The first day at any new place can be very interesting and exciting. My first day started at 8:00am for intern orientation. One piece of advice I would give would to be there early and make sure you know where you are going! I got into town on Sunday and made it a point to drive over to the campus and make sure I knew where I was supposed to be and park, etc. Showing up late on the first day is never a good start.
Anyhow, I got there early and we started our orientation. That pretty much took up the entire morning and was mostly presentations from different departments with information we needed to know about the company and working environment. After the orientation my boss came over and walked me over to the plant where I’d be working and showed me my office and introduced me to everyone around the office. Between meeting everyone and getting things set up I didn’t have much time to actually start on anything.
Luckily for me I had all of Tuesday to get reading the materials they had for me on all of their projects and especially the ones I’d be working on. It’s a necessary evil to any job, just stacks of technical papers to get acquainted with things, but it is important if I want to be of help to them this summer. It was a long day but I learned a lot, so it wasn’t too bad.
The next day, and for the rest of the week for that matter, things started to pick up a lot. I started out helping with documentation, which may not sound romantic, but it’s a very important part of the business. The group I’m with is a Systems Engineering group which means they do all of the top level design work and requirements information, and then they hand down the component constructions to the different specialties. It’s a very interesting task to start to compile one of these documents, which is what I was doing. It gives you a lot of respect for a design team, as you start going through a simple device and breaking it down and discuss what requirements it needs to have and then how you design in those requirements; and subsequently test to make sure they are indeed satisfied.
Currently there are two documents I’m working on for one of our projects. The first is a document that discusses the primary item specifications. This document breaks down requirements into many subsets and can later be used to verify that the final device meets the customer requirements. The second document discusses the interfaces that our product will have and what kind of data will come out of the different connectors. This allows the customer to begin to design both the hardware and the software that they will need to integrate our device into their system.
Well that’s my first week hopefully next week I’ll get into the lab and be able to help do some testing and simulation on some of the other units that we currently have!