The College of STEM at Youngstown State University focuses a lot of time and energy on promoting internships and hands-on experience for its students. The students gain valuable knowledge through this work because it is more than just an extension of their education. Taylor Simcox, a recent civil engineering graduate, explained the importance of her internship experience with us.
Taylor interned at Union Metal Corporation in Canton, Ohio, starting in the fall of 2015. The primary focus of her job was designing poles that support traffic lights.
“Designing poles sounded like the most boring job on the planet and to be completely honest, I didn’t know poles required engineering,” said Taylor, thinking back on her first impressions of the job.
She had expected to be given intern-level responsibilities at Union Metal. After all, she was an undergraduate student working as a part-time, temporary employee. As time went by, Taylor learned and grew with the company, taking on a bigger role and handling more responsibilities.
“In the spring I was assigned my own state, meaning I would handle all calculations and drawings that came through for the state of New York,” she said. “This was usually reserved for full-time, experienced engineers.”
She continued to grow within the company, working hard and taking on more responsibilities as a professional engineer.
Taylor accepted a full-time position at Union Metal in June 2016, just before graduating in August. She plans to continue her education in the near future by pursuing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.
At YSU STEM, student success is a big deal. We’d like to congratulate Taylor and wish her well for the future, and we’d like to leave you with a bit of advice from her:
“You have to express how you feel to your superiors. If you feel like you’re not getting enough work or if the work isn’t challenging enough, tell them. Show interest and ask questions, bug the right people for more responsibilities, and never let anyone tell you that you aren’t old enough or in the correct class level to apply for an internship.”