I am so excited to finally be on co-op! I have been dreaming about this moment since my first day of freshman year. No classes, homework, all-nighters or break downs for the next four months! Yay! I’m doing my first co-op at Chute Gerdeman in Columbus and I honestly could not be happier with my placement.
Wait, so what is CO-OP?
CO-OP is a program offered at select colleges that allows students to gain work experience in their field of practice. At the University of Cincinnati, co-op is primarily offered to students within DAAP (thats me!) and Enginnering/Applied Science. Starting the spring semester of my sophomore year, I alternate semesters of working full-time and being a full-time college student until I graduate. I no longer get vacations and this extends my major by a year. But I will graduate with almost 2.5 years work experience and /most likely/ full time job offer!
That’s so cool! So what do you do?
I am apart of the Architectural Design Studio’s team. Once I finish my general training and get more comfortable with their programs and standards, I will be assisting in the design of major coffee stores and kiosks around the country. Even in this first week, I have learned so much about not only design and documentation, but company branding as well! You wouldn’t believe how particular some companes are about their design, artwork and brand!
So whats your day like? Do you like it?
So far i’m still going through training so my days aren’t too amazingly exciting yet! But besides sitting in meetings or lunch and learns, i’m working in an architectural program called Revit (kind of like an advanced autoCAD). I’m brushing up on my skills with a completed project that was built in an airport in El Paso, Texas. After building the shell and demonstrating what would be demolished in the building, I applied materials and finishes, added furniture, lighting and signage and rendered it. I’m now currently learning about documentation, which is making schedules, laying out plans/elevations, and specifying materials and directions for the contractor. But yes, I absolute love my days!
Wait, so do you get paid?
Yaaaaas! This is probably the best part of co-op. It feels so great to be on my own and to be able to say that at the age of 19 I have my own place and pay my own bills! I’ve been working on a budgeting schedule and if i’m able to follow it i’ll be able to have a good amount of money saved for the next semester. I’m glad that I can finally pay back my loans (yay for expensive school supplies) and still set aside money for school c:
I’m exuberant that I am also able to shadow other departments. I’m especially excited to learn more about renderings and making them more realistic through their Digital Design Lab, and learning more about the branding process through their Branding Team. Overall, i’m extremely excited to continue along with this experience!