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College of Engineering / CDCR / Cooperative Education Program / Co-op Ambassador Program


Co-op Ambassador Program

T.A. Sluis - Intramicron
T.A. Sluis - Intramicron

Join our team of Co-op Ambassadors! The Co-op Ambassadors are a group of student leaders devoted to outreach and programming to increase awareness of the Co-op program and encourages undergraduate participation. Co-op ambassadors are upperclassmen who have successfully completed 2+ co-op terms, demonstrate leadership on campus and at their respective workplaces, and those who want to positively impact the campus community at large.

 

Here are testimonials from our 2021-2022 Co-op Ambassadors from their work-school rotations.

T.A. Sluis - Intramicron

T.A. Sluis - Intramicron

Chemical Engineering

Hello there! My name is T.A. (like Teaching Assistant) Sluis, and I am a fifth year senior in chemical engineering. During my time in the co-op program, I have had the opportunity to work with two amazing companies that served completely different industries. For my first term, I worked for a design-build firm, known as the Dennis Group, that specialized in food-and-beverage plants. For my last two semesters, I worked for IntraMicron, an Auburn company that serves the natural gas and chemical processing industries. Their products range from microfibrous materials used in chemical reactors to large scale desulfurization systems used in natural-gas treatment. As I look back on my time at Auburn, I can wholeheartedly say that my experience in the co-op program was one of the best parts of my Auburn experience as a whole. The co-op program gave me a way to explore a wide array of industries and companies as well as provided me with an entire year’s worth of invaluable engineering experience.

DuBray McNeal - Southern Company

DuBray McNeal - Southern Company

Electrical Engineering

Howdy everybody! My name is DuBray McNeal and I am a senior in Electrical Engineering. I am originally a transfer student, coming to Auburn my sophomore semester in 2018 and almost immediately getting involved in the co-op program. I started my first work term that following summer. I have completed a total of five co-op rotations, two with Club Car and three with Southern Co./Alabama Power. My rotations with Club Car and two of my APCo. rotations were completed back-to-back, a summer and a fall for one and a spring and a summer for the other. Feel more than welcome to reach out to me with any further questions or for any insight I might be able to give about my unusual but ultimately completely worth it co-op experience! Advocating for my wonderful employer as well, reach out if you would like any more information about Southern Company and their on-campus student recruitment efforts.

Caroline Culjak - Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Caroline Culjak - Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Mechanical Engineering & Professional Flight

My name is Caroline Culjak, and I’m in my (first!) senior year here at Auburn! I’m working on concurrent degrees within engineering and the flight school – which means, as both a pilot and an engineer, I had twice the excitement to have the opportunity to begin working for Gulfstream Aerospace this past summer! My role was a Customer Support Manufacturing Engineering Co-Op; I rotate between departments within the post-production side of operations. That includes everything from CNC Machining to Floor Support for any aircraft that come back to Gulfstream for service or repairs, specifically for model-based design (MBD) aircraft. It’s also a program designed to prepare the co-ops to potentially return as full-time employees, so I have opportunities to take classes through “Gulfstream University,” network with other co-ops and full-time employees, and even tour other departments. Not only has co-oping given me unbelievable opportunities during my work rotations that I would never see in a classroom, but it’s provided me with invaluable experience that will be unique and marketable later on in my career.

Joel Sullivan - Mercedes-Benz

Joel Sullivan - Mercedes-Benz

Industrial and Systems Engineering

My name is Joel Sullivan and I am a senior here at Auburn majoring in Industrial and systems engineering. I have been a member of the Drumline here at Auburn and I am a co-op student working for Mercedes-Benz U.S. International. Coming into college I never thought I would co-op. I told myself that I wanted to go straight through school in the 4-year plan and not take any longer. During my junior year, I attended a career fair on campus and realized how many opportunities there were to kickstart my career if I took advantage of Auburn’s co-op program. I have always loved cars and when I found out that Mercedes was looking for co-op students I was hooked! I have loved every moment of my co-op experience and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Looking back, I am so glad I decided to pursue the co-op experience as it has exposed me to so many great opportunities and experiences. I can honestly say that the co-op program is the absolute best way to prepare yourself for your career after graduation. I am happy to be serving as a co-op ambassador this year to encourage other students to take advantage of the great opportunities that the co-op program provides!

Carson French - WestRock

Carson French - WestRock

Chemical Engineering

My name is Carson French and I’m a senior in Chemical Engineering! I completed four terms with Westrock at their Mahrt paper mill. Co-op, for me, has been likely the most important thing I’ve done at Auburn. The growth I’ve seen in myself and my work through four semesters has been massive. Starting from the first term, a know nothing undergrad, to ending my last term with full capital projects to help manage and while only scratching the surface, gaining a huge amount of technical knowledge over multiple fields. The opportunity to connect what I was learning in the classroom to industry made school much more enjoyable and allowed me to see the big picture on what I am learning at Auburn. Being a Co-Op ambassador for me is a way to help others have the experience with Co-Op I had and pass on my experiences. I think every student can benefit from this program and I suggest everyone that I meet do it!

Josh Holland - Envent

Josh Holland - Envent

Chemical Engineering

Hi, my name is Josh Holland and I am currently a Senior majoring in Chemical Engineering. I had the pleasure of working three semester long co-op rotations with Envent Corporation in Houston, Texas. Envent is an Environmental Engineering Contractor who mainly services the Oil & Gas and Chemical Manufacturing Industries. At Envent, I was able to gain experience providing engineering assistance for Turnaround, Tank Degassing, Vapor Control, and Water Treatment projects, while also performing process upgrades on their Mobile Thermal Oxidizer Systems. The Auburn Co-op program has afforded me many opportunities throughout my engineering career that I would never have had the chance to be a part of. I wanted to serve as a Co-op Ambassador to give help give back some of what the co-op program has given me. I hope to do this by helping co-op students develop the tools they need to be successful in their co-op and future engineering careers. I also hope to have the chance to be a mentor to current co-op students in order to help them navigate any career related questions or roadblocks they encounter to the best of my ability.

