Graduate’s co-op at Fisher-Price was memorable, fun

Feb 6, 2014

“Fisher-Price has been a phenomenal place to work since I can use my engineering knowledge learned in the classroom to help develop products for the next generation.”

Whenever Alison Owczarczak shares her co-op placement with her friends and family, the reaction is always the same.

“I always get the wide-eyed response of ‘what do you do there, play with toys all day?’” Owczarczak said.

Alison Owczarczak
Robert Tom '85 and Alison Owczarczak '13

Not exactly, she explains. Owczarczak completed her co-op at Fisher-Price in East Aurora, New York, a mere 20 miles from where she grew up in East Amherst.

“Fisher-Price has been a phenomenal place to work since I can use my engineering knowledge learned in the classroom to help develop products for the next generation,” Owczarczak said. “The coolest thing I have been exposed to while working there is all the additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping technology currently available. It really is amazing how much technology can improve the product development process.”

Owczarczak graduated from Kettering in December 2013 with a degree in mechanical engineering and a concentration in bioengineering. Now that she’s graduated, she has kept her career options open while considering a career in 3D printing or graphic prototyping and prosthetics. She hopes to utilize her skillset in the medical field.

She remains open and has multiple options because she has acquired the necessary education and skills required to succeed professionally through her co-op experience.

“I love the co-op program,” Owczarczak said. “Whenever I talk to companies and other people my age they are so impressed with the jobs that I’ve done and the experiences that I’ve gained. It’s showed me both what I like to do and what I don’t like to do.”

Owczarczak was a member of the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority and an active member of the Society of Women Engineers at Kettering, both experiences that she valued greatly along with practical applicability of her classroom education.

“"The whole experience of interacting with people was a valuable aspect of co-op.” Owczarczak said. “A lot of my classes were working in group projects and that gets you ready for the corporate environment. You have to learn how to get along with all kinds of personalities.”

Owczarczak was originally drawn to the school by the low professor-to-student ratio and the overall size of the university. But it was the campus visit that confirmed her ambition to attend Kettering.

“As soon as I toured the school and talked with current students, I knew I could see myself at Kettering,” Owczarczak said. “Between the excellent faculty, motivated students, co-op program, and numerous opportunities available at Kettering, I have grown immensely during my college career.”