Brittney Corley

Company: SABIC Innovative Plastics
Company URL: http://sabic.com/corporate/en/career/default.aspx
School: Chemical Engineering
Hometown: Schererville Indiana
High School: Lake Central High School; Class of 2008
Expected Graduation: 2013

I decided engineering was the best choice for me during my senior year of high school.  I already knew I enjoyed math and science, and I found there was a growing job market for engineers.  Purdue's engineering department has an excellent reputation, so it was a very natural choice to come here.  I couldn't be happier with my decisions about Purdue and about engineering now that I am a few years into college.  I looked into the co-op program at the same time I was looking at internships, and I am very happy I chose co-op.  I was able to accomplish so much more during my co-op terms than during summer internships because I retained the basic knowledge of operations and procedures at my company while being faced with new and challenging projects each time I returned.

My employer is a division of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, and I worked at SABIC-IP's largest US manufacturing facility, located just outside of Evansville Indiana.  My employer did a wonderful job of giving all of the co-ops meaningful, challenging projects, so each of us felt we were a vital part of the engineering team.  My most challenging point during co-op was when I created a trial to test new types of instrumentation for a critical process area.  I struggled with instrument/computer communication to record data correctly, but in the end I learned so much about the hardware and software for data recording, something as a chemical engineer I never would have predicted.  Co-op employers challenge you to make you a better engineer, but there is always a great support network to help you during difficult times along the way.

My co-op rotations put my engineering education in perspective.  I gained an understanding of how all classes in my curriculum are related to work in industry.  I also enjoyed breaking up time at school with time at work.  With moving, meeting new people, and learning many new things, my life has been very exciting since becoming a co-op; now that I have done co-op I can't imagine my college experience any other way!  But in the end the most important part of my co-op is the relevant work experience I now have; my resume is very strong because I was able to return to the same company and make significant contributions to increasingly important projects.