Wow, What a Difference!

September 15, 2008

Two OSU engineers see the results in their students' eyes

OSU College of Engineering professors act as advisers for MECOP. The personal and professional rewards have kept two of them, chemical engineer Milo Koretsky and mechanical engineer Stel Walker, engaged in the program for a decade and a half each. Here's what they have to say:

Milo Koretsky

School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering:

"The program not only provides engaging practical experience for our top students, but also offers a real avenue for growth for others, as well. Students in MECOP undergo three interviews, one for selection into the program and one each for placement in two six-month internships. These interviews are conducted by engineers and managers from industry, and there can be up to 20 in the room. As you can imagine, this experience can be quite daunting for a 19-year-old sophomore. However, it is not uncommon for someone in the group to comment, 'Well, there goes my future boss,' after being so impressed by a bright student. A large set of the industry members who interview return in the following years. They are drawn to generously give their time because of the intrinsic reward in working with these engineering interns. Just as compelling is the situation of a student who may have been a little nervous or less than fully mature in their first interview. It is equally common, after a student's outstanding third interview, to hear a comment like this: "Do you remember that student's first interview? Wow, what a difference!"

Stel Walker

School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering:

"The MECOP program is a large contributor to OSU's success in producing work-ready engineering graduates. I have seen students return to school after their first six-month internship with more focus on their studies and better understanding of how they may apply these courses in their career. Also, they tend to take classes to shore up weaknesses identified on the job. After the second six-month internship, we see students completing their degree requirements with high confidence, practical knowledge, leadership and team skills, as well as great problem-solving abilities. These attributes contribute to establishing an educational environment that helps all of our students in our various engineering degree programs. The extensive interview experience MECOP students gain often pays off in multiple job offers. The MECOP program provides our students with about $40,000 in earnings on their internships, which generally means they graduate with fewer loan obligations. The 12-month internship engineering experience assures them of very competitive salary offers and counts toward the practice requirement for obtaining a professional engineering license."