#NDSUintern Spotlight

Intern: Timothy Straus

Major: Manufacturing Engineering

Company: Puget Sound Naval Shipyard

Location of Internship: Bremerton, Washington

Internship Title: Student Trainee (Industrial Engineer)

  • Why did you choose the company that you worked for?
    • I chose Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to round out my working education. Having worked in a family owned business, international corporation, and a startup, I wanted to learn first-hand what it was like working in Government, specially the Department of Defense. Also, I was beyond excited to be working in the beautiful state of Washington, where opportunities to enjoy the outdoors are nearly limitless.
  • What were some of your job requirements for your internship?
    • One primary requirement was a solid understanding of the fundamentals of industrial engineering and lean process improvement techniques. I am thankful to have had a strong foundation of classes and prior work experience to build upon as I started my new role. In terms of soft skills, an internal drive to set and meet goals was key, as it allowed me to better engage with my customers on projects even if they were unsure of the process. Leadership skills were essential even as an intern.
  • What was your favorite part about your internship experience?
    • One of the best parts of my job at they yard was prototyping new tools for a variety of use cases. The development of these prototypes took me into all kinds of work areas in they yard, aboard submarines, and into the belly of an aircraft carrier. It was incredible to play a role in the work of delivering warships back to our Navy’s fleet.
  • What was the most challenging part of your internship experience? How did you overcome these obstacles?
    • The most challenging aspect of my job, was getting used to the scale of the shipyard. With over 14,000 fellow employees from a variety of trades and disciplines, sometimes connecting with the right person to answer a question or compare notes on a project could be difficult. I still haven’t set foot in more than half of the buildings in they yard. However, I was able to overcome this issue of scale through multiple tours to far-flung areas of the shipyard, as well as by leveraging my existing network to reach out and make new connections.
  • How did you find your internship?
    • Through an NDSU Career Fair.
  • Why was it beneficial for you to register for credit(s) through the Internship Program offered through the Career Center?
    • Since this was a co-op opportunity (May through December), registering for credits through the Career Center allowed me to maintain my full-time student status.
  • What advice would you give to a student who is in the process of applying to an internship?
    • It seems like we’re in the age of online-only applications, but always be ready to give an elevator pitch of who you are, what you’re studying, and what you’re passionate about! Every single one of my jobs and internships have started with a person-to-person conversation.
By Courtney O'Hotto
Courtney O'Hotto Graduate Assistant Courtney O