John, I've lightly edited your text below for clarity, based on the additional information you provided, and using your words and sentences wherever possible. Note that I've removed some phrases that seemed unnecessary to me. Please feel free to change or reinstate any of it. I hope these minor changes help you with your report.
"The biggest mental paradigm shift arose when I was trying to design my experimental model. I was used to solving textbook problems, where my only tools were the literature, a calculator, and a pencil and paper. I spent a large amount of time trying to use my technical knowledge to determine whether my model would work. However, in industry, what is most important is whether or not it will work in the real world; otherwise, it is useless.
"Additionally, compared to academic projects, a business has a greater capability to acquire the necessary materials and to actually prove or disprove the concept. This provided a new challenge for me, and I think that if I were to begin this work session again, I would be much more efficient. However, the purpose of a cooperative engineering experience is to learn that which I could not in the classroom, and this lesson was invaluable." -John LeSaint