Engineering Co-Op at Perception Engineering

Engineering Co-Op

The first step into the real world of Engineering. The day I had been waiting for since my first day of college classes. A chance to apply the hours and hours of studying I had devoted over the past few years. Time for all my hard work to pay off. My engineering co-op experience at Perception Engineering.


Before college, I wasn’t exposed much to any engineering experience. We didn’t have any drafting or CAD classes in my high school, so when I started my engineering classes, it was all completely new information. As I was deciding on what major to pursue, I spoke to more and more people in the engineering field and almost all of them had something similar to say. It’s not all about the classes you take, it’s about the experience you get as well. After learning about Grand Valley State University’s Co-op program, that was just about enough to make my decision then and there. After three years of stress filled and coffee-fueled late nights, my time had finally come. It was time for me to start my co-op.

As I searched for jobs, I realized just how broad mechanical engineering is. I had never thought about what field I wanted to focus on. Then I found it. Scrolling through job postings on Grand Valley’s job search site, Perception Engineering, LLC. After looking into the company more, I learned of their contracting work, which was perfect, as I would get to see and work on projects from many industries. I applied as soon as I could, and after a couple interviews, was thrilled when I received a confirmation e-mail.


As my first co-op rotation is coming to an end, I’m happy to say it was a truly wonderful experience. Right away, after my training of course, I was given responsibility. They had just begun integrating SolidWorks PDM, and I was put in charge of learning the ins and outs of the software, writing the standards document for the company and helping the team through the implementation process. Within a few weeks, I was even given the opportunity to work on a project with a client, updating an invention they had worked with Perception on in the past. With PE being a younger company, they are rapidly growing and making changes. Even as a brand-new employee I was brought into the growth and changes of the company, making me feel even more at home. Overall, it was a great learning experience and gave me an opportunity to experience growth in my design skills, team collaboration skills, communication skills, and more. I look forward to what my next two rotations have in store.

That’s all for now! I hope you enjoyed hearing my story. If you would like to hear more about my story or have questions, connect with me on LinkedIn and send me a message. You can also sign up for our e-mail list to keep up with information on the company.

Written By: 

Matthew Fontana

Matthew Fontana

Engineering Co-op at Perception Engineering

Matthew Fontana1, Business