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Mechanical Engineering Summer Internship

Old 09-30-2019, 07:51 PM
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Default Mechanical Engineering Summer Internship

I posted a thread about a year ago asking about careers in Civil Engineering. However, after working as an estimator for a construction company this summer, and a lot of deep thought about my career options, I decided to switch to mechanical engineering. I am a sophomore at NC State. I think that I want to work as a manufacturing engineer, but honestly I've never worked in the field so I don't really know. I love working with my hands, and I actually have a pretty well equipped shop in the basement of my house at State. However, I am also very interested in my schoolwork and the theoretical/design part of engineering. I know many of you own businesses in engineering related fields, so if you have any internships available, or just have some general advice for me I would greatly appreciate it. The company I worked for last summer has said I can come back and work on MEP systems for their buildings, but I want to branch out from construction. At the end of the spring semester I will have made it through fluids, thermo, dynamics, and solids, but not any of the really in-depth ME classes.

Thanks for the input!
Old 09-30-2019, 08:22 PM
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based on your last episode here I say stick with civil



gotta have thick skin jr
Old 09-30-2019, 08:22 PM
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One thing that I would suggest is to consider starting as a CAD guy. I know a few people that have done this, and made it work very well. My observation is that the interns are put on busy work in many cases, but a designer will be given real work.

Also, one thing that I can't emphasize enough is to study. I just went to U of MD, which is a OK, but not elite school. In the classes that matter, I spent a LOT of time. Normally, I did every problem in the book 3 times, and for my control system class I had 3 books, and did every problem in those books. In order to be capable of synthesis, you need to internalize the subject matter. Most people do not do this, but if you do, you will be able to eat the other guys lunch.

How about Pharma? That used to be big in NC, but it's been a while since I did that.
Old 09-30-2019, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rbhankins001 View Post
based on your last episode here I say stick with civil



gotta have thick skin jr
I don't know (or care) about any episodes, but you do need to have thick skin.
Old 09-30-2019, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Time Machine View Post
I don't know (or care) about any episodes, but you do need to have thick skin.
oh you missed out then

Old 09-30-2019, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by BostonWhalerSeaHunt View Post
I posted a thread about a year ago asking about careers in Civil Engineering. However, after working as an estimator for a construction company this summer, and a lot of deep thought about my career options, I decided to switch to mechanical engineering. I am a sophomore at NC State. I think that I want to work as a manufacturing engineer, but honestly I've never worked in the field so I don't really know. I love working with my hands, and I actually have a pretty well equipped shop in the basement of my house at State. However, I am also very interested in my schoolwork and the theoretical/design part of engineering. I know many of you own businesses in engineering related fields, so if you have any internships available, or just have some general advice for me I would greatly appreciate it. The company I worked for last summer has said I can come back and work on MEP systems for their buildings, but I want to branch out from construction. At the end of the spring semester I will have made it through fluids, thermo, dynamics, and solids, but not any of the really in-depth ME classes.

Thanks for the input!
Wise choice switching to ME. I recruit in this field daily for Mfg. Engineers. Salaries are skyrocketing... especially for a young person with hands on skills.

Stay the course!!
Old 09-30-2019, 09:00 PM
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For the internship I'd say consider the co-op program instead. You'll get a lot more experience and it looks great on the resume. Also, you should consider joining an engineering club. I was involved (heavily, to the detriment of my grades) with Wolfpack Motorsports and cannot recommend it highly enough. The networking alone will be invaluable, and hiring managers will LOVE that you've actually designed, engineered, machined, fabricated, run FEA, etc in school for something that isn't part of the standard curriculum. Senior design is crap. No one cares what you built. But if you have good co-op and other hands on experience like this, you'll have a HUGE leg up when it comes time to find a job.

You're on the right track in trying to get an internship. I'll take a lower GPA with experience over a 4.0 with only classroom experience every single time.

Good luck; once you get past your sophomore year, things start to get easier. The classes are hard, but you should be learning how to properly study by then, even though you're still in the weed-out courses now. It will all start to make more sense...and remember to LOOK AT YOUR UNITS!!! If the units aren't working out, you've done something wrong. Wish I would have realized this sooner.



Any questions feel free to PM me. And State blows chunks at all sports apparently so you should be studying all weekend vs going to watch our pathetic football team. Just kidding.
Old 09-30-2019, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by NCSUboater View Post
For the internship I'd say consider the ....
Nice
Old 09-30-2019, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by NCSUboater View Post
It will all start to make more sense...and remember to LOOK AT YOUR UNITS!!! If the units aren't working out, you've done something wrong. .
Wait! So PSI and PSF are not the same thing???? I'm taking fluids right now and half the errors I make are because of unit mismatches, at least I didn't design a satellite that totally missed mars.

Old 09-30-2019, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by NCSUboater View Post
For the internship I'd say consider the co-op program instead.

You're on the right track in trying to get an internship. I'll take a lower GPA with experience over a 4.0 with only classroom experience every single time.
.
I have thought about doing a co-op, but I don't think it makes financial sense considering the opportunity cost of graduating a semester late. I would rather do internships during the summer and be able to graduate on time, also a lot of the higher level ME classes are only offered in the fall/spring so a co-op throws that off. I am not totally against it, but I'm leaning towards just doing summers.

I don't understand people that don't get internships during college, especially in engineering. The pay is so much better than any other job, and I'm in engineering school because I want to be an engineer, not work some dead end job during the summer.

