ECE Co-op Student Spotlight: Mary Claret Landsgaard

September 15, 2023

Mary Claret Landsgaard

Major: Electrical Engineering

Classification: Senior

Hometown: Olive Branch, Mississippi

Co-op Company: International Paper

How has MSU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering prepared you for your work with International Paper?

Several of the resources from MSU’s ECE Department prepared me well for the work I have been doing at the IP Columbus Mill. Digital Devices taught me the basic concepts used in process and logic controls for instrumentation, Circuits gave me the ability to understand and use electrical drawings for projects involving power distribution, and working in the High Voltage Laboratory gave me exposure to electrical equipment similar to that used all over the mill site.

What are the benefits of your co-op?

My time as a co-op student at International Paper has given me authentic engineering knowledge and skills. I have had the opportunity to manage a $50,000 project, assist with a $10 million project, use and edit single-line electrical drawings, document inspections of medium and high voltage electrical equipment, and work on the upgrade of an outdated controls system, among many other things. Additionally, I have received so much help and instruction from supervisors, engineers, and technicians – many of whom are MSU graduates.

Why should MSU students and ECE students participate in co-op and internship opportunities?

Students should co-op not only to gain invaluable experience, but also to discover their interests. At a place like IP, engineering co-op students have a vast array of specialties to be exposed to.

What would you say to students considering Mississippi State and the opportunities of co-op work that come from being an MSU student?

Prospective students should choose MSU because of the stellar academic and professional opportunities provided by the university. As a community college transfer and an engineering student, I have benefited greatly from the resources MSU has to offer.


The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Mississippi State University consists of 27 faculty members (including seven endowed professors), seven professional staff, and over 700 undergraduate and graduate students, with approximately 100 being at the Ph.D. level. With a research expenditure of over $14.24 million, the department houses the largest High Voltage Laboratory among North American universities.