School of Engineering students share internship experiences in front of peers, judges
On Tuesday, Engineers Week continued with the fourth annual “Interns Present” event at the Busch Campus Center. It was hosted by the Lockheed Martin Corporation and the Phillips 66 company.
The event was composed of three main parts, spanning about three and a half hours, including presentations from students, and concluded with a question-and-answer session with the presenters.
"Interns Present" is an opportunity for students in the School of Engineering to discuss their internship experiences in front of their peers and judges from the professional industry. Through this, students get to learn more about internship possibilities and receive advice on how to obtain internships in the future.
Henrik Pedersen, the associate dean for Lifelong Learning and Professional Education, began the evening with a welcome address to the audience.
The evening began with the first round of presentations, where presenters were split into two groups and presented simultaneously in different locations. A group of six presented in "The Cove," while a group of seven presented in the multipurpose room.
In the first round, presenters discussed their internship experiences, how they got their internships, how they applied and what they learned during their job.
Judges were comprised of Rutgers graduates and professors in the School of Engineering, including Bob Birkland, an alumnus who is the chief financial officer of a group of companies near Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Mike DiBuono, an alumnus who works for the Lockheed Martin Corporation.
Presenters came from a large variety of majors and backgrounds ranging from electrical and computer engineering to aerospace engineering.
The students interned at corporations across the country, such as Tesla, Inc. in California, General Dynamics Electric Boat in Connecticut, United Technologies Corporation in Ohio, Boeing in Illinois, Johnson and Johnson in California, Credit Suisse in New York and the Rutgers Wireless Information Network Laboratory (WINLAB), in North Brunswick.
Samantha Hansen, a senior in the School of Engineering, discussed her experience as an intern at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
“I worked in the optics and imaging department,” she said. “My primary responsibility was working on emerging mirror telescope technologies, so that included mirror testing at space light conditions in a vacuum chamber at cryogenic temperatures.”
Essentially, Hansen was trusted to work with testing mirrors in conditions similar to those in space. She also performed a study to research the feasibility of manufacturing methods in mirrors, she said.
Hansen was selected for her internship because of her educational background at Rutgers.
The classes she took here, as well as her background in physics, made her an ideal candidate for her internship, she said.
“The reason my mentor selected me as the internship candidate was that he enjoyed the materials background that I had,” she said. “I had taken classes in mechanical properties in materials, mechanics of materials, computational solid mechanics and things of that nature.”
Following each presentation, the judges graded each student and ranked their performances. After a short break, the second round of presentations began where four students presented in the multipurpose room one last time.
After the first round, the audience was invited to vote for who they thought was the best presenter out of the group they watched. The student with the most votes was given a "People’s Choice Award."
Following the second round of presentations, the students were scored again and ranked. They were then gathered in the multipurpose room for a question and answer panel open to the audience. Finally, awards were given out to the presenters, including a "Best Presenter Award" and the “People’s Choice Award.”
Through all of the presentations, Hansen said she wants the audience to have gained a sense of confidence, to accept new situations and learn as much as possible from them.
“I hope (the audience) learned you often find yourself in situations that you don’t anticipate, but I think that lessons have a way of sneaking up on you and you will learn things in places that you don’t expect,” she said. “Take advantage of opportunities (and) close no doors.”