1. Where did you complete your placement? Why did you select this company?
I chose to do my internship at Hydro One as a member of the Protection and Control Technical Services department. I selected Hydro One for my internship because in my career I would like to work with power systems and with Hydro One being the largest power transmission company in Ontario I felt this was the perfect opportunity to gain the necessary technical experience and learn about the overall power transmission business.
2. What did you gain from this experience?
From this experience I was able to expand my technical knowledge on a daily basis. Every day I was exposed different designs that would constantly challenge me and encourage me to learn more about our power system. I was able to work with a variety of mentors that were always eager to answer any questions I would have. In addition to any technical experience I learned a lot about the overall business and what it is like to be in a business environment. Examples of this was attending meetings, coordinating projects with a variety of teams and providing progress updates to my manager.
3. How did you apply knowledge and skills you learned at Western Engineering?
My main responsibility while on internship was to work with a team of students to update a data base that managed all protection and control equipment used across the entire power system. Whenever my team received a new request to add or modify a piece of equipment in the data base, my team and myself would review a variety of drawings to ensure the equipment was represented properly. In order to be able to do this properly I would use the knowledge I had learned at Western Engineering to gain an understanding of the drawings and how the devices worked with each other. I also I had developed strong communication and time management skills prior to my internship because of my involvement within Western Engineering. I feel this assisted me in being selected for a team lead position for 12 months of my internship.
4. What type of position and experience(s) did you have at your placement?
For the first four months of my internship I was placed on a team that was working on updating cyber information for over 6000 devices. This was a great way to learn about the power system and it was an amazing opportunity as it was one of the highest priority projects at the time. I was then I was selected to be a team lead where I was responsible for delegating and reviewing the work of four students. Over the remainder of my internship I got involved with a few more projects that involved improving processes across the department. Outside of my day to day work I was involved with the Women in Trade, Technology and Engineering society and I was able to get involved with the Hydro One University partnership and become the student representative for Western Engineering. Hydro One has partnered with Western, Ryerson, UOIT and Waterloo and work together to create engineering outreach initiatives for young girls.
5. How has this placement enhanced your learning experience at Western Engineering?
This experience reassured me that I have made the right decision of what I would like to do with my career and has motivated me to finish strong at Western. I really enjoyed the work I was doing while on internship and look forward to being able to do this type of work and work in this industry as I begin my career.
6. What insights have you gained from this experience that will help you make decisions about your future career? From this experience I have learned that I would like to get my Professional Engineering License as I was able to gain a better appreciate for the value of obtaining this. I do eventually see myself getting a masters at some point in my career, however I feel that I should gain more experience before I pursue that.
7. What did you discover was the most rewarding aspect about your past work term? Over my past work term, I feel the most rewarding part was learning from a variety of mentors about their career paths. It was interesting and provided some insight of experiences I may come across in my career and how to handle them. I received some amazing advice and made some great connections with my superiors whom I am still able to keep in contact with.