Mechatronics Student Makes the Best of Mechanical Engineering Internship
Velco Tool & Die has been a good opportunity to grow my skills as a CNC operator as well as use some of my manufacturing skills I learned at Santa Ana College from an engineering class.
Zachariah Gomez has been interested in mechanical engineering for some time now, having been in a competitive robotics club during his high school years. Now, he applies that enthusiasm and his knowledge from his classes at Santa Ana College, to his engineering internship with Velco Tool & Die.
Zachariah learned about this internship opportunity through the partnership between Santa Ana College and Network Kinection. Read about his internship experience with Velco Tool & Die and how he's been able to utilize his college coursework knowledge and apply it to the best of his abilities.
NK: What influenced your decision to study mechatronic engineering at Santa Ana College?
ZG: I'm Zachariah Gomez and I'm a student at Santa Ana College. I'm very interested in manufacturing, computer aided design, mechanical engineering, electric engineering, and computer programming. My major is mechatronic engineering since my interests completely make up that major and I was in a globally competitive robotics club when I was in high school.
NK: What are some of your responsibilities at Velco Tool & Die? What challenges, if any, have you experienced throughout your internship?
ZG: Velco Tool & Die has been a good opportunity to grow my skills as a CNC operator as well as use some of my manufacturing skills I learned at Santa Ana College from an engineering class. I have been running Wire E.D.M machines that make very small parts that are used for medical purposes. I've been at Velco for a little over 6 months now and I had gotten a good mix of the kind of parts that are made in my department. When I first arrived, it was essentially a new part every other day. I've been chosen to specifically run their actuator parts because my supervisor likes the way I run them. I am cross trained to run a majority of the parts my department runs just in case some parts have more of a demand than others. I'm hoping in the future I will be able to learn how to operate a CNC mill and what kind of parts that department runs.
NK: What advice do you have for other students who are interested in applying for internships within their career field?
ZG: To others who are seeking out an internship or job here that the skill level is low and easy to learn but if you want something highly technical and challenging then Velco may not be for you. I'd say that working in a machine shop has helped me practice my drawing reading skills and have giving me a perspective on how some parts could be manufactured for engineering purposes. Not every part comes out perfect and the operator needs to tune the machine to make the exact cuts. For manufacturing taking classes helps quite a bit as I've seen and heard that many employees are taught by their companies without going to a traditional school. Many employers seek out people who have taken manufacturing classes.