Cody Kerga

Company: David Evans and Associates
Company URL: http://www.deainc.com/
School: Civil Engineering
Hometown: Zionsville, Indiana
High School: Zionsville Community High School, 2005
Expected Graduation: May 2010

When Cody was searching for a college he was primarily interested in architecture, but after doing some research and listening to advice from friends, he chose to go into engineering. According to Cody, "I chose Purdue because, to be frank, it is the best engineering school around, and I wanted a good education that will be respected by companies. Once I became a Purdue student, I learned about the different types of engineering. I knew I wanted to do some design work, but I also wanted to construct structures, so I chose Purdue's Civil Engineering. During my first semester, I learned about the Co-Op program.

At first, I didn't like the idea, but the more I considered working while I was in college while gaining valuable experience the more it made sense. I knew I would not receive the same engineering experience unless I became a Co-Op student. I also like the idea of earning money while in college to help pay for college.

My employer, David Evans is a huge company that does more than civil engineering. They are a broad company that does architecture and also the construction of all different types of structures. Their home base is Portland, Oregon, but they have many offices as far east as Denver. I will be going on my first work-session this fall in Phoenix, Arizona. If I were speaking to high school students or Purdue freshmen, I would tell them that the Co-Op program provides students a chance to gain work experience like no other college program. It may take students longer to graduate, but Co-Op students graduate as more qualified employees. And, for student like me, this is a great way to avoid student loans. I know the Co-Op program will continue to give me a better feel for what I am studying in the classroom. The cooperative education program also provides students a way to know early if they have chosen the right major.”