Student Participation in MECOP
The following schedule outlines the major activities for a MECOP student:
- First year: Begin lower division course work.
- Second year: While completing lower division coursework, apply for MECOP.
- Most applicants apply during February / March of their Sophomore year (standard application window). See calendar for upcoming application deadlines.
- Third year: Attend MECOP seminar. Begin upper division course work. Interview for first internship. Work for one of the MECOP companies spring and summer.
- Fourth year: Continue upper division course work. Interview for second internship. Work for a second MECOP company summer and fall.
- Fifth year: Complete upper division course work and graduate.
Much discussion has evolved around the inability of major universities to provide an adequate education in engineering / business through a four-year program. Economic limitations hinder their ability to keep up with the pace of technological development, leading to a gap in what students are trained for vs what industry needs. MECOP’s aim is to bridge this gap, utilizing industry led, mentored internships to provide students with real-world experience to reinforce the technical / theoretical concepts presented through university coursework. Our goal is to supply the Northwest with high quality engineers and business professionals that are ready to work on day one and be true contributors in their fields.
Student applicants are selected into the program through two screening processes. First, an academic review is performed by a university advisor to ensure the applicant is qualified to take upper-division courses by Fall Term of the next school year. Applicants that pass their academic screening will go through an interview consisting of a panel of industry representatives participating in the program. Students are rank ordered based on interview scores from the interview panel and accepted based on MECOP's projected pool of internships in each discipline for the next internship year. The goal of this screening is to make every effort to ensure selected students are committed, qualified and ready for future internship placement.
MECOP's objective is to enhance the education of students through internships at a variety of high-quality companies, each of which is screened for acceptance into MECOP with the same level of scrutiny that MECOP places on selecting students. To ensure a diverse experience, participating students are required to intern at two different companies to give the students as much real-world experience as possible and to expose students to differing work cultures and industries.
Each year, prior to internship placement, all participating companies and students are required to participate in a series of events with the aim of matching interns with employers. This process consists of a social gathering / job fair to introduce students and industry representatives, followed by interviews for internship placement. Each student is interviewed by a panel consisting of industry representatives looking for a student in their discipline. The purpose of this is to gauge student interests, skills and needs against the projects and other related needs of each company the interviewers are representing. Following interviews, industry reps select their students through a lottery process, followed by placement announcements sent to students at a later date.