My internship as a mechanical engineer

Name: Kevin Viera

Hometown: Tampa, Florida

What is your major? Mechanical engineering.

Where are you interning? What do you do there? I’m interning at Puga & Associates, were I work as a mechanical engineer. Puga and Associates is a consulting and engineering firm that serves architects and developers in the State of Florida.

How did you get your internship? I received the position through a recommendation given to me by a member of my professional engineering fraternity, Theta Tau, the FIU chapter.

What advice do you have for those beginning the internship process? You should be proactive every day on the job. At first, you might be lost, but asking questions makes the process of adjusting much easier. You should invest in a notepad to take notes so that you do not have to ask the same question multiple times.

What projects do you work on? I work on many construction projects. My favorite is helping with the heating ventilation air conditioning (HVAC) plans. I  help provide heat calculations and energy calculations. The heat calculations tell me what size AC unit is needed for the zones that make up the building. Energy calculations verify that the project is following the correct codes for the entire system including the HVAC, lighting and plumbing.

How does your internship connect back to your coursework? I use the principles I learned in heat transfer, computer-aided design (CAD), and transport phenomena classes. All of my major classes correlate to the work I do at my internship. Most importantly, my classes helped me to understand the software that I use.

What is the coolest thing about your internship? What I enjoy the most about my internship is having lunch with everyone at the office. It’s really nice to share a meal with my co-workers and to take a short time just to relax and enjoy with each other’s company outside of the workplace.  

What do you like most about your experience? I really like working with my co-workers. I admire how hardworking and respectful they are. Their enthusiasm makes me enjoy being there.

What have you learned about yourself? I’ve learned I need to work on my organizational skills. You can never be too organized, and it will tremendously help in my daily life and later on in my professional career.


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