With 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
||Catch a trolley in the Spruce Hill neighborhood, and then a bus, to get to work.
||Start the work day; coffee, emails; work on projects involving, for example, information on trending parts.
||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.
||Meet with a component supplier to talk about testing, manufacturing and general updates. On occasion, visit a supplier site; strengthen relationships with suppliers.
||Lunch; participate in Boeing “Lunch & Learn,” in which employees discuss their work. Subjects range from 3D printing to non-destructive testing, among others.
||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.
||Check in with supervisor prior to end of day
||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.”