I worked in the Caterpillar Inc. Joining Technology and Advanced Structures Division as a Welding Engineer Intern. During my internship I got to learn about all the different things that go in to the manufacturing process. I even got to help the company save money by helping to find ways to optimize certain welds. I enjoyed going to work every day because it meant I was going to learn something new and keep me interested in Welding Engineering. Living on my own for the first time in a place I have never been too showed me a lot about what type of person I am and who I want to become.
The main project I was assigned gave me a great opportunity to get a hands on experience and to find ways to think and be creative. The main objective of my project was to be able to find ways to make welds using a robot that follow certain engineering standards. That way in the factory they know they will get the weld that meets the proper standards and not have to do any excess work to correct a bad weld. In Essence save Caterpillar Inc. money by getting it right the first time.
Getting involved with this project was very rewarding for me. I gained great experience by using a welding robot. I learned how to control the robot and how it works. I even got to write some programs. I did not write good programs at first but I figured out what was wrong and learned a lot from messing the programs up.
For this project I had many good mentors that were able to help me learn. One of my mentors held a welding class for all the interns in my division. In this class he showed us how to do different kinds of welds and how they would be used in the industry. Many of these different weld techniques I have only read about. Seeing and getting to do different kinds of welding techniques was extremely beneficial for me because it helped me to fully understand them.
Joining Technology and Advanced Structures, the division I worked in was a research department of Caterpillar Inc. Before I started working at Caterpillar I did not really know what it means to do research in the engineering field. After working I have a much better understanding of that because of this my career aspirations have changed and I would like to be doing research sometime during my career. Some of the people I work with had their names on patents. I think that would be so awesome if one day I could hold a patent. It just excites me knowing that my job could be to find new ways of doing things and having other people use something I helped to create.
Living and working in Peoria, Illinois gave me a lot of self-realizations. One of those realizations was; your youth is not something that should be squandered. One day I overheard one of my coworkers discussing with one of his supervisors about how he did not want to travel abroad for a couple of weeks. This blew my mind I couldn’t understand why he did not want to go on a wonderful expenses paid trip. Then after talking with other interns about this I found out many of my older co-workers don’t like to be away from their families for weeks at a time or that travel abroad can be very exhausting. Then somehow this made me realize that when you’re young you are able to do a lot more things. So now while I’m young I need to take advantage of every opportunity given to me from a new experience or to having the chance to learn something new.
When I started at Caterpillar I noticed that some of my coworkers were not necessarily happy that they had to be at work and that made me have my second realization. I realized that I am very lucky to have found something I will be happy to do in my life. Then I realized how do I know 100% that this job would lead to my ultimate happiness in life? I thought about this for a while and I decided that after I graduate college, if the opportunity arises that I want to live in the Dominican Republic where I have a lot of family for a while. I want to live there because life is a lot simpler there then it is here in the United States. When my life gets simplified I’ll be able to figure out how or what my ultimate happiness in life is. To end this report I would like to say to all my fellow college students that the ultimate goal of college is not to help you land that dream job it should be to find out what you can do to make yourself happy for the rest of your life.