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Work Sets You Free: Grundy ’17 at Chroma Technology Corp in Rockingham, Vermont

Where else to start on this river ride of introspection than by stating clearly, firmly and loudly, “Chroma has been a blast!” I have not felt this impending sense of liberation, achievement, and exuberant spunk in quite some time. Why impending, you ask. Well, it’s due to the nature of the position Chroma holds as “The First” within this new journey of mine. The first Co-Op. The first experience as a truly independent entity. The first step on a journey which I am now ever more sure will contain an abundance of the above three qualities.

“Work sets you free!”, a phrase with some questionable history behind it, contains an element of truth, regardless. To some, work is just a job, to others it’s a career, and yet still, to some, it remains a symbol for anything dull, monotonous, or “un-fun”. But, despite all this, there remains a group of people for whom work is the very fabric of what ties them to the world and their existence.

My work: When I first arrived at Chroma, I was given two tasks to accomplish. “Assist the Steering Committee with 2-way communication” and “Create a dashboard for the coating halls”. In the process of carrying these out, I soon found myself in a host of projects all around the company with a variety of people in a myriad of departments. This widespread involvement permitted the creation of a “capstone” project. This project took the form of an in-depth analysis of Chroma’s communication infrastructure which was accompanied by a series of presentations on my findings made available to the entire company.

For the most part, I met the above goals as well as the personal ones I had set for myself at the beginning of the term those being: learning SQL, improving my dashboarding and developing my own communication and information management skills. But if you had asked me where I thought I would end up at the end of this Co-Op, I would not have said here. “Here” being a point far beyond those now, seemingly simple landmarks that I have integrated and moved past on my developmental journey.

The amount of personal, technical, and educational growth I experienced this Co-Op was staggering. I gained a variety of skills, made a great many contacts, but, most importantof all, I gained some much needed perspective on what a change of circumstances can offer with its novel challenges, its dynamic environment, and its test of your resolve in rising to the occasion, all of which I embraced with each misstep as well as each triumph. Not so bad for a first Co-Op, if I do say so myself.

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