First Hand Experience – William Schepp – Chemical Engineering Co-op – Rochester Institute of Technology
This is a blog written by William Schepp about his experience with Re:Build Optimation as a co-op from RIT.
The work experience I have had through Optimation has been fantastic. It has been both enjoyable, and very challenging – allowing me to grow as an engineer and still feel supported. The projects I have been working on have given me true insight into the “Consultant Engineering” world. Here are some of the highlights:
One of the greatest opportunities that I have had here at Optimation was the chance to work with so many excellent engineers. People who are very different, allowing me to see different perspectives and approaches. I’ve worked with engineers who approach project management, calculation, organization, and a myriad of other problems differently. This has allowed me to begin to figure out my own methods of problem-solving. I have tried to take the things that I liked from each person I have worked with at Optimation and use them to make myself a better co-worker and engineer.
Although almost all my time at OTI was overwhelmingly positive, there were several times where I was faced with many challenges that I did not expect. (And not taught in school!) I have had meetings with difficult clients, faced problems that I couldn’t solve, and even watched disagreements between two engineering teams. My first response to these was often frustration, however I quickly realized that being frustrated only hindered the ability to find a solution to these issues. I was able to watch the more experienced team members rework these problems in different ways. I’ve learned that “solutions” are not done in a day, and it could take weeks of slow and methodical study to finally arrive at a reasonable result. Although challenging, these types of jobs teach me the most; I am forced to learn new skills or study a topic in more depth from a book or develop a new approach to problems. It is this constant learning that has helped me shape my outlook and strategy to all jobs.
On top of the great learning experience OTI has offered me, the atmosphere of the workplace was very welcoming. Everyone that I have met in my 4 months so far have been incredibly smart, kind, and great people to work with. I was always treated as a team member, and not like a summer intern from the very beginning.
I am looking forward to continuing my second co-op block with Optimation starting in August. I am very happy with all that I have learned and look forward to all the unique challenges and learning opportunities ahead of me. Thank you to everyone that has made my time here so enjoyable.
If you’re interested in the opportunities at Optimation, fill out the form to talk with Bill, our Director of Rochester Operations.