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 | Post 16
Co-ops may seem like they have it easy, but doing three tasks at once is no cake walk.
Being part of a busy department at Tenneco, I am often given several tasks to complete…at once. While the tasks may be easier than designing a space shuttle, doing three tasks at once when each one needs to get done as soon as possible when they each take between five minutes and three hours to complete requires concentration, a cup or two of coffee, and prioritization. Some tasks, although they need to get done as soon as possible, can wait while others, perhaps due in an hour or less, need to be completed first. While not quite an engineer yet, a co-op definitely feels the heat of the work of an actual engineer while on work term. Of course, work is half of the fun!
While I may be busy at work, there are plenty of opportunities to have fun between each eight hour shift. Exercising, watching television, and eating dinner definitely add relaxation to any day. In addition, special celebrations at work such as a Thanksgiving lunch and coworkers having fun with each other makes going to work enjoyable. As I have noticed, there is plenty of work to do during work term as there is on school term, but, just like on school term, there are always people there making things better. There may be hard days, easy days, setbacks, and roadblocks, but there will always be coworkers making one’s day better.
Perhaps that is one of the bright spots of the co-op system. While school term may seem harder than work term since there are multiple hard classes to pass, work term is just as hard in reality because one mistake could cost a company thousands, if not millions, of dollars. In both terms, prioritization is key. Without it, classes could be failed, tasks could go incomplete, and all that one has worked up to could be capsized. In fact, prioritization may be the most important skill of any engineer or anyone in any profession. The co-op system definitely makes one notice that and helps develop the ever-important skill.