As any master's student who aspire to work in industry after graduation, I started looking for summer internship back in September 2021. As I was still adjusting to this new country and new environment, we were notified of the Engineering Expo being organized by SEC (Student Engineers' Council) at Virginia Tech. I had little time to prepare but I quickly updated my website and resume, took some print outs, attended a few company information sessions and then went for the expo. It was overwhelming to see so many companies and students vying for suitable positions but the disappointment and desperation set in as very few mechanical engineering companies were open for international students.
Cummins was there in the virtual booth on Day 2 and there I had a conversation with Mr. Chris Reading who is a member of Cummins Recruiting Team at Virginia Tech. Soon after the expo, Mr. Reading emailed me about setting up a Zoom interview with Mr. Tim Britt who is the recruiting team leader for Virginia Tech students at Cummins. They initially suggested me to apply for Customer Engineering position on the Cummins job portal which I did. After an hour long interview with Mr. Britt, I was approached by Ms. Annushka Chin Fong (CES Americas Customer Engineering Manager, Cummins Emission Solutions) to set up another interview with her. The interview went for more than an hour where I was asked about my previous work and academic experiences and also about different scenarios where I had to prove my mettle. Subsequently, based on my interview, I was suggested to apply for Systems Engineering Intern position by Ms. Melissa Londeree (US College Recruiter, Engineering). After applying and quick followup after 2 weeks with Ms. Fong, I got the offer letter for the position for Model-Based Systems Engineering Intern on November 10.
Before the internship officially started, I had a couple of meetings with my manager and a colleague. I had asked them about skills or resources that I should be looking at in order to prepare myself well for the internship. They suggested me to look into SysML and a few other links for the reference. My team was really small, only 4 people out of which one was a contractor and the other later joined from a third party. So the colleague in questions is the only full-time employee working on MBSE in the entire company. Having a small team had a great advantage as I got to learn so many new things at an accelerated pace while making impact.