Old 09-30-2019, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by BostonWhalerSeaHunt View Post
I have thought about doing a co-op, but I don't think it makes financial sense considering the opportunity cost of graduating a semester late. I would rather do internships during the summer and be able to graduate on time, also a lot of the higher level ME classes are only offered in the fall/spring so a co-op throws that off. I am not totally against it, but I'm leaning towards just doing summers.

I don't understand people that don't get internships during college, especially in engineering. The pay is so much better than any other job, and I'm in engineering school because I want to be an engineer, not work some dead end job during the summer.
When you get older you will realize that a semester is less then a blip on the radar of time. Make decisions around what is best for 15-20 year down the road you, not 3-5 years from now you.
Old 09-30-2019, 10:08 PM
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Thinking outside of the box, might want to check out the CIA for internships. They have some very difficult Engineering issues to resolve. The clearance is worth a lot in industry, if you decided to move on. Other options include the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) they design, build and operate overhead assets. Pretty high tech stuff. The FBI also has ME’s working as Engineers. My neighbor just retired from the FBI where he worked as an EE, not an agent.

Plan B, Cisco in RTP hires a lot of Engineer interns. Not sure of any pure ME positions, but they hire a lot of Engineers and train them as needed.

Now with that said, from one BSME to a soon-to-be BSME:

i spent the first 7 years of my career working with NASA, working on the design, build and testing of the MMU that flew on three Space Shuttle Missions. I was in a first name basis with several Astronauts. The last 30 years of my career was working with the Intelligence Community (IC). I am retired and looking back on my career, my proudest and most technical achievements were not when I was working with NASA.





Last edited by cws; 09-30-2019 at 10:37 PM.
Old 10-01-2019, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by BostonWhalerSeaHunt View Post
I have thought about doing a co-op, but I don't think it makes financial sense considering the opportunity cost of graduating a semester late. I would rather do internships during the summer and be able to graduate on time, also a lot of the higher level ME classes are only offered in the fall/spring so a co-op throws that off. I am not totally against it, but I'm leaning towards just doing summers.
I don't understand people that don't get internships during college, especially in engineering. The pay is so much better than any other job, and I'm in engineering school because I want to be an engineer, not work some dead end job during the summer.
As a general rule Co-ops make more money than an intern, are given more meaningful work assignments, are more likely to be offered a job after graduation and make more money when they graduate. Almost every engineering Co-op I have known were making more than entry level engineers their last couple work semesters.
You can work out the class thing and the co-op coordinator can get you priority.
Old 10-01-2019, 05:19 AM
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As an me who graduated a few years ago, I second the co-op. Graduating with a year's worth of experience and doing more meaningful work will open up better jobs at graduation.
Old 10-01-2019, 05:41 AM
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2 words. Virtual Design.
Old 10-01-2019, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Time Machine View Post
One thing that I would suggest is to consider starting as a CAD guy. I know a few people that have done this, and made it work very well. My observation is that the interns are put on busy work in many cases, but a designer will be given real work.
^^^This is the route that I took - It worked for me but I'm am pretty much a nuts-and-bolts guy. Even as a lead and manager I still take projects and do real work. 32 years in engineering, haven't been unemployed for more than 11 days (knock on wood). Laid off once on a Wednesday and started a new job on Monday, it really helps to keep in touch with your old colleagues.
Old 10-01-2019, 06:35 AM
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internship pay is different from one company to the next. assignments are very different, I have been at companies where interns essentially filed papers and took out trash, other companies interns were given very real projects.

a couple I would tell you to look at are Lockheed Martin, GE, and Polaris. if you are interested in engines or vehicles Polaris has some very fun toys to play with. their manuf plants are pretty high tech.

all 3 of those give interns real work, as well as money.
Old 10-01-2019, 06:52 AM
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Where you live during the summer will have an impact on who you can intern with. if you're willing to move around a bit Raytheon has co-op and internship opportunities at multiple facilities across the country.

At least half the summer interns I work with in my group wound up coming to work for Raytheon when they graduated.

the interesting thing about working for a Raytheon or Lockheed Martin or Northrop Grumman etc is you could be working on anything from underwater systems to space systems and everything in between. Much of it is truly bleeding edge engineering that you simply will not be exposed to in civilian manufacturing world

Good luck to you coming from a 45 year career ME
Old 10-01-2019, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by NCSUboater View Post
LOOK AT YOUR UNITS!!! If the units aren't working out, you've done something wrong.
Recently retired Mech E here.

Having a finely honed BS detector took me a long way in my career. Understanding units was probably the most important tool in that box.
Old 10-01-2019, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Barefoot View Post

Recently retired Mech E here.

Having a finely honed BS detector took me a long way in my career. Understanding units was probably the most important tool in that box.
Yeah that and having good wordsmithing ability when it comes to every engineers favorite thing...the much acclaimed CYA email.

"Yeah I'm just gonna copy your boss, your boss's boss, and the department director on this email detailing what I've done in the event you want to backtrack a year from now. And I'm going to save it in a folder along with all the others locally for future reference"

EVERYONE blames engineering for EVERYTHING. Marketing, manufacturing, test, procurement...they all have full time job duties of throwing engineering under the bus. For NPI product release, the name of the game is to stay less behind than SW/FW or electrical engineering so you're not the long pole in the tent (get used to that phrase)


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