In summer 2017, I completed a manufacturing engineering internship with Novabus (Volvo) in Plattsburgh, NY. During this experience, I took part in various projects and industrial tasks. I worked on a project to increase production by redesigning a part of the assembly line so the company could produce more buses per day. I also worked with the industrial team at Novabus to take on other tasks like line balancing, time studies, and risk assessments. Besides those major tasks, I also worked on side projects with the operational development team to predict production floor readiness, design KPI boards, and create a checklist for jig analysis.
This experience was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. After high school, I was undecided of what I wanted to study in college and always kept trying to get into the corporate life so I could understand what it was really like. I’ve had two internships in the past which helped me learn a lot; however, I felt less involved in the office for both of those experiences and felt like I wasn’t taken seriously enough. But this summer with Novabus, I couldn’t have asked for more. After settling on industrial engineering as my major, I have to admit that I was a little scared to see what it would be like to be on the field. This experience with Novabus helped me feel more confident about my choice of major. I worked with the industrial team to do the exact same tasks the engineers and techs did, and I learned a lot from them. It made me realize that industrial engineering is the perfect major for me and helped me clarify my goals for the future.
I took both IE 327 and IE 322 courses during the spring 2017 semester, they covered a lot of topics on time studies and work station/center redesigning. They also covered the NIOSH lifting guide and CTD Index along with some work flow processes which really helped me when working on risk assessments. Due to some previous practice in time studies, it was an easy concept to pick on and after learning the application Novabus uses, I was on my own conducting time studies on assemblers quite smoothly with the rest of the industrial team.
From this experience, I have taken away a bunch of memories and lessons. I’ve realized the importance of industrial engineering and its several components like production, quality, supply, and build. I have also learned the importance of having healthy relationships with the office workers and assemblers. Conflicts arose at times and I learned how to resolve the conflicts in a calm and comfortable manner. Besides those, I have also learned a lot about the office culture and what it’s like to work in a plant. Thanks to this experience, I have realized that in the future, I want to first get an MBA (and maybe a PHD in industrial) and then work in product development to design newer, better and easy-to-use, user-friendly products for people. I also want to work to make the manufacturing environment better by making production processes easier, faster and more efficient.