I've had the opportunity to work for three different companies, working in Controls Engineering, Software Engineering, and Electrical Engineering.
My most recent summer internship was at Polaris Industries. There, I was in charge of overseeing multiple cross-team projects for future vehicle developments. I coordinated new vehicle controllers, verified test results, coordinated needs and wants from multiple teams, and developed a test bed for upcoming electronics.
The biggest challenge for me at Polaris Industries was managing all of the different people who wanted to use my time. Everybody naturally thought that their project was most important so I had to do a lot of explaining of why I couldn't prioritize their project. After the first couple of weeks, however, it just seemed like second nature for me to say no to a project every once in a while.
The automotive industry is vastly different than consumer electronics or hobby electronics. Safety is critical and process is very important. I had to adjust to the new way of designing at first, but after a little bit, I realized how important planning was to projects and instantly saw ways I could apply my new project management knowledge to my own life.
At the end of my internship, I gave a presentation on what I had done, what I had enjoyed about the internship, and made some suggestions based on my unique position as an outsider. As a long-time employee, it is easy to miss things that would seem obviously wrong to an outsider. Since I was the outsider, I was able to find a lot of things I thought were curious and share them to management.
I worked first as a Software Development Engineer in Test at Workiva. I transitioned in to a Software Development role after working there for 10 months.
At Workiva, I have the opportunity to develop for a cutting edge application that allows for companies to manage their data smarter by eliminating duplication and the need for humans to verify numbers. Our automated data-linking technology has made huge ripples in the financial services industry and we continue to expand now.
I implemented a testing system that verified the functionality of our app by testing various UI features before any code could be committed to the master branch. I developed a number of additional features, coordinating closely with our User Experience resources, to improve the usability and friendliness of our application.
I've worked at Workiva part-time during the school year since the beginning of my Sophomore year. The experience that I've gained there has been invaluable and I am frequently able to present my work to upper management at our team reviews.
As my first internship, I worked as a Controls Engineer for Danfoss Power Solutions in Ames, IA. In general, I worked on Programmable Logic Controllers and industrial automation equipment. I worked on a shared controls team at the company which meant I got to see many different parts of the manufacturing business.
My biggest project was taking a $250k allocation for new touch panels on the line that hadn't been touched for 9 months, and putting them into action. I watched a lot of tutorials and was able to learn this new piece of software at the company. I asked a lot of questions to the workers on the assembly line to find out exactly what they wanted to see in new touch panels.
I worked for Danfoss for one extra semester, part time, and successfully finished 15 of the 16 panels for the team. For the last, I finished extensive documentation for the team to finish installation and support the panels in the future.