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Senior in electrical engineering named Vandegrift Co-op student of the year

By Joe McAdory

Published: Jan 23, 2023 12:00:00 PM

“Co-op at Auburn has given me the hands-on job experience I never would have received otherwise” — Jared Jones “Co-op at Auburn has given me the hands-on job experience I never would have received otherwise” — Jared Jones

Jared Jones has a passion for serving others. He’s bagged diapers for the Women’s Hope Medical Clinic, staffed multiple church fall festivals, stocked shelves at the Food Bank of East Alabama and helped student peer team members with Engineering Without Borders design a suspension bridge system to support an irrigation pipeline to help struggling villagers in Bolivia.

“I enjoy the satisfaction that comes from being willing to give a part of yourself to better someone else in some way,” he said.

You should see his job experience.

Not only has the third-generation Auburn electrical engineer modeled specialized antenna configurations with MATLAB to study directivity patterns at various test frequencies to create easy-to-reference tables for future simulators as a 2022 summer intern at Dynetics in Huntsville, Alabama, but he developed a proof-of-concept test device for sonar systems, debugged software on damaged units and more, during his three-semester co-op (2019-2021) at Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics in Eufaula, Alabama.

It's no wonder the senior from Gurley, Alabama, was named Auburn Engineering’s 2022 Frank Vandegrift Co-op Student of the Year. Established in honor of the former director of Auburn University’s Cooperative Education (Co-op) program, the award is presented each year to an outstanding Auburn Engineering co-op student.

“Co-op at Auburn has given me the hands-on job experience I never would have received otherwise,” said Jones, a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. “I’m interviewing with potential employers right now who are saying, ‘wow, you received that much experience in just one year? That’s impressive that you’re going to bring this experience to a company.’”

Auburn Engineering Co-op is a planned, supervised program that alternates semesters of full-time college classroom instruction with three semesters of full-time paid employment. Work assignments are closely related to students’ academic programs and designed to prepare students for their respective professional careers by combining academic training with practical work experience.

“I would definitely recommend Auburn’s co-op program,” said Jones, who graduates in May. “On-the-job experience is what companies are looking for. It’s an excellent way to get your foot in the door.”

Students interested in the college’s co-op program, which features more than 100 recruiting companies and an average salary of $19.83/hour, are encouraged to schedule an appointment with co-op coordinators via Handshake or contact Edie Irvin, assistant director for cooperative education and internships, at edie.irvin@auburn.edu.

Media Contact: Joe McAdory, jem0040@auburn.edu, 334.844.3447

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