Employe: General Electric-Transportations, Erie, PA
Internship Title: Propulsion Quality Intern
Describe your duties:
I was responsible for creating a standardized format for controlled documents for processes associated with DC motor production for all GE locomotives including assembly as inspection. I also designed devices to be used in response to corrective action requests to reduce defects. I co-led a design project for devices to be used during assembly of DC traction motors. A small portion of my summer was spent redesigning assembly line workspaces in order to comply with Lean manufacturing processes.
What did you enjoy most about your internship?
I really enjoyed working on the manufacturing floor and being able to see all processes associated with production, first-hand. My supervisors made sure to give me projects that were interesting to me and let me work independently to increase my ability to seek resources available to me.
What was the most difficult aspect of the internship?
One thing I found difficult to deal with was the complicated process of getting from point A to point B. Because GE is so large, there are many necessary steps to complete and people to speak to before anything can be approved and implemented. Also, the unionized production team and upper management often have differing views of how a business should be run. Constantly taking every point of view into consideration often complicated tasks.
How did your experience at Bucknell prepare you for your internship?
Teamwork was one of the most valuable skills that I utilized this summer. Convincing others that your way is best and overcoming obstacles in order to implement a new idea requires not only the ability to lead, but also the ability to work as a team player and consider all angles before finalizing an idea. A majority of my Bucknell engineering classes put a huge emphasis on teamwork, which most definitely prepared me for my internship.
How did your internship prepare you for a career?
My internship taught me things I never could learn in class. On the job training is imperative to a successful career. Not only did I learn things that would help me in a GE career, but I can also take away values that will help me in any job or any class in the future.
What recommendations do you have for other students considering doing an internship?
Make sure you intern at a company doing work you actually enjoy. Although all of your projects may not be the most exciting, there is plenty of opportunity to learn about everything the company produces as well as how they run their business. Pay attention to business practices while interning for a company. Every corporation is very different and if you are considering a full time position in the future, you should make sure you have similar values. Although I am an engineer and I care a lot about the technical aspects of products, it is also very important that the company I end up working for treats employees (upper management as well as unionized operators) with respect. Also take note of opportunities within the company. If you plan on moving up the ladder relatively quickly, make sure you intern for a company that has such possibilities.
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