Hello, again! It’s Samantha, the Mechanical Engineering Intern here at Bartell Machinery Systems.
After being hired a little over a month ago, there has been one glaring lesson that I’ve learned; the classroom is only ONE essential component of learning.
After being given my first project on my first day, I was overwhelmed. As students, we are challenged to understand and remember the things that you are taught while being able to consistently recall them on the spot. You need have all the answers to the questions. Success on tests and quizzes are proof that you know the material, and retention of that material is required in ordered to be successful in your studies and career. My overwhelmed feeling came from initially not having all the answers to the project, my test!
But one aspect that sometimes is overlooked during your efforts to achieve your undergraduate degree is that it’s okay to not know and that asking questions is encouraged, if not regarded as a sense of achievement, in the workplace. Critical thoughts and questions demonstrate an ability to comprehend the challenge and a self-reflection of your own capabilities. Your colleagues are full of different experiences, backgrounds, and knowledge; and between you and your team, you should be able to fix the issue or solve the problem within the guidelines given. People are also not given tasks to be set up for failure. Your coworkers want to see you be successful and the employees at Bartell Machinery Systems are committed to each other and their goals. No one worker is expected to have all the knowledge necessary to complete the task at hand, because if that was the case; no company would have to hire more than one employee!
Having an internship gives you the upper hand against other candidates, because you have learned on the job, and the job is where most of your learning takes place! Don’t get me wrong, there are some requirements and skills you need when applying for a job, but a company never expects you to come in knowing everything about how they work. But the purpose is to use the ideas, skills, and concepts that you have been introduced to, and apply them to the company’s needs. A big learning curve is figuring out how the company you are working for is set up, and how they do things.
So, ask many questions and don’t be afraid to not know an answer; you are there to learn, every day!