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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is Co-op Employer of the Year

May 10, 2012

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was awarded the Co-op Employer of the Year at the annual Senior Awards Banquet for the School of Engineering and Computer Science on April 28. The Lab has continuously supported the co-op program and demonstrated willingness to go the extra mile to promote its job opportunities and recruit students through information sessions.

Over 20 computer science, mechanical engineering, and bioengineering students have worked at the Lab as part of the co-op program, which requires students to complete a 7.5 month paid internship for academic credit as part of their undergraduate education. Additionally, over 40 alumni have been employed at LLNL, with a number of them continuing to support the School's activities through networking events, students clubs, or alumni events.

As a computer science major, Stephanie Choate '11 worked in the Environmental Restoration Department of the Lab during her co-op, helping to update and improve internet web tools. The team dynamics helped her to apply her education to different projects as well as learn new technologies. "I was given a lot of responsibility and freedom with my projects," Stephanie says, "but my supervisor and the team I worked with were always available for guidance and suggestions."

Stephanie is now employed full-time with the Lab as a web developer. "I loved my co-op and I love my job," says Stephanie. "I would definitely encourage students to intern here for an amazing co-op experience."

The Lab has supported the future engineers and computer scientists in ways beyond co-op. This year they are partnering with the School to send a team of Pacific students to the Student Cluster Competition at SC12, the International Conference for High Performance Computer Networking Storage and Analysis. Engineers will be mentoring the team of twelve engineering, physics, and computer science students for the international competition. Additionally, LLNL has secured $50,000 worth of hardware for the competition and will be sponsoring a student co-op.

The Co-op Employer of the Year is selected from the School's industry partners through input from faculty and staff. Co-op Coordinator Calvin Chen explains, "Many faculty have accompanied me on site visits to the lab, so they have been able to see the lab and talk to many supervisors, alumni or not, who have worked with co-op students and interns." Employers are also considered based on their support of the co-op program, support of graduating seniors, and the educational value of the co-op and internship opportunities.