For Travis Johnson, the path to his electrical engineering career was just down the street at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. It’s but five minutes south from where he went to high school – McCluer South Berkeley in Ferguson, Mo.
“I really liked math and science back in high school,” Johnson said. “That encouraged me to go into engineering.”
That’s when he chose the UMSL/Washington University in St. Louis Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program.
Johnson now works for POWER Engineers in St. Louis – a position that grew out of the paid co-op opportunity the joint engineering program made available to him. The co-op program joins engineering students with local companies for hands-on, internship experience prior to graduation.
“The co-op part is one of the reasons I chose to come to UMSL,” said Johnson, who graduated in December 2015. “I wanted to gain more experience and be able to find a full-time job at the end of my degree.”
His plan panned out even better than expected when his co-op position at POWER Engineers turned into a full-time position with the company, which currently employs more than 20 UMSL engineering alumni.
“I design wiring connections for new electrical equipment,” he said. “So I pretty much replace old electrical equipment with new electrical equipment for things like transformers, circuit breakers and relay panels. Drawing and designing everything on paper takes up most of my day.”