Sullivan participated in a co-op at ABB, a global leader in power and automation technologies, located in Wickliffe, Ohio, from January to August as a proposal engineer. She secured the co-op through a past Internship/Co-Op Expo.
“It bridges sales aspects and engineering, which is kind of nice because you get to see all different facets of the company,” Sullivan said. “A proposal engineer creates a technical document that details all different parts of a project, and then it’s sent to a customer so they can determine whether or not they want to purchase the engineering project.”
To complete these proposals, she had to do cost analyses, create system architecture drawings and create engineering estimates. Each proposal took anywhere from an hour to a week, depending on how large the project was.
“They actually gave me a lot of responsibility and freedom, so I worked on larger control system upgrades, and I was able to run risk-review meetings,” Sullivan said.
She said that being able to run the risk-review meetings gave her a lot of confidence. As a sophomore at the time, Sullivan was able to lead a group of people that were high up in ABB and answer their questions. She said that along with the proposals and risk-review meetings, she was given other small, side projects to work on.
“I wrote different work instructions, detailing our departmental processes, and then once summer rolled around when the new co-op came, they told me to be his mentor,” Sullivan said. “I had to teach him how to create proposals and everything.”
Sullivan plans to return to ABB in the summer, where she will be working with the systems group. Until then, she has her sights set on taking steps to further her education.
“Right now my plan is to study for the GRE over winter break, take that, and then during my senior year I will apply to grad schools and a bunch of jobs,” she said. “Ideally I will be able to get into a school close enough to a job that I acquire, and I would like to start pursuing a master’s while I’m working.”
Sullivan is involved in many STEM-related groups, such as the Chem E-Car team, the Society of Women Engineers, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Tau Beta Pi and the Stem Leadership Society.