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Dayton Engineer

Connor Carroll taking a selfie outside in front of the Pro Metal sign.

Summer Co-ops and Internships Build Skills and Resumes

During the summer, hundreds of engineering students are completing co-op and internship experiences in Dayton and beyond. 

Connor Carroll, a sophomore industrial engineering technology student, is working this summer at Pro Metal Works in DeForest, Wisconsin. 

We recently asked him a few questions about his experience. 

How did you find out about the internship opportunity?

I had a youth apprenticeship with Pro Metal Works my senior year of high school through the Dane County Youth Consortium. I reached back out to them asking if they would take me on as an intern and they agreed. I got to take on bigger work loads than my previous apprenticeship and had a lot more responsibilities. 

What did you work on during the internship?

I learned how to program, set up and operate multiple different machines. I got to see how the entire business works, from engineering aspects of how to create fiber laser programs in the shop, to the manufacturing process that uses those programs. One project in particular that I got to work on was using Solid Works to create new steps for their company truck. I took measurements of the old, rusted steps, created a 3D model, converted it into the fiber laser software and then manufactured it. 

What did you like best?

Pro Metal was very welcoming, helpful and determined. The entire staff is kind to everyone and treats each other like family. They have high standards, so it was easy to associate it with how hard everyone works. 

What do you wish was different?

I got to do many small, independent projects but I wish I was able to work on bigger tasks that would require an entire team. I also wish I got to sleep in later, but it was a warm welcome into the real world!

How will you use what you learned at your internship in your classes, future internships and your career?

I will take many aspects from my internship into my future career. Time management and learning how to program, set up and use various machines are some of the skills I will use in future projects. 

It was great to see how other engineers make their programs more efficient and problem solve for faster production. For example, one of the engineers here came up with the idea for creating hidden tabs on parts. This allowed them to take out a whole component of tabbing in the manufacturing process. It saves the shop copious amounts of time and allows other employees to work on different parts. 

I learned that there is always a way to make a process more efficient. You just have to put your mind to it.

What is your advice for other UD engineering students completing co-ops/internships?

Be flexible. There are going to be times when the shop is slower and there is not as much work in certain departments. Be flexible so you can move around and help out where it is needed.

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