Co-op Finds Comfort in Company’s Versatility
July 31, 2012
By Maria Zankey
Andre White is a rising junior, currently studying mechanical engineering and technology. But as he’s learned during his co-op at the Boeing Company, he’s just glad to be lending a hand—regardless of the task.
“I’ve dabbled in different jobs, whether they had to do with engineering or not,” White said. “There is leeway in being an engineer. It’s nice, as a student, to switch it up. It’s just really cool to help someone get whatever they need done.”
White is currently doing just that in Boeing’s information technology (IT) department—a surprising move for White, but one he said he’s glad to experience. White, who had co-op opportunity offers from both the engineering and IT departments at Boeing, decided to accept the unexpected offer.
“I chose the IT route to get a more versatile feel for the company, learn more how it works,” White said. “It’s not the traditional IT job where you’re fixing computers—it’s more program support with the computer-aided design programs (CAD), making sure everything’s working fine. If an engineer has a problem with the CAD program, we’ll help fix the issue.”
In addition to troubleshooting CAD programs, White is tasked with implementing company-wide software updates.
“It’s a huge responsibility—especially for a co-op worker,” White said. “The trust and gratitude that comes along with working for a company like Boeing is one of the most awesome parts of the job.”
White, who grew up in Bronx, N.Y., and later attended boarding school in Massachusetts, said Drexel’s co-op program was one of the main reasons he was originally so attracted to the University.
“One of my boarding school teachers grew up in Philly, and he took us on a tour through Philadelphia area schools,” White said. “Drexel was the last place we visited, and I just loved it—especially co-op. Leaving college with a year-and-a-half of experience—that extra notch of competitiveness—is such a great thing.”
In the meantime, as White completes his co-op at Boeing through August, he says he’s enjoying life in Philadelphia—a city he can see himself staying in post-graduation.
“To have the kind of connections at Drexel—to different cities, different colleges—is a great thing,” White said. “There are people here from all across the world, and just having a chance to meet them, and actually work with them, is one of the things I love about Drexel.”