Today is the Viterbi Career Fair! Internships and preparation for your professional career are important parts of any college experience so I thought today I would share both why and how I got to spend my summer at Castwell Products Inc. And, more importantly, how my internship better prepared me for my future after USC.
There are plenty of indecisive freshman, those who don’t know, those who kind of know, and those who think they. I had no clue. Luckily, I did enough research to at least know I wanted to stay in engineering. One of the great resources available to all freshman engineers are Viterbi Coachs. (check out their website for more info about what they do! http://viterbi.usc.edu/students/undergrad/fye/academies/coaches/) I asked my coach for guidance as to how she decided. She told me about her internship after freshman year and how that helped her decide to study Industrial/Systems Engineering. I still wasn’t sure about which major I wanted to test out, but I knew real world experience would be the best way to seek my answer.
Amidst a conversation with my father, I learned his company was looking for an intern so I saw it as a perfect opportunity to start my search. I got an interview through my Dad, during which I asked questions to see if they could help me in my search. I found out Castwell was a small business so I could work directly with all levels of employees, they would expose me to every department, and best of all it was paid. It was a perfect fit and I never looked back. I learned AS-400, worked with the MAGMA modeling software, acquired human resources skills, and picked up metalworking skills. This ultimately gave me insight into chemical engineering, industrial/systems engineering, and computer science through real-world experience.
Is this significant in my career plans?
Of course it is! I’m still deciding what job I want but I now know my major and am closer to where I was at the beginning. Castwell Products gave me the greatest oppurtunity to grow and that is the most important quality of an internship; forget about the prestige of the company. My time at CP gave me skills I will use for the rest of my professional career, many of which are unique insights into other fields besides Computer Science. USC Viterbi hosts several engineering career fairs during the semester and I know the knowledge I gained from my internship will help me stand out at every one of them!
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