GE attracts a high number of Northeastern University students to its co-op positions every year. For two Northeastern students, both in the mechanical engineering program, GE was an obvious choice for their six-month co-ops. For Joseph Dahger, GE has been a great place to begin his co-op experience, and for Kevin Davids, returning to GE meant returning to a friendly work environment, as well as the opportunity to work in his desired field.
DN: What do you like most about working for GE?
Kevin: I enjoy the possibilities GE offers as you progress within the company. With so many divisions under one brand it’s possible to work in a variety of fields without having to search outside of GE for a different job. Another draw for me was the idea of EEDP, or The Edison Engineering Development Program.
Joe: There is a lot of cool technology being worked on in the Lynn, MA plant, and you get exposed to a lot of it. Whether or not I’m doing work on a specific engine, I can go down to the plant floor as its being assembled and check it out, and the floor engineers are happy to show me around it. There are also a lot of Northeastern co-ops at GE, which is nice.
DN: Kevin, you previously worked at GE Energy and now at GE Aviation; what brought you back?
Kevin: Again this had to do with EEDP and for this particular Co-Op my love of aviation and anything having to do with jet engines. A sense of team unity, as well as a friendly work environment also played a role in my decision to return to GE.
DN: Do either of you notice differences in the work you have been given?
Joe: I have noticed that my work is much more project-oriented than the workload that Kevin and a lot of other co-ops get, although the actual content of the work is pretty similar. Co-ops at GE are put in pretty different positions however, so there are always certain aspects of our jobs that are unique.
Kevin: Joe and I work in separate departments, really meaning that the work is completely different. Even if we do work on the same engine program we have different assignment managers and thus our job responsibilities and assignments aren’t directly linked.
DN: What has working in the real world meant to you?
Joe: One of the first things I learned after coming to GE is that there it is extremely hard to find pure engineering opportunities in the real world.
DN: Kevin, as this is your second time around do you feel as though you have been given more responsibility?
Kevin: As far as judging more responsibility the second time around, I do believe I am tested a bit more but in different ways. My current job entails less mechanical engineering know-how than my previous, so it makes it difficult to compare the two. My manager trusts me enough to give me a task and leave me to it; he knows I will be able to get it done without much hassle and, if it comes to it, that I know who to ask for assistance or information.
DN: Are you challenged at GE?
Joe: The challenges at work are completely different from academic challenges. Math and science work doesn’t come close to classes, at least with what I’m doing at GE right now.
DN: What assignment/project has been most challenging for you?
Kevin: Well, one of my more challenging assignments came from my previous job with GE Energy. I needed to learn how to read a piping and instrumentation diagram and then use the diagram to model a certain system. I had never used one of these diagrams before so I was quick to get to work on learning symbol convention and what each component did and how the components were connected.
Joe: One of my current projects is to come up with limits for an inspection manual which checks for the basic functionality of a specific engine parts. Functionality is a pretty ambiguous term in the repair field, especially when the human aspect of inspection is considered. I have to use specs from each part and input from design engineers to figure out the right instructions to put in the manual.