Students interested in manufacturing careers find there’s no better resume builder than experience
So, you’ve decided to pursue a career in manufacturing. You’ve focused your studies, switched programs, perhaps even schools, and are well on your way to embarking on a career to pay off ten-fold.
Have you considered an internship? Manufacturing students who participate in internships or apprenticeship programs boost their chances of landing a job after graduation, many becoming employed at the very companies where they served as interns.
Here are a few young manufacturers whose internships helped propel them toward success.
Ruden embarked on her first internship with UTC’s Otis Elevator Co. in 2017. Today, she has completed her second summer with the company and plans on interning again – next year – after she’s graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a degree in mechanical engineering. Ruden says working at Otis has boosted her career and her confidence.
“When you’re in school you’re at the same aptitude level as everyone else and you start to wonder, ‘Am I really cut out for this?’ Having supportive mentors at UTC has helped me to believe in myself,” said Ruden.
Title: Propulsion intern
Company: UTC’s Otis Elevator Co.
Lives: New York City
Makes: Products for customers in commercial aerospace, defense and building industries
Career aspirations: To become fully employed at UTC – Otis
At Otis, Ruden joined the coded steel belt group, working on new testing procedures for primary elevator qualification belt screenings. In layman’s terms, she worked to reduce safety risk by ensuring belts won’t break down in the future.
“My main project this summer was to work with my mentor in the Otis test tower,” said Ruden. “I learned how to design an experiment, understand data and statistics, and present my project at the end of the summer. I was also fortunate to have the opportunity to work, individually, at my own pace.”
The most exciting and rewarding part about working for UTC Otis was the support network, Ruden said.
“My mentors were my biggest fans; they let me tag along to meetings and inspired me to be inquisitive. Working here has reminded me why I went into engineering in the first place,” Ruden said.
UTC is looking for fall interns, especially in program management. Plus, they don’t require applicants to have a formal agreement with a college or university. Applicants can explore open internship opportunities and set up notifications alerts by going to UTC’s careers page.
Ruden plans to pursue her masters at WPI once she completes her undergraduate program in May. She hopes to complete a third internship with Otis next year and, if all goes well, one day become a full-time employee.
It’s not unusual for internships well-spent to lead to full-time gigs. Cordero, a 26-year-old Guilford resident, connected with Bombardier while studying at CT Aero Tech school for aviation technicians at the age of 23. Her journey into manufacturing was one she did not initially expect.
“I was in the nursing program at a local community college and realized it wasn’t for me. While trying to decide on a major, I was working for a motorcycle company and a friend told me to check out CT Aero Tech,” said Cordero. “I’ve always liked working with my hands, and I very quickly fell in love with learning about airplanes.”
Title: A&P (airframe and powerplant) mechanic
Company: Bombardier, Windsor Locks
Makes: Maintenance and inspections on aircraft, specifically Bombardier’s full fleet of business jets
Salary: $16 per hour
As luck would have it, a few month’s into Cordero’s studies at CT Aero Tech, a teacher told her and her fellow peers that Bombardier was seeking interns.
“It came down to Bombardier and Pratt & Whitney,” said Cordero. “But because I was fascinated with jets, I chose to intern with Bombardier.”
Bombardier performs aircraft maintenance and inspections, specifically on its own Bombardier fleet of business jets. During Cordero’s internship, she was matched with an A&P technician and learned on-the-job skills including running engine tests and pulling apart bugged systems.
“It was very much learn as you go,” said Cordero. “The longer I was there, the more hands-on I became, and the more responsibility I was given.”
Cordero started her internships in July of 2017 and stayed on through the following school year, putting in 40-hour work weeks during the summer and working second shift while going to school. She said Bombardier was always great about scheduling, giving students time off to study and take exams.
“They even gave me time to study for my airframe and power plant certificate, something that you have to do outside of school,” said Cordero.
Cordero has since transitioned from intern to full-time employee, something she says she is incredibly pleased about.
“I love being part of the Bombardier family. Regardless of what shift you’re on, we work together towards a common goal and when we accomplish something, we accomplish it together,” said Cordero. “In this type of work, we can’t make mistakes, and that makes each accomplishment that much more rewarding.”
The company’s internship program is its way of fostering the talent pipeline. By actively hiring and engaging young talent, it can effectively train and expand its workforce. You can explore Bombardier’s available internship opportunities by going to careers.bombardier.com
Coyle chose Paradigm Precision’s Engineering Development program after the company visited his school – E.C. Goodwin Technical High School in New Britain. He was in his junior year when Paradigm partnered with Goodwin in an effort to build a brand-new apprenticeship program. Coyle is one of the first students to ever participate.
“The program is structured into two-week blocks,” said Coyle. “Two weeks in school, two weeks in the shop. During shop cycle, we go to Paradigm two days out of the week and work after school the other three.”
Company: Paradigm Precision, Manchester
Makes: Parts for aerospace, land-based power generation and marine markets
Career aspirations: To be a CNC operator at Paradigm Precision
This past summer, Coyle put in 40-hour work weeks. This will enable him to finish the two-year program early. Paradigm Precision is a leading manufacturer of complex machined and fabricated components for the aerospace, land-based power generation and marine markets.
“I’m looking to jump right into the workforce when I graduate in June,” said Coyle. “I’m interested in being a CNC operator with Paradigm and will be applying for a full-time position as soon as I’ve graduated.”
Paradigm’s program was created in response to a void in state programming. The company is now working with the state to align its programs, outlining curriculums and partnering with local trainers and high schools.
“I love that I can take pride in what I do,” said Coyle. “Every day I get to work on something that is going to help someone else, and that is a great feeling.” ◾