Hello! I’m Julia, and I am about to finish my senior year at John Brown University where I’m studying Electrical and Computer Engineering. Last summer (2016) I had the opportunity to intern for Black & Veatch in Kansas City, Missouri. I learned about Black & Veatch from a JBU alumni who also participated in the intern program then went on to work there full time. I really enjoyed the interview process and was thrilled to get offered a position as an intern. I had high expectations for the summer, but my experience was even better than I expected. I learned about the company’s unique history and values, was introduced to Black & Veatch’s goals and plans to obtain them, met so many other students from across the globe, and did actual work that contributed to my department – and that was all in just the first day. Over the summer I got to tour multiple power, water treatment, and wastewater treatment plants, attended “Lunch and Learns” where interns got to eat lunch with the presidents of each division, volunteered at a food bank with my fellow interns, and explored Kansas City for the first time. The highlight of my internship though, was the work I did and the people I worked with. Of Black & Veatch’s several main markets, I worked in the Water Market within the Instrumentation and Controls (I&C) group. I didn’t know much about the water business or I&C before the summer, but by August I had a deeper appreciation for water and wastewater treatment processes and the design plans I worked on everyday. I learned so much about the design and revision process, company culture, how multidisciplinary communication works, and the software my group uses regularly. I greatly appreciated that I was consistently receiving work to do and feedback on how to do better. I grew as an engineer both in technical and soft skills, and I can’t wait to join Black & Veatch full time in June!
I had the wonderful opportunity to intern with Harley-Davidson from January 2016 through July 2016. It was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Not only have I had the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge to a true engineering application, but I have also had valuable time to learn more about a field in which I’m interested. It all started with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) National conference in October 2015.
After numerous revisions of my résumé with the UNT Career Center and participating in professional workshops with my local SWE chapter (UNT SWE), I felt prepared to head to Nashville for the conference. Upon arriving, I was surrounded by many women who shared my passions as well as many great networking opportunities, which is how I came in contact with Harley. I was immediately drawn to this company, because of my budding passion for motorcycles. At the Harley-Davidson career fair booth, I was able to talk and interview with a few engineers, and before I knew it I was contracted to intern with them at the Product Development Center (PDC) in Milwaukee the next semester in a design engineering role.
I arrived in mid-January, where I stepped off of the plane into a blissful seven-degrees-below-zero Wisconsin winter night. On my first day, I arrived at the PDC half an hour early, equally nervous and excited. Immediately, I was thrown into a fast-paced atmosphere where people were talking about ECN’s, CAD, GDN&T, and a million other acronyms that felt like another language. It was quite daunting at first and it took a little while for me to learn them all. Coming from engineering school, I felt like I could handle anything; however, I quickly came to the realization that I knew very little and had a lot of learning to do. Throughout my first few months, I studied the ins and outs of Harley’s CAD software, optimization software, design processes, and manufacturing processes. I even got to visit a manufacturing/assembly facility in York, Pennsylvania, which really helped me understand the different ways in which parts are made and assembled. Also while in York, I was able to experience supplier interaction firsthand when we visited Syncreon. Upon returning to Milwaukee, it was time to make my first part. It was an iterative process which started with designing the part in CAD. Next came working with stylists on the look, using optimization software to obtain the best load paths, lots of calculations and making sure it was still able to be manufactured. Once I thought I had a good part, it had to be presented to the leadership team to be approved. When the prototype part was complete virtually, it was time to be sent to the SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) machine, which uses lasers and nylon powder to rapidly create a part. It could sometimes be tedious, but was totally worth it when you could point to a part and say, “I made that!” Throughout the time I was there, I was tasked with making various motorcycle parts, contributing to critical vehicle decisions, and even participated in sustainability research.
I’m very grateful for the opportunity I had to expand my engineering knowledge at Harley-Davidson, which undoubtedly set a good foundation for my career. I am also proud to say, that I am now a legal class M motorcyclist – the roads better watch out for me! Lastly, I am the most thankful for the friends and co-workers that made my adventure to Milwaukee unforgettable.
