Ryan Schaller

Company: Biomet
Company URL: http://www.biomet.com/careers/recruiting.cfm
School: Biomedical Engineering, Minor in Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN
High School: Concordia Lutheran High School
Expected Graduation: May 2014

Going into college I knew I wanted to be an engineer.  After looking at several different universities I picked Purdue because it seemed to have state-of-the-art facilities for most of its buildings.  Also the first year program where an introduction to all the different types of engineering were introduced also seemed very logical and helpful compared to other institutions.  All this included, Purdue became a clear choice for continuing my education.

Originally I was against the idea of a Co-Op.  The thought of leaving campus and all my friends for a semester was very unappealing.  However, after being offered a spot with a top company in its industry, I couldn't turn it down.  Now as I go through this Co-Op program I would not want to do college any other way.  The program provides a nice break from the stress of school life and allows me to really get a head start on what it takes to be successful in the business world.

I currently work for Biomet Sports Medicine.  Biomet stresses quality and demands it from all its workers from the very start.  The small details that must be taken care of can be hard to remember at first.  However, all the other employees are more than willing to lend a hand.  The atmosphere around the office is very casual from the friendships you build with co-workers down to the dress code.  The relaxed setting is very easy to work in and really encourages you to grow and develop as an engineer.  Biomet also puts quite a few important projects on their co-ops really letting them see what it is like to be an engineer not just another intern.  These projects can get tough and present plenty of challenges but thinking them through along with resources that are there to help you surpass those challenges creates a highly conducive learning environment.

I feel as if this Co-Op has really taught me how to carry along a project from pure concept down to the finishing stages of a manufactured product.  Also it has taught me how to undertake large challenging projects and break them down into smaller parts for better time management.  But the biggest difference I have noticed in myself is just the overall business mindset.  From a Co-Op you get to see more business matters than an intern that is around for a short time.  You get to better understand not only what it takes to be an engineer but what it takes to be valuable to a company in that industry.