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A Day in the Life of a Co-op

May 11, 2018

Molly Cuka at EOLY eventWith this standing feature, the College of Engineering highlights the cooperative program, in which students fulfill six-month internships in fields of their own choosing to gain experience and to see how they like the work. But what exactly is that work? What does a co-op do all day? What are the tasks assigned? And what time is lunch? With these questions in mind, CoE publishes the third installment of A Day in the Life of a Co-op. We introduce Molly Cuka, whose co-op with Boeing ran from September 2017 to this past March. She is still working part-time for the company.

Name: Molly Cuka
Class: 2019, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, BS; minor in business
Co-op: Boeing Company, Philadelphia, PA
Work Performed: V-22 Osprey program, Reliability & Maintainability Engineer

5:30 a.m. Catch a trolley in the Spruce Hill neighborhood, and then a bus, to get to work.
7 a.m. Start the work day; coffee, emails; work on projects involving, for example, information on trending parts.
8:30 a.m. Daily meeting with entire R&M staff to go over tasks, projects, who’s working on what; use the meeting as a way to determine where to be of assistance elsewhere in the V-22 group.
10 a.m. Meet with a component supplier to talk about testing, manufacturing and general updates. On occasion, visit a supplier site; strengthen relationships with suppliers.
11:30 a.m. Lunch; participate in Boeing “Lunch & Learn,” in which employees discuss their work. Subjects range from 3D printing to non-destructive testing, among others.
1 p.m. Work on a project; for instance, centralizing the location of the V-22 program’s block diagrams and schematics; renaming and loading files into an Access database via script.

Or, write up investigation reports based on supplier visits and conversations; summarize testing on units, and write up background and history for each.

Or, update investigation-related documents on testing instructions and procedures.
3:30 p.m. Check in with supervisor prior to end of day
4 p.m. Leave work; take bus to airport and then train back to Drexel campus for night class.

TAKEAWAY: “I really loved my co-op. I loved it for three reasons. One, I got to apply stuff I had already learned in school. Two, I got to learn stuff I’d never learn in school. Three, I figured out that I definitely want to work in this field. It was nice to get that kind of confirmation after wandering around in majors for a while, because when I first came to Drexel I was a business major.

“I cannot even express how great the co-op program is. It allowed me to try careers before I actually graduated. I have two younger brothers and one of them is going to a school with a co-op because I told him, this is incredibly valuable to your career; it’ll set you up so much better for when you leave compared to a traditional four-year program. The Boeing co-op was awesome. The work is great. The company’s awesome.”

--By Wendy Plump, Staff Writer, CoE