By Joselyn Patterson. Being a member of the Dream Team has taught me valuable skills. Skills that I will take with me into future internships, co-ops, and even into my career. I learned about the many advanced functions of Siemens NX as well as the basics of PTC Creo. Most importantly, however, I learned how to carry myself in a professional manner.
Coming into the internship with a working knowledge of NX helped me. However, it wasn’t what got me through the summer. What I knew gave me a good base to build off of. Throughout the summer, I gained knowledge of the more advanced tools that NX has to offer. Two features, in particular, were the surface functions and the FEM functions. I modeled a flight control grip for an aerospace company using Realize Shape—a tool that lets users manipulate a simple geometry into a complex shape. The customer was looking into different 3D modeling softwares and manufacturing techniques. I knocked the project out of the park with my hard work and research for the company. Everyone was impressed with my innovative way to model the grip and the research I did on 3D printing.
The other project I worked on this summer in NX was creating FEM files of a golf club for the client to test with. The golf-centric company sent me a Parasolid part to start with, and I created a useable 3D mesh for testing purposes. I then had to convert the file into a format that the company could use. Before the Dream Team, I only knew the bare bones of the Pre/Post module in NX. Now, I can create a meshed model with a variety of tools and verify that it will be satisfactory to run tests on. I now also know the basics of CFDs, thermal analyses, and structural testing from watching tutorials.
When I wasn’t busy with flight control grips or golf clubs, I learned Creo. I wanted to learn another commonly used 3D modeling software. In about a week’s time, I learned many of the software’s functions. I knew the program enough to model a brand-new idea for a client. They had a brilliant idea that I had to figure out how to model with a software I barely knew. I took on the challenge and overcame it through hard work and trial and error. I produced a model for the customer to review.
Before having this job, the real world seemed daunting to me. As a student, the idea of having a job scared me. How will I handle that much responsibility? Will I be able to get everything accomplished on time? When I mess up, will people laugh at me or look down on me? Now, after my summer with VMH, I have learned that having a job is not as scary as I once thought. Email is a businessperson’s best friend, and the calendar is useful for managing my day. Both tools combined helped me manage tasks and get them done on time. The best thing was learning that the people on the other end of an email chain or a phone call are just that: people. Others were willing to assist when I had difficulties, and they listened to what I had to say. I slipped up at times, but everyone helped me so I could learn from my mistakes. No one laughed. After this internship, I know that I have nothing to fear from the real world.
Interning with VMH this summer taught me advanced features of NX, the basics of Creo, and how to carry myself in the business world. Now, I feel confident that I can go get a higher up internship next summer and move on to a successful career as a mechanical engineer after college. Armed with the tools I learned this summer, I know that I am ready to take on what my next internship or co-op will throw at me.