Ready to enhance your engineering skills for future employment in the field of engineering? Seeking an opportunity to fulfill experiential learning requirements? If you want to be recognized for going above and beyond, while developing your sense of independence and adventure, check out an internship abroad! Joseph discusses how he achieves this and more, through an Engineering internship in Greece.
Hi Joseph! Why did you choose to do this engineering internship abroad?
In order to graduate, a period of 12 weeks industrial training is required. I chose this internship abroad to help me achieve that and more - I saw it was a great opportunity to enhance my engineering skills for future employment in the field of mechanical engineering.
I also consider that employers would likely perceive an internship abroad as an achievement as it showcases my desire to go above and beyond to get a step closer to a fulfilling career. Especially since the experience requires a step outside of my comfort zone and helped me to develop my sense of independence and adventure.
At the same time, since I must complete my internship to graduate from my degree, I chose to do it in Europe so I could also explore and travel on the weekends. This allowed me to explore different cultures and histories, such as Greece, Jordan and Italy.
Who did you work with in Greece, for this engineering internship?
The placement was situated at the Automotive and Industrial wing of the International Hellenic University in Sindos, Thessaloniki. It involved engagement in many projects, with a predominant focus on drones and their mechanisms. This placement demonstrated to me the nature of a mechanical engineering workspace. The types of work and activities done each day were clearly highlighted and I was able to operate at the same rhythm in order to train myself for the future workplace.
I was directly involved in the customization and development of drone components as well as the construction of components for land vehicles through the use of the CAD software SOLIDWORKS. It also involved an assessment and analysis of how mechanisms can be improved upon and what measures to implement. Overall, this experience related to many of the main tasks that Mechanical Engineers are directly involved with.
How did your internship role and responsibilities develop and progress?
Prior to arriving at the internship, I initially thought I would be directly involved in practical tasks from the first week. However, this was not the case - and I am glad it wasn’t, as a period of theoretical training and learning in the beginning is crucial, so that you can develop a better understanding of the tasks and assignments that will eventually be completed.
My experience during the first week was one of hospitality and generosity by the locals and the internship team. During the second week, the introduction period of training was cemented and I was more prepared for the more practical upcoming tasks.
This gradual approach was beneficial because it helped to ensure I gained a thorough understanding of projects and, as I progressed, a more vivid picture of the expectations and responsibilities I was required to uphold became clear. During the first two weeks, I enriched my report writing, research and learning skills, which is important for a career in engineering, as we can be expected to frequently produce reports.
From the third week onwards, I was then expected to utilize the theoretical training I’d completed (in the first two weeks), to commence the more practical aspects of the internship.
Can you tell us about the practical aspects of your internship?
My focus of this internship was regarding the mechanical nature of drones, so I was tasked with familiarizing myself with the anatomy and mechanics of drones, prior to designing my own, through the use of the 3D CAD software of Inventor, and finally printing it through the use of a 3D printer.
My proudest accomplishment was coming out with my own personal design of a UAV drone, and 3D printing it. This experience enhanced my modeling skills and taught me about the mechanics of drones. Hence, my modeling skills and knowledge regarding the mechanics and electronics can be offered to future employers.
What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
Not being familiar with the software required during my internship slightly prevented me from solving professional problems as I had to learn them from the beginning such as Cura and Inventor. Also, it was my first time learning about the anatomy and mechanics of drones and so I had to spend some time learning about them prior to delving into the practicalities of the internship.
If a problem was encountered during the internship, I would always ask the supervisors for advice and guidance to ensure the best decision is chosen to tackle the problem. Since they’re better trained, they always helped with any complications that were encountered. Every week I would receive criticism in both a professional and academic context regarding my work to ensure I was on the right track. This was extremely effective and beneficial, as the quality of my work was improved and the learning process became more efficient.
Being abroad for this internship, did you encounter language barriers?
The local team at the internship communicated with me in English, which ensured I understood everything occurring within my placement. Outside of this, overcoming the language barrier whilst performing daily tasks in public was a challenge but my understanding of common Greek phrases facilitated the process slightly. I endeavored to learn the fundamentals of the Greek language to try and overcome the challenge slightly.
What were the most notable highlights, successes and favorite moments?
In the beginning, the tour of Thessaloniki was really memorable, as the city is far more culturally and historically rich than I’d presumed. I enjoyed the fact that I was able to travel and explore parts of the city that my internship placement was situated in.
This internship will contribute towards my personal and professional development as it will appear on my resume for future employers to see and reflect upon. My greatest success was without a doubt the design of my drone. The modeling aspect of the internship also let out the best version of me, as it let my creativity unleash to experiment with different styles and fashions of designing. This brought great enjoyment to me as I was free to do as I please to design my drone and its components.
My internship supervisors were vital within my internship placement and I admired them due to their efforts in ensuring I was always on the right track and that my work was always completed appropriately.
My skills, personality and ideas have all been enhanced throughout my internship program as it offered a glimpse of what a job as a mechanical engineer would be. It was a perfect training period for future employment as an engineer. I was able to contribute with my own design to a UAV drone and then modeling it and finally 3D printing it. I feel more empowered to be successful in my field as this internship highlighted to me how proficient I can be as a mechanical engineer.
Intern Abroad HQ supplied me with the appropriate guidance and support whenever needed during my internship. I commend them for their efforts as they ensured I always had assistance whenever required during my internship.
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