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3 semester co-op? Need Advice

  1. Feb 27, 2008 #1
    3 semester co-op?? Need Advice............

    Ok, I need some advice here. I'm a comp. eng. major with 59 hours of cpe classes remaining after this semester. I have planned of taking classes every summer until I was finished and I've signed up for 9 hours this summer. I talked to a co-op official today and she was trying to sign me up for a co-op schedule that would have me alternating school and work semesters. While I'm in the program, I would acquire my security clearance. At the current time, I honestly don't think I'm ready to handle a 40h work week an top of taking a class. I think it would hurt my GPA in the long haul. (currently a 3.9) Obviously, I still have more time to try to get a summer internship somewhere before I graduate but, by doing this i would not be getting a security clearance or as much experience as the co-op students. (I currently have ZERO relevant experience)

    My question is, if I took the 1 summer inter route, how hard would it make my job hunt after college??

    Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 28, 2008 #2
    Unless you are planning to go to graduate school, I have to highly recommend more than one summer as an intern.

    Companies hiring engineers at the BS level are looking less at the GPA and more at personality, motivation, and practical abilities. You would be much more likely to get a job easily with 3-4 semesters as a co-op and a 3.5 GPA than with a 3.9 GPA and practically no work experience, IMHO.

    I did 4 semesters as a co-op and the experience was fantastic. It also certainly looks great on a resume and will give you something to talk about in future interviews. Plus, a lot of co-ops end up getting job offers from the company that they worked for, so that is a bonus too.

    As far as balancing class with working, it isn't that difficult. Most semesters I was working I took a class via distance education and while it ate into my social agenda a little bit it wasn't bad at all. However, I only ever took easy gen ed. type courses.
  4. Feb 28, 2008 #3

    Thanks for the response. I talked to the coordinator today and I've decided to put off the 3 alternating co-ops until next summer. The extra year will give me time to get in my circuits class as well as solid-state among others. The co-op would be a gov. position and the majority of jobs in my area (Huntsville) are military contracts so obviously getting my clearance while still in school would be a HUGE plus. I'm actually really looking forward to it.

    Again, thanks for the input.
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