Passing Along the Knowledge
One of the 3 goals of our business model is to mentor young engineers. As part of that we ask our graduating interns to write testimonial letters documenting the results of their experiences. Most are rather brief. Sometimes they never appear at all. Today we received a letter from an intern who graduated a year ago. It was music to our ears because we clearly achieved our goals with this young woman.
To students looking to be interns, Engineering is generally thought of as one of the most applicable majors. Graduating seniors can apply for jobs right out of school without additional schooling, but few know what a product development engineer really does day to day. I found this out through interning with Bob and Kerry at Springboard. They have a system set up that allows interns to understand what actually working as an engineer feels like. I’m talking about activities like communicating with clients, testing prototypes, constructing robust SolidWorks models, working with local manufacturers, and even smaller activities such as contacting vendors for quotes. They are fantastic guides and they allowed me the freedom to take on a project and experiment and make recommendations on how the project should move forward. I’ve talked about my experiences in every interview I’ve had, and used most of the skills I picked up already in my job now.
One of the greatest benefits to working at Springboard was that I could go in anytime that I could. I worked during the semester, and often could only go in after hours. During the summer I worked for them, I was able to take a class. This probably would not have been possible at another internship, and with a double major this meant I did not have to overload my schedule during the year. Finally, Bob and Kerry are great to work with. They value every opinion and the depth of knowledge about product development is incredible. I learned so much when I was just sitting in the office and never felt like I was in their way and could always ask questions.
To improve the experience, I would recommend possibly having interns work together more. I think this would increase progress on projects. I’ve found at my job now it helps me to talk through portions of projects with my coworkers and make sure that I am moving in the best direction.
Otherwise, I would highly recommend this to any student, especially those looking to go into consumer product development, as it gives valuable work experience in a flexible environment.
Name withheld for public posting