled with keeping all parties involved at a common understanding placed communication as the top priority in each of my different work environments.

One would be hard-pressed to find more marketable credentials. While I have not gotten there just yet, I am told this helps immensely when it comes time to secure that first full-time position. Internships are an important component of college experience, and are vital for engineering majors. Instead of trying to lock down different research and interning opportunities every spring, the Co-Op program allows you to develop a very personal relationship with your Co-Op employer that grows stronger during each work rotation. Lastly, and this is probably most important to me, being in the Co-Op program will invariably help you refine your interests and aspirations. You will likely have jobs that you thoroughly enjoy. Just as likely, you will have jobs that you thoroughly loathe. Regardless, it is being able to apply these experiences to better guide your future that is ultimately most important and is something you just can't get in the classroom.