STEP Internship Reflection: Emerson Climate Technologies

Name: Brian Seppelt

Type of Project: Internship

My STEP Signature Project entailed working as a Co-op for the A/C Quality Department at Emerson Climate Technologies in Sidney, Ohio. This project allowed me to cultivate and grow many of the skills that I have been working on since arriving on campus. A couple of my main responsibilities while at the company were performing data analysis, creating customer warranty reports, and writing Standard Operating Procedures. I performed a large amount of data collection and analysis during my spring term, as one of the many projects I worked on involved analyzing the different return reasons the company was seeing on different compressors, and how we could look to improve upon that. Creating Customer Warranty Updates was another large responsibility of mine, as it entailed creating useful charts and graphs of data, that would be used by my supervisor at quarterly meetings with the customer. Writing Standard Operating Procedures was another key task of mine, as it involved becoming familiar with some of the key processes that the Quality department dealt with, including running a Gage R&R on a new type of refrigerant they were developing. These projects all contributed to help me come to a better understanding of who I am, as well as the corporate world around me.

Throughout my term working at Emerson, it really gave me the chance to step back and really consider what I enjoy to do, and where I want my career to take me after I graduate from Ohio State. I learned a lot about myself during my time there, and I also learned what I really need to improve upon to reach my full potential. When I first started my term, I was unsure of how to approach different people in the workplace, as well as how to give professional presentations. This is a skill I found I needed to develop, as I realized I had not looked to gain leadership positions to cultivate these skills throughout my time at Ohio State. Throughout the term I found what works best for me when presenting, as well as how to best approach different co-workers for help or for various tasks or assignments. Throughout my term, I also found that I missed programming, and the related math classes that I had been taking at Ohio State, and realized that is something that I would want to work with at a job in the future. This helped me to make the necessary changes to my curriculum, adding a minor in Computer Information Science so that I can strive to have my future career be as enjoyable and fulfilling as possible.

 

I think that many of my assumptions were changed throughout my time at Emerson. I learned a lot about company communication and policies throughout my time at the company. One thing I found out quickly was that in anything you do, you want to be as succinct and to the point as possible, whether it is an email or presentation that is being completed. Many people at a company are very busy with their own work on a daily basis, so including extra information in an email or presentation can be detrimental to them getting their work done, and ultimately is time wasted on your part, as they may choose not to read through it anyway. I think another of my assumptions about how a production facility works were changed as well. I had never considered the dynamic between engineers, the quality department, lab technicians, factory employees, and upper management, but I got to learn just how all those relationships work together firsthand during my time there. With it being such a large operation, I learned that many of the lab technicians would report to the head of the lab, who would then bring his findings to the quality department, where they would discuss with engineers how to solve this issue. This being just one example of a working dynamic at Emerson, I gained a large deal of knowledge on the working relationships at the company. While I gained a great deal of knowledge at Emerson, the relationships that I formed and places I was able to travel to were more beneficial than anything else during my time there.

One event that overshadowed any other that I completed throughout my time at the company was the opportunity that I received to fly on a private company jet out to Lebanon Missouri. I was able to take this trip because of a project that I had been working on that involved the Line Returns at the Lebanon Plant, and findings that I had come up with to help out the World Class Quality Initiative the company was implementing at the time. I was able to give a presentation in front of a couple of the Quality Department Heads there, which gave me a large deal of experience developing my professional presentation skills. I found that I really enjoyed working on longer term projects and seeing them through, as the feeling of satisfaction that I got once an entire term’s worth of work was analyzed by the project engineers was a great feeling. This was ultimately something I thought would be incredibly satisfying to deal with as a career as a whole.

The relationship that I had with the other people in my department helped to change my view on company communications and policies. Everyone in the department was friendly and approachable, and this helped to make the transition for my first professional job much easier. Everything I learned about company communication in terms of writing emails or designing presentations was from the guys in the quality group including my manager. My manager was especially helpful, as we would have meetings every other week discussing the different tasks going on, and he made sure I knew what to do in order to properly prepare for a meeting. With their help, I feel as though I have grown greatly in regards to knowing how to conduct my projects in the workplace in the future.

The relationship that I had with the other co-ops at Emerson helped me to realize that I might need to adjust my course schedule to maximize my time here at Ohio State and graduate with skills that will allow me to work on what I want to in the future. I would meet for lunch everyday with about 10 to 12 other co-ops at Emerson, and we would discuss what kind of projects we were working on, or what might have been interesting from that day. It was from these discussions that I found the tasks for someone working in the project engineering department to be particularly fascinating. This is because he worked with the Data Analytics group there, and so we got into a lot of great discussions on those issues and problems they were tackling, and also how he had been able to obtain the position. It was from these talks with him that I realized a change in my curriculum was required, and so I am now working towards a minor in Computer Information Sciences, and it was all thanks to this relationship I was able to develop while working at Emerson.

 

These changes are valuable for my life because they all help to accomplish what I set out to do with this project, which was to gain experience at an internship or co-op, and learn what I need to focus on before I start to look for a full-time job coming out of college. The many projects that I worked on at the company will benefit me when interviewing or talking to recruiters. The changes to my education plan I believe will help me to land a job that I enjoy doing and find fulfilling in the future. My enhanced knowledge of company communication will help set me up for success at any future job that I get, as I feel as though many of the lessons I learned in that regard are fairly universal to many companies around the world. Finally, thanks to STEP, I was able to get the opportunity to work for a global company and see the in-and-outs of the operation, gaining a wide variety of skills in the Quality Department, which should benefit me for many years to come as I advance my professional career.