Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by Kettering freshman Charles ‘Chaz’ Mancino. Chaz, who is from Fredonia, NY, and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering, will occasionally post his thoughts about his Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering.If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Chaz’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3 | Post 4 | Post 5 | Post 6 | Post 7 | Post 8 | Post 9 | Post 10 | Post 11 | Post 12 | Post 13 | Post 14 | Post 15
Braving a new facility is not as scary as it seems.
Jackson, Michigan, is only about ten miles away from Grass Lake, Michigan, which may be the reason why Tenneco has a facility in both places. Since starting at Tenneco, I had never gone to the Jackson facility…until a day before I started working there. Although starting at a new facility in the same company may seem scary to many people, going into it with confidence makes it easy. However, what makes it even easier is the kindness and helpfulness of coworkers. As a co-op, many people know that it is hard to start at a new company or location, so many of them try to make the transition as easy as possible. After all, chances are that the person that sits in the desk next to you, the person testing parts, and your supervisor were co-ops sometime in their lifetime too!
With that said, even though co-ops may not have the workload of fulltime employees, being one is by no means easy! This is especially true in a busy department, which is exactly the kind of department that I am in at Tenneco. However, many coworkers make the workload easier than it may seem. Although I cannot vouch for all companies, Tenneco has many employees that will get to know the co-op on a one-to-one basis, which leads to good personal relationships within the company.
My advice to future Kettering University students and students new to the co-op system is to be outgoing to the people in your department and company. That way people will not be afraid to ask you for help or give you advice about completing a process. As I have learned, even though a process for a machine or test procedure may be specific to itself, the skills that one learns are transferable. Also, that person that you may have met at the coffee machine may someday write a letter of recommendation for you. Remember, do not be afraid and be outgoing. What one may find out might be shocking!