Exciting Program Changes!
Pitt’s Co-op program has recently undergone a major change and is a part of the expansion in student services within the Swanson School of Engineering!
The new Co-op & Internship division in the Swanson School of Engineering’s Office of Experiential Learning & Professional Engagement (ELPE), will assist in connecting students, alumni, and industry, both in the US and world-wide.
Our goal is to help students explore and grow their personal and professional interests, while also linking our employer partners with the next generation of talent.
Co-op has been revised to also allow for six-month rotations, so students can become involved in larger projects and responsibilities, and employers can maximize their time and training. These rotations will run from Jan-June or July-December. Students are still able to complete three alternating four-month rotations as well. This creates more options for students and allows employers to more flexibility when filling their open roles.
The ELPE office will also assist with summer internships. Global opportunities are also part of the new expansion. We've also launched our new job and career fair app SSOE Select.
Name/Major: Chris Kefalos, Electrical Engineering
Year in School: Senior, graduating Spring 2024
Co-op Employer(s): Curtiss Wright
How do you feel you have benefited from your experiential learning opportunity? Participating in the co-op program at Curtiss-Wright has been a tremendous experience, enriching me both professionally and personally. During my three rotations, I was able to contribute to unique projects while putting into practice the breadth of concepts I have learned throughout my academic journey. With each proceeding rotation, I observed significant growth in my technical abilities and even in my self-assurance, progressively earning greater responsibilities with each assignment. For me, the opportunity to work alongside experienced professionals emphasized the significance of teamwork and professional communication.
What is your biggest takeaway from your rotations? The biggest thing I took away from my rotations was how much I've grown in just a total of just one year in the program. Moving through three rotations, I could see my skills and confidence getting stronger with every new project. Getting my hands on real projects also gave me insights and practical knowledge that just can't be obtained without experience.
What advice would you give to other students? To future students interested in the co-op program, I would suggest approaching each rotation with an open mindset, eager to learn from every project and interaction. At times a project may appear daunting, so do not hesitate to ask questions. No matter where your co-op rotation is, you will always be surrounded by professionals who can help you (or the rare occasion when they can’t, then it is an even greater learning experience.) Your experience should be a bridge between theory and practice, make your energy count through learning as much as possible.