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Spotlights

What I Did This Summer – Systems Engineering Student Internships

What I Did This Summer – Systems Engineering Student Internships


Hands-on learning at Otterbein extends beyond the classroom — and beyond the academic year.

This past summer, 22 of the 25 systems engineering students secured internships with leading industry companies to gain further knowledge in their future career paths. Gary Maul, director of the systems engineering program, says having so many students acquiring internships this early in their academic career adds significant momentum to the program, which started in fall 2015.

“Traditionally, first and second-year engineering students don’t get this type of experience in the field this early. Our emphasis in the program, and at Otterbein, is hands-on learning from the beginning. Every student who wanted an internship over the summer got one,” Maul said.

Providing internship opportunities to students as early as their first summer creates a defining characteristic of what an Otterbein systems engineering education is all about.

“As seniors, these students will have a tremendous leg-up on the competition when they apply for jobs,” said Maul. “Employers, and potential students’ parents, see that we want our students to have summers that have meaning and that learning doesn’t just drop-off in May.”

Sophomore Miguel Pedrozo began his summer at Lake Shore Cryotronics with basic computer programming tasks that quickly turned into more complex circuitry work and problem-solving.

“This opened my eyes to programming. I hadn’t had much exposure to it before interning at Lake Shore, but now I love it. It was amazing to find a new passion,” Pedrozo said.

Pedrozo dove right into his job responsibilities and began rising through the ranks, culminating with Lake Shore offering him a part-time position during the semester and another position for the upcoming summer.

“Otterbein helped me understand how to learn on the fly and fully research a problem before I tackle it,” said Pedrozo. “A lot of my internship was self-taught and directed so my experience in class was a major benefit. Thanks to all my previous knowledge, I was able to succeed and be offered future employment with Lake Shore.”

Reagan Nemec ’19 started her internship with Honda in Marysville working on a project designed to improve assembly line reliability and trying to design assessments to help predict when stoppages could occur and how to address them to keep the line running smoothly.

“This was a big project that involved me traveling to several Honda plants throughout the area and speaking with other technicians. But it didn’t stop there. I got to see the bigger picture of engineering from not only the line workers but the executive offices as well. The assessments I created are now going to be implemented across the company,” she said.

Nemec is now also certified in ultrasound and infrared technologies, steps she needed to take in order to fully understand the scale of her reliability assessments.

“I had so many things I had to accomplish and so many places I needed to visit that the time management skills I learned as part of our engineering projects was a major help for me right off the bat,” she said.

Heading into his time this summer at Honda, junior Erick Martinez felt a little nervous.

“I’m heading into a Fortune 500 company for an internship with only one year of engineering courses under my belt. I quickly realized that I didn’t have to know all the answers to the problems but really how to find them. Professor Maul and Otterbein taught me that,” said Martinez.

Martinez’ internship focused on writing assembly line robot training software that will be used in plants across the United States, Mexico and Canada. He was surprised and excited to have the opportunity to do actual work that would have an impact on Honda’s future.

“This summer was amazing and showed me that I am capable of more things than I ever thought. I can find answers myself to a problem with confidence and critically think about a variety of solutions,” said Martinez. “I’ve never been a morning person either, but this internship got me out of my comfort zone and now I can do anything as early as needed.”

 

Learn more about Otterbein’s systems engineering program.