Success Stories

Internships are an integral part of the student experience at SCE. More than 75 percent of students gain hands-on experience through an internship, preparing them for future careers and making them more employable when they graduate.

Internships range greatly by company size, field, timeframe and location. Students in recent years have held positions with companies such as John Deere, Toyota, NASA, B/E Aerospace, Black & Veatch, Burns & McDonnell, Honeywell FM&T and Olsson Associates.

A few of the many recent internship success stories are featured below.

Sarah Withee - Perceptive Software

Major: B.S. in Computer Science

Company: Perceptive Software

Location: Shawnee, KS

Length of Internship: Summer

How did you get your internship? I had met three members of Perceptive Software’s human resources staff at events around town and at career fairs at UMKC. I had also been on a couple of company tours at their facility. They continually encouraged me to apply for the internship at Perceptive, so I applied on their website and sent in my resume. They had me come in for a code interview, which involved writing a small computer program to test my skills. After a week, I went in for a face-to-face interview at which they went over my program code with me, asked why I chose to do things the way I did and asked more questions. I also got the opportunity to ask about their jobs and more about the company. After about a week, I learned I was accepted for the summer.

Job overview: The interns at Perceptive were placed on actual production teams, so the code we wrote was placed into the actual software the company made, either internally or sold to clients. I was on the Business Intelligence team, which primarily worked with the reporting section of the program. My largest project was developing an automated testing framework for their reports, which drastically reduced the time the team needed to debug some of their issues. I also helped resolve bugs and converted one of their programs to be friendly for internationalization – basically allowing it to be translated into other languages.

Would you return for another internship or full-time job? I would gladly work for Perceptive again.

Jonathan Lamanes - Olsson Associates

Major: B.S. in Civil Engineering

Company: Olsson Associates

Location: Olathe, KS

Length of Internship: Summer

How did you get your internship? I met with a representative from Olsson Associates at the UMKC STEM Career Fair, where I provided them my resume. Afterward, I talked with one of my professors, who verbally recommended me to Olsson. I also sent a follow-up email and applied online. One month after the career fair, I was invited to the Olsson office for a formal interview, where I was offered an internship position.

Job overview: At Olsson Associates, I was on the Special Inspection (SPIN) Team. I performed geotechnical lab work, on-site evaluations of excavations/fills and concrete observations/testing. During my internship, I learned that Olsson hires individuals who are knowledgeable and confident in their field of study. Shortly after being hired as an intern, I was given the opportunity to complete fieldwork by myself. The main experience I gained as an intern was how to approach contractors with an engineering problem on the job site.

Would you return for another internship or full-time job? After completing my internship, I stayed in contact with Olsson and have accepted a full-time position there as an assistant engineer.

Arturo Pino Quintana - Honeywell FM&T

Major: B.S. in Mechanical Engineering

Company: Honeywell FM&T

Location: Kansas City, MO

Length of Internship: Six months

How did you get your internship? I met some engineers from Honeywell at an SCE career fair. After talking with them about my previous experience in manufacturing and engineering, as well as my academic and extracurricular activities, they called me for an interview. I was then called for a second interview and was offered an internship position in their Rubber and Plastics Engineering department.

Job overview: I worked alongside full-time engineers on several projects. I mainly did research and development on new manufacturing processes for existing products to increase performance and efficiency. Most of these products had been recently redesigned by the design agencies we work with in New Mexico, and an appropriate manufacturing process was still being developed to accommodate the new features. I was heavily involved in part testing, statistical analysis, general data analysis, preliminary manufacturing, troubleshooting and writing reports on the results and conclusions of our R&D. Additionally, I helped in equipment testing and requalifying during Honeywell’s move to its new facility. We faced many challenges, but through persistence and team efforts, we enjoyed some great successes. Through our work, I was awarded a “Bravo Award” and one of our lead engineers was presented with an “Outstanding Engineer of the Year Award.” I can say that I greatly enjoyed my time working with Honeywell FM&T during my internship.

Would you return for another internship or full-time job? I will definitely be returning to work full time with Honeywell. I felt at home working there and felt like a great fit with the engineering team. I am excited to continue working and begin my professional engineering career with such a positive outlook.

Whitney Larsen – B/E Aerospace

 Major: B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Company: B/E Aerospace

Location: Lenexa, KS

Length of Internship: Six months

How did you get your internship? I got my internship by attending the UMKC-hosted career fair. I brought a portfolio of my class projects and copies of my resume to hand out.

Job overview: I design preliminary circuits in Labview and Altium for beverage maker products installed in jetliners.

Would you return for another internship or full-time job? I would return to B/E Aerospace if I hadn’t already accepted an offer for a full-time job after graduation at Honeywell in the test engineering department. I got the Honeywell job from attending the same UMKC career fair.