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Aliza Dixon

Aliza Dixon


Kingsport, Tennessee

I performed a three-term co-op with Shaw Industries in Dalton, Georgia. I worked in residential carpet manufacturing as a process improvement engineer my first term, distribution engineering my second and third term.

My biggest project was the design of an 800,000 square foot manufacturing facility. I also got the opportunity to intern with Southern Nuclear at Vogtle Nuclear Plant in Waynesboro, Georgia. I worked in the procurement engineering department and decided which parts could be placed into the plant based on federal regulatory requirements.

I decided to co-op because I thought that the experience would set me apart from my peers. I was able to take experiences from work and apply them directly to school when I returned.

The most significant lesson that I learned while on co-op was learning to work with diverse groups of people and people that you don't necessarily get along with. While working, I worked alongside people from different age groups, cultural backgrounds, and organizations within the company to find common ground and achieve common goals.

Working increased my work ethic immeasurably. After working nine hours a day, I came back to school with the desire to get similar amounts of work accomplished. This pushed me to become a better engineer both academically and professionally.

Students should definitely consider a co-op assignment because it helps them to learn what they want to do and don't want to do with their career. Co-ops usually give the student diverse experiences within their major, which can be helpful when getting a full-time position after graduation.

When I'm not busy with school or work, I enjoy being with my family, friends, and pets. My favorite thing to do is take my dog, Hudson, on a walk on the Knoxville Greenway.

Aliza Dixon

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