Darrin Overby

Company: SABIC Innovative Plastics
Company URL: http://www.sabic-ip.com
School: Chemical Engineering
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Expected Graduation: 2012

Purdue was on the top of my list for potential colleges to attend for several reasons. My father is an engineer that graduated with an electrical engineering degree from Purdue. I am from Indianapolis, so my hometown is not far from Purdue. Also, Purdue is one of the best schools in the country to pursue engineering. With all of these things considered, Purdue was an easy choice.

I did not know about the Co-Op program until part way through my first semester. When I learned of it, I was skeptical because at the time I did not want to graduate in five years. After some consideration and talking to various people, however, I decided to interview during co-op days.  I interviewed with six different companies, one of which was SABIC Innovative Plastics. SABIC gave me a job offer, and I accepted.

SABIC Innovative Plastics is a world leader in high performance polycarbonates and other advanced materials. At SABIC, Co-Ops have a great deal of responsibilities and manage projects that a typical engineer would manage. During my career at SABIC, I have had projects that deal with environmental health and safety, equipment reliability, new product trials, and cost savings.

I was able to work with a wide variety of people, including maintenance, operations, engineers, vendors, and contractors. Being a Co-Op allowed me to learn things that students don’t typically learn at school, including how to manage projects and how a typical chemical plant operates. At the same time, I used the skills I learned at school while on Co-Op including thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer, and fluids.

I completed my fifth and last Co-Op term after the spring 2011 semester and will be interviewing with SABIC Fall 2011. Co-Op has taught me invaluable skills that I will be able to use for my entire career. I certainly would recommend Co-Op to anyone that wants to apply what they learn in school to an actual business, while learning skills that are unobtainable from a classroom.