Energy Harbor

Mechanical/Structural Design Co-op

January - May 2022 • Perry, OH

What I liked

I was able to enjoy an unexpectedly high degree of responsibility. Nuclear is a highly regulated industry, but I was given projects with minimal supervision. The projects were also impactful and represented everyday work at a nuclear plant. This co-op program is essentially an onboarding program barring good performance. You are less of an intern and more of a tentative new hire. Also, it cannot be ignored that plant walkdowns are a major highlight. Nuclear is a unique industry and thus seeing the plant and the procedures for navigating it are uniquely interesting.

What I wish was different

I would have liked more feedback on my projects. This may have had to do with my placement. Due to the multi-year longitudinal work of the design department, finality isn't guaranteed. I may have only completed one piece of a larger project rather than working an entire project. This wasn't an issue for the other coops I talked with so do not let my experience or poor luck persuade you absolutely. Also the trainings manual... Everybody will have something to say about the training manual...


When you get or see an opportunity, take it. There's always something happening. Whether its an NRC, INPO, or WANO inspection, or a plant component fails and requires rapid fixing. A more mundane item would be new employees completing walkdowns for training. It never hurts to ask if you could shadow or contribute to these items. Each experience provides valuable insight to this one of a kind industry and gets you more mentally acclimated to plant operation. They also provide good ways to network within the plant and meet new people.
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