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Dayton Engineer

Cooperative education helps chemical engineering student realize her engineering direction

By Mary Harbach, cooperative education, School of Engineering

Through the cooperative education program at the University of Dayton School of Engineering, Taylor McCarthy, a chemical engineering major from Beavercreek, Ohio, worked for Givaudan Flavor Corporation for two work terms and will return for her final, third term this summer (2021). This experiential learning experience helped McCarthy realize her engineering direction.

Givaudan Flavor Corporation is one of UD’s cooperative education partners and a global leader in the creation of flavors and fragrances. Regionally, they have manufacturing plants in Florence, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio.

McCarthy started working for Givaudan in the spring of 2020. During her first two terms, she worked in the Florence manufacturing plant as a maintenance engineer working on numerous, diverse projects, where she gained valuable experience in root cause analysis and day-to-day manufacturing operations. Her third term will be in Givaudan’s Cincinnati location.

McCarthy plans to apply for Givaudan’s Operations Leadership Program, which is open to new chemical engineering graduates. This is a promising full-time position, which sends newly hired engineers to multiple sites for training before placing them in a permanent position with the company.

About her co-op experience, McCarthy shares, “I strongly emphasize the importance of doing a co-op to others who are considering it because you never know what you like or don’t like until you try it. This is a great way to make connections and help you decide where you want to go after graduation. You learn many new professional skills that a classroom cannot teach. Also, the compensation is a great bonus especially as a college student. For me, I thought I knew what I wanted to do but learned through my co-op that I didn’t really like it and wanted to try something else. There are many paths you can take with engineering and the more experiences you have will help narrow down where you want to go.”

The School of Engineering has numerous avenues of experiential learning to assist students on their engineering pathway. In addition to working three co-op terms, McCarthy enjoyed a study abroad in Australia, participated in UD’s Integrated Science and Engineering Center Summer Collaborative Research Project and worked as a peer adviser for the School of Engineering.

It is certain that McCarthy will be successful in the path she chooses after graduation. Good luck, Taylor!

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