Summer internship helps industrial engineering student clarify career aspirations
Sophie Bucknell is a student in ASU’s Barrett, The Honors College, and a junior majoring in industrial engineering. The graduate of Xavier College Preparatory high school in Phoenix did an internship with the W.L. Gore company’s medical products division in Flagstaff. Here she talks about her internship experience:
Getting the job: I found out about this opportunity through the Engineering Career Center and then going to Gore’s information sessions on campus. I then signed up for an interview slot using Sun Devil Career Link.
The interview with two Gore associates was on campus at the Engineering Career Center and lasted about half an hour. It included a mix of technical and behavioral questions.
Being a sophomore and not having as many technical skills as other candidates, it was important for me to show how passionate I was about the company and how my work experiences outside the classroom had prepared me for this internship.
Job duties: I worked on developing a more error-proof material ordering system. This project involved integrating several systems into one. For this project to be successful, I had to work closely with people who interacted with the system daily so that I could understand their needs and where errors were occurring.
I also worked on a value-stream mapping project. A value stream map is a detailed process map that follows a product from start to finish through the manufacturing process.
Toughest challenge: Having so much to learn in such little time.
Best part of the job: The best part was the company culture at Gore. Everyone was really friendly, and I felt comfortable going to anyone to get answers to my questions. I learned so much and got to put some of what I have learned in the classroom to work. Also, it was cool to work in an office and be able to walk right down the hall and see the products being made.
Lessons learned: I learned so much by really listening to our customers’ needs. My projects were dependent on working closely with others and creating buy-in from key stakeholders. If I had not listened to what they wanted, I wouldn’t have been able to come up with solutions that they could trust and want to implement.
This internship opened my eyes to the important role industrial engineers play in the manufacturing world. With industrial engineering expertise, you are qualified to work on a wide range of projects involved in the manufacturing process, from the raw materials used to make a project to the packaging of the product.
Career aspirations: I would like to pursue a career in manufacturing.
Advice to internship seekers: Keep an open mind. Apply for any job that seems interesting because you never know what will happen and where you will find your passion.
Joe Kullman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering