Overcoming the first career hurdle – what does an engineer actually do?
When leaving high school, Emma was faced with the age-old challenge of choosing what to study at university – we’ve all been there, haven’t we?
Her teachers recognized her strength in Math and Science, and encouraged her to explore engineering. This sounded like an interesting career… but Emma recalls having no idea what an engineer actually does… “was it like a train driver or what does engineering actually look like? The terminology is used in so many different ways”.
After doing some research she realized that engineering had so many different incredible career paths. She was most attracted to Biological engineering, considering its broad application across a range of industries such as agriculture, animals, and medicine. So off she went – exploring the world of biological engineering at Ohio State University!
Industry experience is essential, but there is always room to learn more…
Emma landed a biomedical internship during the summer of 2020 where she further developed an interest in the medical aspect of biological engineering.
It was during this summer that she learned about Forage’s GE Digital Technology Enterprise Virtual Experience Program through her Engineering society group chat. The program had been referred by a GE employee – and she saw it as an awesome opportunity to learn more and expand her industry exposure:
“I thought maybe I could do this on the weekend to get more insight into GE. I knew that GE Healthcare was a goal of mine to work for them, and I thought this was the best way to get there…
It provided me with another experience that was different from what I already had – at the time, I didn’t have anything from school or my existing internship that focused on what this program was focussing on. For me, it’s about having more opportunities and insight into as many companies to help make decisions.”
The program helped Emma get a head start on her career journey with GE
Emma was offered and accepted an internship with GE Healthcare for the summer of 2021 – she found completing the program ahead of her application had a significant impact on her journey:
– She could refer to her experience in discussion with GE recruiters – allowing her to be specific in why she was interested in GE and demonstrate her interest.
– It helped her to make a career decision – having experienced a taste of life at GE, she could continue with confidence that it was a company she wanted to work for.
– She was more prepared for Day 1 – having been exposed to GE ways of working through the program, Emma was familiar with some of the terms used by her team from the beginning of her internship. This foundational exposure helped her to pick up the work quickly – and she was impressed by how accurately the program reflected the work she did in her internship.
“During my internship with GE, I saw that what I learned in the program last summer was really coming into play… the hypothetical project I was doing on wind turbines with fishbone process mapping & solutions which I did casually on the weekend actually helped me out during my internship when projects came up…
I’d only done the experience once, so I wasn’t an expert yet – at least I wasn’t the person in the room who had no idea what was going on. I had a baseline knowledge and I could go from there.”
Her parting words for future students…
Emma describes the program as an immersive online experience – giving you unique insight into a particular company, and helping you to get your foot in the door. She highly recommends it to other students to get ahead and expand their horizons!
Congratulations again Emma on completing the program and your GE Summer Internship!
Connect with Emma on LinkedIn here.
Follow Forage on LinkedIn here.
By Annabel Gurney