My name is Hannah LaVier and I am a sophomore biomedical engineering major at LeTourneau University. Throughout my spring co-op working at Cook Medical, I have had the opportunity to gain experience in the medical device industry. Through this internship, I have learned the importance of good documentation when both designing and testing devices that will eventually be available for public medical use. I have been personally working as a part of the engineering testing laboratory and have gotten to see firsthand the high standards and strict practices that go into developing medical devices. One part of my internship that I have enjoyed is being able to work with many of the devices that Cook Medical produces, as well as being able to play a part in ensuring that these devices are safe and reliable for use in hospitals. I have been challenged to use my engineering creativity to address problems that arise while testing, and have been blessed to be a part of a department that treats me like a fellow engineer and employee.
I’m Sarah Elliott and I just started my junior year in mechanical engineering and math at Baylor University. Over the summer I interned for Toyota in the Cincinnati area. I have to say that it was the best summer ever. I loved my job and meeting new people and being in a new city. Everyone I worked with was super helpful and did their best to get me opportunities to further my network and my experience in the field. Toyota really treats their co-ops as real employees by giving them meaningful work. I got to go on a business trip almost every week to either supplier plants or other Toyota locations. Toyota has really strong values of safety and integrity and respect; they don’t cut corners and they constantly improve every process. They also love giving back to the community; I had the opportunity to volunteer on a Toyota team that painted a house for Paint the Town where I met some awesome people. It was really satisfying working for a company that has the same values as I do personally. I worked in a department called Supplier Engineering Development and I tracked the quality of parts suppliers were sending to Toyota plants. I worked more on the business side of engineering and learned a lot about supplier relations. However, I still got some technical experience as I was able to travel to manufacturing plants several times over the summer and see first-hand the production of parts and assembly of automobiles. Before my internship I had no idea what field I wanted to pursue after college. Now I have a passion for the automotive industry; it’s dynamic and innovative. I had an awesome time at Toyota and loved being in Cincinnati.
My name is Kara Goldberg. I’m a senior Electrical Engineering student at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. This past summer, I had the opportunity to work as an intern at Medtronic, the largest standalone medical technology development company. I worked as a manufacturing intern at one of Medtronic’s many branches in the Minneapolis/Twin Cities region.
This internship was an amazing opportunity. Medtronic did an excellent job of welcoming interns into the company. They provided a number of classes, labs, networking events, tours, and even parties. The learning curve at Medtronic was steep (so many acronymns!), but the end result was rewarding. I learned a great deal both about Medtronic, and real world engineering. My day to day activities would vary. Sometimes I would be on the manufacturing line or attend meetings and other times I would be doing documentation and learning about ESDA procedures. My favorite thing was the exposure I got to all the different areas of the company. I wasn’t stuck at my desk all day doing the same thing over and over again! My manager encouraged me to pursue any opportunities that sounded interesting to me. From working on projects with various other engineers, to touring other branches of the company, I was able to get a big picture look at what Medtronic is really about.
Taking advantage of this opportunity, even though it was outside of my area of expertise, provided me with one of the most entertaining and interesting summers of my life. The connections I made and the things I learned will last a lifetime!
I’m Liberty Schmidt, a senior in mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. This past summer I had the amazing opportunity to intern at Spirit Aerosystems. I was able to be hired by this company by interviewing with them at the SWE conference in Nashville, TN. Over the summer I got to work with other engineers and design a new line of planes. I also got to take multiple tours and see how an airplane is put together, which really helped put everything I had learned in school in perspective. I loved my experience and am very grateful for SWE for making it a possibility.
Brenna Sit is currently a junior at the University of Mississippi in Chemical Engineering and is also a part of the Center for Manufacturing Excellence. Brenna performed a co-op for ExxonMobil in Baytown, TX during the spring and fall of 2016 where she worked in both the Chemicals and the Refining & Supply divisions of the company.
In the spring she was the intern for the Baytown Chemical Plant Olefins group, and some of her major projects included: optimizing laboratory testing to ensure quality and process control with minimization of cost, creating an environmental tool to estimate the evaporation of liquid pool spills, and redesigning a material balance inventory tool.
This past fall she was the intern for the Energy Management group, which monitors energy usage and maximizes efficiency across the Baytown Refinery, and the Coordination & Product Quality group, which coordinates inventory and manages production. Major projects include: building a heat exchanger database and locating sample points for systems to prevent contamination in the condensate system, creating a break-even value tool to determine production of residuum, optimizing crude ship logistics, and writing a program to generate modeling reports for engineers.
Brenna has always been actively involved with the engineering department. Some of her other activities include: American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Committee for Academics & Professional Development, and Provost Scholar.