Hey all! My name is Cameron Neely and I am the Secretary for The CM Club. I recently just completed my second co-op this Spring. It was a once in a lifetime experience because I had the opportunity to co-op in Miami, FL. This was my second co-op out of the state as I did the other one in Washington, DC.
Being able to co-op in other states is a lot of fun and I would recommend it to everyone. Some people are hesitant to do co-ops out of state because they think it will cost more than living at home, but that isn’t always the case. For instance, the company I work for pays a relocation expense to pay for your move, as well as, a rent stipend to pay for rent all on top of your hourly pay.
Personally, I believe that co-ops in other states are very valuable because you can learn more about construction state-to-state. When I worked in Washington, DC there was a project in Ashburn, VA that was a data center and I had never heard of data center construction until I came to the DC area. A data center is a facility used to house a large group of network computer servers used for storing, distributing, and processing large amounts of data. Quick fact: 70% of the worlds internet traffic flows through Ashburn’s data centers every day. It was a great experience to be a part of that type of construction.
When I worked in Miami I got to work on a hospital expansion project. Since there are a lot of older aged people in Florida, hospital construction has different requirements than other states. The project that I was on was required to be inspected by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) before being complete. AHCA is a Florida healthcare agency that deals with inspecting the quality and life safety of healthcare facilities. It was very valuable to see how this inspection drove the project dates and passing this inspection was crucial to meeting the project deadline. It was also interesting to work in Florida because there isn’t a strong union presence, so most companies are non-union. This sometimes causes a headache because the quality of work is a lot poorer than compared to Boston, which has a strong union presence.
I was able to get my first co-op position my sophomore year by going to the fall career fair. I knew nothing about the company except that they had locations all around the US. I went over and started talking to them and gave them my resume. I followed up with an email and was called in for an interview. I later got a call and told I got the internship. They then proceeded to let me pick three options in the US where they had offices that I wanted to work, and they would place me in one of the three.
Doing co-ops in other states is a lot of fun and you can expand your network all over the US. Also, I’d rather be in Miami in February where its 80 degrees than being in a blizzard in Boston – just saying.
Written by Cameron Neely (CM Club Secretary)