Midwest, you have swept me off my feet

Hey there, readers!  I managed to forget June existed on the blogging front, but that doesn't mean I wasn't up to cool shenanigans! This is my quick attempt at filling you in on my summer internship, as well as a small list of reasons as to why everyone should try to spend some time in the summer in Milwaukee. I will apologize up front for the lack of pictures in this post-I'm not allowed to take any pictures at work, but if you could see the sweet workstation at my cubicle...

How Olin has prepared me for my summer internship:

With four weeks left in my summer internship, I figure now's a great time to start reflecting! This summer, I've been working at GE Healthcare in Waukesha, Wisconsin, with my fellow blogger, Brittany.  This program is strongly tied to the post-college rotational program, which you can read about here .  I hadn't been to Wisconsin before May, let alone spent more than a week in the Midwest at the age of seven. The lifestyle here is very different, and everyone's super friendly. As Alex  ('15) likes to say, the Midwest has swept me off my feet.

As you may have read before, my major is technically engineering with biomechanics.  Whenever I tell this to people, they either ask me what that means, or assume prosthetics. To be honest, I don't know what my major means to me yet; that's why I left it so open-ended; however, I did create my major with the intent of being able to learn a large variety of things; breadth rather than depth, if you will. This summer has been much more electrical/computer based than my previous summer/major may seem.  I've spent quite a few hours [read: most of my time] using MATLAB, learning about image processing algorithms, and taking data on XRAY systems. I can say this with complete certainty: if Olin hadn't exposed me to MATLAB in excess my first year, I would not feel nearly as comfortable in the position I am in. 

You've all read it, heard it, or seen it: fact is, Olin can be a very much hands-on environment. This is great for taking data on machines [which is awesome, by the way], and creating a plan of action for solving a problem. The very first day of work, when I was given my main project, I broke out some sticky notes, and attempted to identify assumptions I would need to make when working on my project.  After a week of working, turns out I had way overspecced the project.  I think the fact that I over-prepared myself for the problem I faced is a direct reflection of Olin's creation of great problem-solvers.  I also feel fortunate that my communication and "people" skills are strong because of the structure of many of my Olin courses, as well as the leadership roles I fill while at school.  I also feel fairly confident as a female engineer in the industry, which is something I am often nervous about.

On Milwaukee:

This city is AMAZING! I highly encourage you [whoever may be reading this] to spend a summer here. There are actually quite a few companies based in the area, with large summer internship programs, and there have been others here at said other companies [hint, apply!].  I'm living with three other GE Healthcare interns: one each from University of Florida, Bucknell, and UC Berkeley! It's been a great way for me to branch outside of the Olin bubble.

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This city ALWAYS has something happening every weekend. There is normally a cultural fest each weekend [the picture above is from Polish fest], but one of the highlights for me, the music-crazy kid, was summerfest, an 11-day music festival that brings in all sorts of amazing artists. I was able to see more than ten of my favorites for relatively cheap, some of which are shown in the collage below.  I saw Rascal Flatts, Fun, Trampled By Turtles, Imagine Dragons, Motion City Soundtrack, Death Cab for Cutie, and many others!  There's also the fact that we're right by Lake Michigan, which is quite pretty, and Chicago, where I'm headed in a few weeks!

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If you're in the area, make sure to come to the summer party in a week and a half! I'm excited for my first summer party not in my home state, although I will miss my Floridians.

With all of that said, I cannot wait to be back at Olin. I've been getting exponentially more excited for my third year, for the classes, and to be back with everyone I call my Olin family. Thanks to google plus for letting me see many of their faces at once =]. I'll try to post more about my summer soon!

 

 

Posted in: Class of 2014