1. Where are you currently interning and what are you doing?
I’m working at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base- Air Force Research Laboratory- Materials and Manufacturing Directorate as a Student research assistant. Some of my duties include CAD Modeling, 3D Printing, Mechanical Testing, Data Analysis, Composite Fabrication, and Fabricating adhesively bonded test specimens.
2. How is it helping you reach your career goals?
I have the opportunity to build a network with experienced researchers. I am also gaining real-world applications and a hands-on understanding of concepts that I have learned about.
3. Do you plan on staying in the Dayton region?
As of right now, after I finish my undergraduate degree at Wright State University, I plan on staying in the Dayton area and work for another defense contractor or other engineering firms.
4. Tell me a little bit about what you’ve learned throughout the course of the internship.
How to analyze data from an engineering perspective, designing of engineering experiments, properly running mechanical testing machines and test methods, and material processes for adhesives and composites.
5. Tell me about how SOCHE has helped you find the internship placement (especially during COVID).
I have worked for SOCHE since June 2019. It has been nice to work and go to school simultaneously. When COVID hit, we couldn’t work for roughly 2 months. However, with the help and approval from SOCHE I was able to start remote work and then slowly transition back into in-person lab work at WPAFB. Overall, SOCHE helped keep me engaged in my internship during the pandemic.
6. Is your internship online or a blend of both and is that working well?
I started my internship with SOCHE pre-COVID (June 2019) and it was fully in person up to COVID. At the start of COVID, it became solely online, but now it is more in-person. It has been working pretty well, When there isn’t much lab work to be done, there is always plenty of telework to do (data entry, etc.).
7. Why do you think it helps to learn on the job?
It helps a lot to learn on the job because engineering is such a broad field. As a student learning on the job has helped me have a better understanding of concepts taught in the classroom and making sure that you like what you are studying in school and enjoy working in that field.
8. What have you been able to accomplish so far at your internship?
My internship has allowed me to improve my team communication skills, further develop my CAD modeling skills, become more confident in myself and my work, and support the United States Air Force.
The Intern Spotlight Series are interviews conducted with current and past SOCHE Interns, discussing the value of their on-the-job experience at their internship.
If you are interested in hiring an intern, contact Patty Buddelmeyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 258-8890.
If you are interested in applying for a SOCHE Internship, go to www.socheintern.org.