Dylan Lurk is a junior from O’ Fallon, Illinois studying mechanical engineering. Aside from being a member of the Professional Practice Ambassadors and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, he also represents the old gold and black as a trumpet player for the All American Marching Band. Dylan was able to intern with GE Aviation in Lafayette this summer learning all that goes into being a technician and machine operator at an aviation business.
Q: What attracted you to the company/position?
A: I have a fascination for commercial aviation. In my company research I did before applying, I learned GE has an aviation business unit with a rich history for being a leading manufacturer of jet engines. As a result, I thought working for GE Aviation would be a great learning opportunity that aligned with my field of interest.
Q: Can you tell me a little about what your overall experience was like working there and what your typical day was like?
A: My objective for the summer was to enhance the efficiency of the assembly processes. Specifically, I observed technicians as they worked. In my observations, I identified opportunities to reduce build time by reconfiguring the workstations. I proposed my changes to the technicians and made sure to incorporate their feedback and concerns before implementing my solution.
My day began at 7:30 when I would arrive at my desk. I started by checking emails and reviewing my calendar for the day. I would then pick up where I left off from the previous day in workstation CAD design. I would usually work on this all day, taking breaks for meetings and lunch. As decision points arose, I would consult the workstation technicians. The day ended around 4:00.
Q: Do you feel that your past internships helped prepare you for this one? If so how?
A: This internship drew on my past experiences of interacting with technicians. In a previous role with another company, I learned effective communication strategies for working with technicians and machine operators. That knowledge was instrumental to my success in this internship.
Q: What did this job teach you about yourself?
A: This work rotation taught me that I enjoy the technology, people, equipment, and challenges of manufacturing. Additionally, I learned that I need to evaluate the scope the solution to a problem requires. Some problems only require a quick-fix solution, whereas others require rigorous design and planning. Evaluating the level of detail required mitigates unnecessarily wasting resources.
Q: Where do you see yourself working post-graduation?
A: I am currently still exploring the various domains of mechanical engineering, so my post-graduation plans are a haze.
Q: How do you feel that your education at Purdue helped you while working for this company?
A: From a technical standpoint, I applied some of the decision-making tools and design tools I learned from coursework. Also, I have utilized some of the engineering knowledge from coursework (e.g. statics, thermodynamics). From a nontechnical standpoint, my education at Purdue makes me a member of the Boilermaker family. Employees that are also Boilermakers became some of my first friends because we shared the same educational background.
Q: What career readiness tools have Purdue provided you with?
A: I have taken advantage of the CCO resume reviews as well as listened attentively during their career readiness presentations. The knowledge acquired using these tools helped me market my personal brand in a way that enthralled recruiters.
Q: What career advice would you give to underclassmen?
A: Speaking from personal experience, I encourage underclassmen to think deeply to discover the causes that bring them fulfillment. This knowledge will orient their extracurricular participation to activities that excite them. The students will be more interested in engaging in these organizations because the call to action of the organization aligns with the call to action of the students—it brings them fulfillment. As a result, they will have more concrete situations to share at career fairs and in interviews. Furthermore, the students will be more excited to share these stories because the overall topic brings them fulfillment.