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Breanna Ellis

Breanna Ellis


Memphis, TN

During my co-op, I worked in the Starter/Division. More specifically, I worked in the parts production engineering department on the cutting lines. I had the opportunity of working on projects that would impact the production of starter housings and alternator frames.

I decided to co-op because I was in my junior year and had yet to find an experience that I truly enjoyed enough to want as a career. I participated in research the prior summer but wanted a more hands-on opportunity. I believed that it was very important to get experience doing something that I thoroughly enjoyed and I knew that an internship wouldn't be long enough. A significant lesson I learned is that being an engineer allows you to do so many different things. I know that I used to think that being an engineer meant being limited to working in the field that I am majoring in. But through my co-op, I had the opportunity to work in all kinds of fields of engineering and I enjoyed every bit of it. My co-op has made me more open-minded.

Participating in a co-op has definitely prepared me to be a better engineer in terms of profession. It's one thing to be in class and learning theories, but when you're actually on the plant floor having to solve real-life problems, it's a whole other animal. I believe that my co-op allowed me to be in different situations that I wouldn't have necessarily been able to solve strictly from textbook learning. Now when I begin my engineering career, I won't be surprised and have the ability to handle whatever comes my way. As far as academically, my co-op has made me more motivated to get back to school and earn my degree. I enjoyed myself so much that I'm ready to get back out there and start my engineering career. I have to be honest, I was beginning to be burnt out on school and my co-op provided that break, but still allowed me to continue learning. Also, I was able to learn different software and professional skills that will aid me in school.

You should definitely consider a co-op assignment. Co-op assignments allow you to get a more in-depth learning experience. From my experience, I can tell you that in my first few months I had to get acclimated and learn a lot before I could really be assigned to a major project. With an internship, I would have been leaving once I fully became comfortable in the role and I would have missed out on the amazing opportunities and projects that I was able to participate in.

I recently adopted a puppy! So, of course in my free time, I like to play around with him and go for walks. But I also like to hang out with friends, go to the movies, and travel.

I believe that I would be lost after graduation if it wasn't for my co-op. Because of my co-op, I know exactly what my career path will be.

Breanna Ellis

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