Hometown | Pittsburgh, PA
Major | Computer Engineering
Company | Re2 Robotics
Position | Software Co-op

Nicole Baldy, a College of Engineering student at UA

Nicole Baldy, computer engineering student at The University of Akron.

Tell us about your current co-op.

Re2 Robotics is a research company that develops highly mobile, strong, and rugged robotic arms for the aviation, defense, energy, medical, oil and gas industries. As a software co-op, my role changes greatly from day to day – I have participated in demonstrations to customers, a little bit of computer vision work, and a lot of communications systems and high-level system design and implementation.

Why did you choose to participate in the co-op program?

I wanted to explore the options available to me in different industries as a computer engineer and develop my skills in a way that I cannot do inside of the classroom. I also wanted to graduate with plenty of experience to get a head-start on my job search and resume building.

What unique or exciting projects have you worked on?

The projects I work on are confidential because we are doing research and designing products for other companies and the government and we want to keep our own Intellectual Property safe. But what I can say is my work has been extremely interesting and absolutely in line with Re2’s vision of improving lives through robotics.

Projects vary in length and the number of people working on them – I’m currently working on one of our largest projects, and it has been very exciting to get to go to and participate in demonstrations and feel like we’re getting closer and closer to something that could really improve lives one day.

What is the coolest part of your co-op?

Honestly, my coworkers are the best. As cool as robots are, it is the people that I work with who make my co-op as amazing as it is. People show that they care about each other and work together even as things get stressful. What has been amazing to me is that my voice has been heard, even as a co-op. There are parts of code that I could point to that I helped design – and I discovered a love of code design while doing so. I really appreciate the fact that even as a co-op, my coworkers respect my input and I feel like we work together towards better solutions because everyone’s voice is heard.

What advice do you have for the co-op search process?

Don’t be afraid to apply outside of the career fair! But don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back or if your interview is harder than expected – I emailed and applied to machine learning and robotics companies all over the place and happened to hit Re2 right as they were expanding and were about to put an internship position on their website, so I got very lucky. But I had also been building up my resume for quite a while to get that sort of position.