Going into college as "undeclared" can be a little unnerving, leaving students feeling the pressure and urgency to pick a study and career pathway. Santa Ana College mechanical engineering student, Giselle Estrada, was undecided until her second year of college where she set out to figure out what her interests were. That's what led her to studying mechanical engineering.
With assistance and direction from Network Kinection, employment partner of Santa Ana College, Giselle was able to get an internship with Hydraflow.
In her own words, Giselle shares how classwork has helped throughout her internship, struggles she's faced, and advice for students who are entering the workforce.
NK: What influenced your decision to study engineering at Santa Ana College?
GE: My name is Giselle Estrada; my major is mechanical engineering. For as long as I can remember, I have had an interest in technology, electricity, and how things work. However, I was undecided until my second year at Santa Ana College. After doing extensive research, engineering met my interest, values, passion, and abilities. I am currently taking physics, and next semester I will be taking my last physic class for my Mechanical Engineering AS.
NK: What are some of your responsibilities at Hydraflow? What challenges, if any, have you experienced throughout your internship?
GE: Landing a job/internship is its own struggle, but Network Kinection made it possible. The internship at Hydraflow was great because I was able to get a glimpse of the engineering industry. I was working in the bagging area, which is an entry level position. They use a software to lab the bag with the appropriate information upon the customer’s request. If anything was wrong then there was a report that was followed, which was a big deal. The goal was to complete the daily orders with no mistakes. Classwork helped me feel prepared and ready for this opportunity. One of the most useful skills that I put to practice in this internship was reading blueprints. As far as struggles, I wasn’t helped by my leads and was left on my own for the most part. I wasn’t scared of asking for help when I need it which helped me get the job done.
NK: What advice do you have for other students who are interested in applying for internships within their career field?
GE: I would definitely recommend doing an internship sooner than later. And taking a few hands-on classes which helps a resume have more content.