The Second Half – Weeks 7, 8 & 9

For the second half of the internship I had a hard time coming up with things to write every single week – my projects seemed too fragmented to figure out how to reflect on them from an analytical perspective, but now that I am done with that I feel more comfortable looking back at how things went for those weeks.

On the personal side of how these weeks went by, at first I felt a little stressed out since everything seemed to crumble on the week that we were away for the GMI course. Unfortunately, it seemed like they were counting on us during the shutdown (Manufacture engineering does not take a break! Ever!) but in the end we managed to figure things out. It was definitely a bumpy restart once we came back as it was hard to meet with whomever I had to meet. Also, it seems like the anxiety from having to move to another country for a few months soon added to all the things that were going on at the office got the best of me: I caught a cold and I had to stay home for an entire day. Luckily we had a holiday which I could also use to rest and recover; the fact that I could go home to my family also helped me recover even quicker. On the brighter side of things, as the weeks went by I started feeling more confident in the projects I was working on, knowing my way around the office, knowing exactly who to talk to and even asking around whenever I got stuck. I think the fact that I was assigned a fourth project more in line with my skill set helped that final and much-needed confidence boost.

In summary what I was most busy with during the second half of the internship was figuring out how to get the RF weld project moving. I seemed to have a lot of trouble with getting the samples prepared as there were many procedures that I was not too familiar with; even when I had read a lot of SOPs about how to proceed, it is very difficult to know *who* to talk to, where to go and which things I am authorized to do or not. Having to deal with a vendor was a very enriching experience – I even got to submit a purchase order (after the due lengthy procedure). I must say I was surprised that I was entrusted with managing a purchase, but it was a welcome experience. Since I was working with money, I got to interact with my cubicle neighbors: the purchasing department. I also got to know a little about shipping and logistics since the samples had to be sent abroad. Unfortunately I do not think the test results will be out before I leave but it is still an accomplishment to have done all the research necessary to know that the tests had to be done in the first place.

Curiously  enough I was assigned a final project the week before I am scheduled to leave. However, as I mentioned earlier, I am very interested in this project since it involves something I am more comfortable with: electricity. While – as always – I cannot go into detail, it involves testing wires and their electrical characteristics. Even though I am a little tight on time, I still think I can contribute to finding a solution to the problem they’re having. I wish I had done something like this from the beginning but I guess I have learned a lot about things that are not too related to what I was used to before. Hopefully I can get some results before the closing presentation on Week 10.

My supervisor keeps pointing out how hard it is to get things done without pushing people, and she is right to tell me to push people more. I guess it is a little harder for me to be too insistent with people considering I am only an intern and it is not within my personal traits to be as pushy as I should be to get results. I hope I can improve upon that before I finish; I am aware that I am not too assertive at times and I may find it challenging as an introvert but from the start I have welcomed challenges as I believe it is the core of any learning experience.

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