Andrew Loveless

Author: Andrew Loveless
Company: NASA Johnson Space Center
Company URL: http://www.nasa.gov/
School: Computer Engineering
Hometown: Newport Coast, CA
High School: Notre Dame Preparatory, 2008
Expected Graduation: 2013

During the duration of my college search, I was looking for a large engineering university that would allow me get valuable work experience while receiving a world class education.  I considered schools from all over the country and abroad, including Purdue University, UCLA, Michigan, Georgia Tech, Kungliga Tekniska högskolan, and ETH Zurich.  After visiting Purdue, I knew that it was the best place for me to receive my undergraduate education.  Cooperative Education is unparalled and the education I receive here prepares me to contribute to my chosen industry.

My employer is NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.  The one striking difference between NASA and other companies is the extremely broad range of engineering projects that are available.  After your first work tour, you are able to choose which group you want to work for next and interview for that position.  The work environment is very challenging for a new Co-Op, but as time goes on it gets much easier to absorb the information and contribute to the organization.   

I believe that a Co-Op position is one of the greatest things an undergraduate student can do to gain valuable work experience and increase their chance of employment in the future.  Unlike in conventional internships, being a Co-Op allows you to build a strong relationship with the company that has been investing in you during the course of your college education.  The Co-Op program allows you to space out your school semesters and really focus on your work.  Getting breaks from the classroom setting to co-op is one of my favorite aspects of the program.  My Co-Op has motivated me as a student and forced me to evaluate where I want to end up in my career.