Josh Smith

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Josh Smith

Co-op in Munich, Germany

Year: Junior
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Vail, Colo.
Program: International Engineering Certificate in German

 My name is Josh and I spent 6 months in Munich, Germany doing a co-op for IP Design (Industrielle Produkt Design).  Having a co-op in Germany worked well for me because I am already fluent in the German language and know their culture and customs.  I am originally from Germany and went to school there when I was younger.  I often go back to visit family and friends during the semester and summer breaks from CU.

My co-op for IP Design lasted from July 2006 to December 2006.  During my time with the company, I worked on four major projects:  Kitchen Lab Designs, Alpine Ski Design, Shower Drain System, and a Handicap Assistance Device.  These projects were created using a Solid Works program and then presented to the clients.  After meeting with the clients, I would go and make any other changes the client requested and submit the final project.  I enjoyed my time with IP Design because I got work with teams on real design project instead of performing menial tasks the entire time.  The practice and experience I got with Solid Works and presentation to clients is invaluable.

 During my free time in Munich, I joined a cross-country ski club and spent much of my time outdoors in the snow.  In addition to the ski club in Munich, I also knew some former students of CU-Boulder who are from Norway and were on the CU Cross-Country ski team, so I went skiing with them as well.  I also traveled around Europe and visited other countries such as Norway and Austria.  As I said before, because I’m from Germany, I also visited family and friends from where I lived in Germany.

 The one piece of advice I have for students looking at a co-op overseas is to know well in advance if the company you are working for will help provide housing or not.  IP Design was a smaller company and did not have any housing set up for employees, so I had to find an apartment on my own without their help.  Overall, my experience living on my own in Munich and working for IP Design was great.  I highly recommend getting a co-op which will allow you to experience new culture and customs.

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