From Intern to Pro: Meet Mechanical Engineer Joseph Park
August 22, 2016 | Jessica Baris, Communications Specialist and Copywriter
From Intern to Pro is the first in a series of profiles of Maxwell Technologies engineers who started their careers at Maxwell as interns. Joseph Park has been a mechanical engineer at Maxwell for five years and shares this insight on how finding the internship opportunity led to his first full-time position upon graduating the University of California, San Diego.
Q: How did you obtain your internship at Maxwell Technologies?
JP: I was a fourth year student at UCSD finishing up my senior courses and labs when I found my internship at Maxwell Technologies. The internship was my first proper job—at least for something that pertained to what I spent the past four years studying.
I participated in an internship program on UCSD’s campus. I completed a professional resume and cover letter. The internship program office had a career counselor and computers with a job database. I entered my major—mechanical engineering—in the database, and the internships that applied to my major appeared from the search. That’s how I found the internship at Maxwell.
Q: Why was the internship a good opportunity for you?
JP: It was an exciting opportunity because it was a culmination of all the years I spent studying. Until that point, all I knew about what real life, adulting, and what my major and career had in store for me is what I found through Google.
Q: What did you accomplish during your internship?
JP: Most of my time was spent working on sustaining, which means upkeep of current ultracapacitor production products. After some time, I got the chance to start designing small parts and fixtures for ultracapacitor modules with the support of senior engineers. Maxwell Technologies manufactures ultracapacitor modules for energy storage, and the modules are a system built from ultracapacitors.
Q: How did your internships evolve into a full-time position?
JP: My supervisor was pleased with my work, so one day he approached me and asked if I wanted to be hired full-time. I said yes because it was a great opportunity and I enjoyed the challenges of the position.
Q: How is your full-time role different from your internship?
JP: I started off designing small parts, and now I am designing the whole system and all the integrated parts for that system. I collaborate with other engineers during design reviews and also take part in the product testing portion. I also have more independence and responsibility.
Q: What do you appreciate most about your internship experience at Maxwell?
JP: I definitely appreciate the helpful mentors and people taking the time to teach me. It was nice that I was able to just walk up to someone, ask for their support, input or suggestions, and walk away knowing more than I did before talking to them. Also, the experience I gained in designing product parts was very valuable to me. My current goal is to just keep learning new things and improving myself.
Q: What advice would you give to a current student preparing to enter the workforce?
JP: It’s okay to make mistakes. Just own-up to your mistakes. You don’t have to be perfect. A colleague of mine taught me that Post-It Notes was invented out of a mistake.
Communications Specialist and Copywriter
About this author
Jessica A. Baris is communications specialist and copywriter at Maxwell Technologies and enjoys telling a good story. Her background includes writing and editing for the high-tech, construction, and meetings and conventions industries. A San Diego native, Jessica earned a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of California, San Diego and a Master of Arts in rhetoric and writing from San Diego State University.
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