Engineering Internship that Inspires

By Emily Gruss, Engineering Intern

As I’ve approached my senior year, I’ve frequently thought about what life will be like once I enter the professional world after graduation. I chose to study engineering because it seemed to be an interesting career path that could also offer job stability. Yet the two internships that I held in my first few years of college resulted in a disheartening lesson: what I want to do as an engineer wasn’t something that the typical engineer gets to do on a daily basis. Growing up, I had cultivated a passion for art and innovation, things that I hoped to incorporate into a reliable vocation. But I was beginning to think that the concept I had in my head of what engineers do was completely fictitious and that perhaps I had picked the wrong profession to pursue.

Engineering Internship - Emily Gruss - WMU Student

Towards the end of my junior year, I had an interview for an engineering internship with Tekna. Going into my interview, my expectations were admittedly low. I knew nothing about Tekna and assumed that it wouldn’t be much different from my other internship experiences—I couldn’t have been more wrong! After talking with the team, seeing the facilities, and catching a glimpse of the atmosphere at Tekna, I knew it was where I wanted to work. I excitedly accepted the engineering internship offer and anxiously awaited my first day.

As soon as I started, I was assigned to a variety of projects that involved testing, prototyping, sketching, and much more. I was asked to solve unfamiliar problems and given the time to learn and develop unique perspectives based on my own observations and experiences. The project managers encouraged me to tackle challenges without constraints, which led to inspiring collaborative discussions and original ideas. For the first time, I felt excited to come to work instead of counting down the hours until the end of the day.

Now, as I enter my last year of school, I begin the semester with a renewed interest in engineering. Although I still have some uncertainties about my future after graduation, I no longer doubt my career path. Moving forward, I will continue to nurture my curiosity and push the limits of my imagination, just as my time at Tekna taught me.

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