Justin Tran - Southern Company

Justin Tran - Southern Company

Computer Engineering

I joined co-op after going to numerous engineering career fairs hunting for an internship, and I found some employers looking for a “co-op”. I had no idea what a co-op was, but I remember hearing upperclassmen and my TAs discussing how we should be trying to get a co-op as soon as we could. Hearing this, I went ahead and researched what co-op was about, and I decided to take a shot at it by going to my interviews and seeing potential opportunities for the future. Southern Company shot me a great offer, and I have had an incredible time working and gaining knowledge that went back to the classroom ever since. Now as a senior, being a co-op student has offered me full-time employment upon graduation, and I couldn’t be happier by choosing to be a co-op student. My amazing experiences as a co-op has been the reason I chose to be a co-op ambassador and share my experiences with students who might be considering it. Co-op experience has been critical to me as an engineering student, and I want to be able to give back to Auburn’s co-op program which has been the platform to where I am today.

Vandegrift Co-op Student of the Year Award Recipient 2021

Danny Michael - Southern Research

Danny Michael - Southern Research

Mechanical Engineering

I am a senior mechanical engineering major and I completed three co-op rotations with Southern Research Institute where I helped in the characterization of aerospace and defense materials including carbon composites and refractory metals in extreme conditions. I was involved in the development of a vacuum high-temperature tensile test facility, managed multiple characterization projects, improved process flow efficiency, and designed test specimens, hardware, and experiments. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Southern Research and learned a lot about the multidisciplinary problems faced every day in engineering research, and I hope to take these lessons learned to graduate research in engineering.

Xavion Fleetwood - Southern Company

Xavion Fleetwood - Southern Company

Mechanical Engineering

My name is Xavion Fleetwood. I am a Mechanical Engineer with a Business Engineering Technology Minor. I have had the exceptional opportunity to co-op with Georgia Power and Southern Company. I held various positions during my 4 co-op rotations including Distribution Engineer, Transmission Line Maintenance Engineer as well as Transmission Line Design Engineer. I have enjoyed my time and learned valuable skills and information pertaining to the utility sector. In addition to that, I serve as an Ambassador for the AU Co-op Program. I joined to help provide minority students like me with career opportunities beyond college.

Ford Rosser - SharkNinja

Ford Rosser - SharkNinja

Industrial and Systems Engineering

My name is Ford Rosser, I am from around the Montgomery area, and a junior in Industrial and Systems engineering. I recently finished my last rotation of my co-op at SharkNinja. I was fortunate to learn about a multitude of things, including technical skills, machines and tools, general procedures & practices, thinking strategies, and interpersonal skills. I had a great experience working for SharkNinja, because it was a nice change of pace from school, and because now I could take my skills from the workplace back into the classroom, to further increase my critical thinking skills. The co-op really broadened my horizons, allowing me to gain more insight into the workplace, engineering, and business all at the same time.

Johnny Leara - Southern Company

Johnny Leara - Southern Company

Electrical Engineering

My name is Johnny Leara, and I am a three rotation Co-op from Southern Company. I’m studying electrical engineering here at Auburn. After graduating this upcoming December, I will be joining Southern Company after being offered a full-time position back in August. Being an ambassador for the Co-op program has been a truly wonderful experience. I have loved the opportunity to help the program while being a student that is going through the process. As I learned more about what Co-oping was a few years ago, it would have made the process easier if there were ambassadors my age to assist me through the process. I also am humbled to be a part of the first ever ambassadors for the program. My co-op experience has provided me with many skills that I will take into my career. I've participated in countless meetings, conference calls, and town halls. These three things have strengthened my communication skills, confidence, and experience working with coworkers. The projects and material I have worked on correspond with the material taught in the classes I have taken. It's really neat to see how my classes directly relate both to the power industry and to my Co-op position. I have also participated in the Southern Company Co-op/intern representative program called the Students of Southern Company. This organization is built for the Co-ops by the co-ops to enhance skills in the workplace, learn more about the company, and network with other fellow Co-ops. I have served as secretary and treasurer over my first two work terms. In my last rotation during the fall of 2020, I served as president. As president, I was in charge of making sure all meetings, plant tours, and social events ran smoothly. I have gained more experience from my Co-op work terms than I originally thought I would, and I would tell anyone who is on the fence about working to definitely try to join the Co-op program.

Lindsey Rafalsky - Auburn University Campus Web Solutions

Lindsey Rafalsky - Auburn University Campus Web Solutions

Software Engineering

Hi my name is Lindsey Rafalsky and I am currently a Senior in Software Engineering. I co-oped at Campus Web Solutions in Auburn as a Software Developer mainly doing full-stack web development. Through my experience co-oping I gained so many skills and confidence in myself as an engineer. I became a co-op ambassador because I want to encourage my peers to try co-op because I believe it is such a great experience that opens so many opportunities.

Nathan Young - International Paper

Nathan Young - International Paper

Chemical Engineering

Hey everyone! My name is Nathan Young, and I am a 4th year Chemical Engineering Student at Auburn University. I have worked a total of three terms for International Paper and I will be going back for my fourth this upcoming spring. The co-op program has been a special program for me and my growth here at Auburn University. Thanks to this program I have been able to solidify my decision to become a chemical engineer and pursue a career, once I graduate, in Pulp and Paper. I joined the Co-op Ambassador program to help students find what makes them happy in their major and help put more Auburn engineers in the workforce. I spend my free time climbing, camping, and/or playing with my puppy.