What is LINK?
Animas High School professional work experience through an internship. Throughout the internship, interns complete academically rigorous projects at their internship sites that benefit the organization as well as extend their learning beyond the classroom. Students learn how to thrive in the workplace and are able to connect their coursework to their experiences in the professional world. The students get to share their work from the project and the internship with the community as invited.
What was my LINK?
WHO: Malibu Boats
WHAT: Engine development as well as engine and boat testing. Learning about the manufacturing process, and how a large engineering company works together.
WHERE: Knoxville, Tennessee and Fort Meyers Florida
WHY: I am interested in engineering and this internship gives me the most hands on learning experience I can get.
Throughout my LINK internship I learned about how engines work, how work in a big factory works, how to manage time and many other useful skills. I also learned a lot about what I do but also a lot about what I don't want to do. This internship provided me with new knowledge on boats as well as what being an engineer would entail. The first week was a lot of following and watching what was going on around the factory and lots of meetings about what was to happen within the next month. The end of that week and the week after was a lot of testing and fixing. There was a broken engine that I got to help take apart and put back together and even got to conduct my own prop test. A prop test is when you use a program called DIACOM to measure all of the aspects of the engine and the speed when testing a different propeller on the back of the boat. This week was a lot of testing and very engaging however it was the last week at the factory. The last week I went to Fort Meyers, Florida and we were testing the boats in warmer water to make sure that they worked. Though there weren't many, we had a few encounters with overheating parts and some mistakes on parts and connections. Overall we collected a lot of data and the boats seemed to run very well.
Throughout this internship, I had a lot of successes however I also faced a lot of challenges with working with such a big company and so many people with a lot of jobs. Being a high school intern was hard for a few reasons, I was too young to do some of the things you needed to be qualified for and there were always people more capable of doing the task then I was. I was one of the four interns, the other three were all college students that were there for a year so it was hard for me to fit in so to speak. Nevertheless, I got to talk to them about college and what they were studying and what they wanted to do and this was definitely one of my biggest takeaways from the internship. I also made new friends, both college students and adults which was a lot of fun. The main challenge I faced was not really knowing anything about boats. When looking for internships I just wanted something along the lines of engineering and this was just that, engineering for a large, high demand company. However I knew nothing about boats so it was hard for me to help out and do things without asking a lot of questions about it. Though this was very difficult to overcome, I quickly learned more and more, picking up some terms here and there. I also learned that it is okay to go into it knowing nothing, that is where the learning comes in! From this, I learned that you can always ask questions, no matter how bad you think they are and that saved me and helped me learn as much as I could.
I absolutely loved this internship and I am so thankful to the people that helped me get there and everyone that made it possible! Going into this internship I was confident on my engineering skills and my ability to learn and pick things up quite quickly. I was prepared with my problem solving skills and my technical thinking skills. With my background of rocketry and engineering classes I had a great handle on how things worked together I just didn't know specific parts. For example I knew how an engine worked in general however I could not tell you what a part was called just by pointing it out. Furthermore, the most important skill that I developed was how to ask questions and advocate for myself even when I was afraid it was a terrible question. I think that this skill will come in most handy later on in life. I also learned from my mentor that "the more you do today the less you have to do tomorrow" and I don't think I will ever let that go. It was the most important thing I learned by far. Though I did not know much about boats or how the engines of boats work, I got to learn all about it and overcome the challenge of not knowing. I was also able to connect with the people older than me and quickly made some new friends that I am glad to have gotten to know.
These internships would not be possible without strong, welcoming companies such as Malibu Boats or welcoming families such as the Peterson's. This experience what beyond that of any other high school or field trip offered. I really got into the engineering field and I got to see what I might or might not be doing one day. This experience was one of the best I have ever had and was probably the most valuable. If it wasn't for the welcoming company, the amazing host family, Animas, or my family I would have never been able to experience this. Having been able to live in Tennessee/ Florida with people I had to get to know was just as much of an experience as the internship. I think that my mentor should keep accepting high school students because if it wasn't for this opportunity, I could have ended up going into the wrong field or study the wrong thing. This internship helped me to see that I might not want the sit in front of a computer and record data all day, instead I want to explore the world and what it has to offer and decide from there what I want to do that will help out the world the most.
For my project, I learned all about the props and how they can affect the boats speed, the efficiency, as well as how they can affect the abilities of the boat. I was introduced to the spreadsheets and the data that they had complied for all of the tests. I worked on Compiling all of the data and extracting the new measurements for the RPM that they wanted. I also got to conduct a test of my own with the prop and record the others tests that we did while I was there. I got to work the DIACOM, the program they use to measure everything they need on the engine and the boat, and I got to drive the boat through the step tests and the wide open tests.
Just got the thumbs up that I have my internship 100% confirmed and I couldn't be more excited! I even found a mountain bike race up there that I get to do! I leave on Thursday and will have the weekend to get warmed up. I am very excited to do this and I think that I will learn a lot and have a lot of fun. Now I just need to pack and maybe even try to learn some about boats. For this internship I was hoping to bring a high level of enthusiasm and excitement into the work field as well as strong problem solving skills. I think that I brought all of these to the table and it helped me tremendously. I am hoping to leave a mark of excitement of engineering as well as positive vibes and new ways of looking at problems.
The government has reopened and both NASA and the Smithsonian are too busy to take an intern at the moment so I am contacting a few other places to see if they take interns. I have contacted a family friend who works at a boat manufacturing/engineering company in Tennessee and really hope that I get this internship. It would offer me some amazing opportunities to experience first hand marketing and engineering of all sorts.
I have been in contact with both NASA and the Smithsonian however the government has recently shut down and the companies are not allowed access to their emails so I can not contact them anymore. The shut down has also caused to companies to be extremely busy so getting back into contact with them will be fairly hard. At the moment I am really nervous that I won't have an internship that will help me however I am trusting that I can find a company out there that will offer just what I need.
We are begging the first steps for a long process of finding our LINK Internships. I am looking for internships with big Aerospace and/or engineering companies such as NASA, Raytheon, Areotek, the Air and Space Smithsonian Museum, and a few others. I am hoping that I can find an internship out of state and use this amazing opportunity to go explore future endeavors and new places.
I am hoping to find an internship that will help me have some really great connections in the future. I have backup options such as Stone Age in town, United Launch Alliance and a few others. I hope to be in contact with them sooner than later.
Excited to intern.