An "Electrifying" Co-op Experience at Micron
Despite his technical savvy, Connor Braase is not your typical electrical engineering student. Setting him apart from his classmates is his full year of on-the-job experience working with Micron thanks to his participation in the University of Idaho Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program.
“Both of my Co-op experiences were with Micron Technology down in Boise, Idaho, and both times I was working in the DRAM product engineering department, working as an engineer to develop computer memory,” he said.
Braase will be graduating in May 2022. He said he values how his classroom knowledge has prepared him for the industry.
“It is about understanding computer memory from a circuit level up,” he said. “My department was responsible for making sure that we make new designs that meet all our qualifications. New designs are kind of the name of the game with electronics.”
Braase said the best part of his hands-on experience was being able to work in a lab.
“I used a high-powered microscope to put these teeny tiny wires down on the microchips and run stress tests to test the silicon crystal,” he said. “It's really cool to see something that's so complicated so early in development, before hitting the market.”
Micron operates in a large team atmosphere, which Braase said is a conducive space for learning. He said he immensely enjoyed the collaboration while out on his Co-op. His team interacted with many different Micron departments.
Co-op experience contributed to Braase’s professional goals and development. He said it quickly narrowed and advanced his career.
“But more than that, it kind of focused me into semiconductors and microelectronics in general,” he said. “I got multiple job offers from Micron. They wanted me to come back to the department that I worked with. I accepted.”
When reflecting on his choice to ultimately choose U of I, he said the decision was clear.
“A great investment in my future without needing to break the bank,” he said.