The experience to lead a time, be responsible for performance targets, and take on projects. It was interesting interacting with the numerous personalities on shift, and being able to find creative ways to fix problems. The amount of responsibility co-ops are given is crazy, both in a good way and bad. You get a great experience but are worked like a horse.
Long hours that go above and beyond what is specified in the contract, and a severe lack of breaks. Expect to be on your feet for at least 8 hours a day. An 8-hour shift = 10 hours of work, sometimes more!
More frequent performance meetings and less micromanagement would have been appreciated. Better training across all lines would have been beneficial.
The culture is based largely on accountability. If a mistake occurs--and they do frequently at the volume of production occurring--someone has to be responsible for it. You must be on top of what is happening at all times, or you may be thrown under the bus at shift meetings. There is a tendency to assign blame wherever possible, and to whoever is most ignorant of processes or procedures. Managers have a tendency to micro-manage a lot!
Expect to work hard for little benefits. The experience of being a manager is great, however the work days are long and hard, and you may feel worn out by the end of your term. You must take initiative in this co-op; there is no hand-holding.