Industry: Engineering/Energy
Type of Internship: Electrical/Computer Engineering, Software Development/Programming
Student Name: Sophie Saunders
Graduation Year: 2020
Major: Computer Engineering
Minor: Spanish
Position Title: Embedded Software Engineering Intern
Hours: 40 hours per week
Paid or Unpaid: Paid, full-time

What do you do as an intern at this organization?

I am part of the software verification team, so I am spending the summer learning to create test cases and then writing the necessary tests in Python. The team I work with ensures that every line of code does what it is meant to and that a system responds appropriately to any failure, which is particularly important with aerospace technologies. This internship mostly revolves around software-related skills learned in ES2 and COMP11/15, but also uses a lot of skills from ES4, from logic gates/design to understanding ICs.

How did you find this internship?

I applied for the internship through the UTC jobs website.

What do you enjoy most about your internship?

Internships in general are pretty awesome because they are like condensed classes where people in the field work with you and teach you new skills or new ways of using skills you already have. I've met tons of interesting people and talked with them about their career paths and lives. In addition, I've been able to use many of the skills I picked up at Tufts, I've seen how they're used in the real world, and I've learned many new skills too. Every day is an adventure at an internship.

What do you find challenging?

Starting off was overwhelming because it seemed that everyone else knew so much and I had such a limited skill set. In addition, being left alone with a big project is daunting, especially at the beginning. But I soon realized that supervisors are there to help you and want to help you (even if they are busy), and that they don't expect you to know everything

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?

My advice is to apply early. Don't rule yourself out, though, if you don't get something right away (even if the summer has already started!). I applied for internships from October through December and got this internship in December. However, they had openings at the company for interns through mid-June. Apply even if you feel unqualified, because that is HR's job -- they won't hire you if you aren't qualified. While at the internship, my advice is to meet as many people as possible, ask as many questions as you can think of, and keep track of what you do throughout the summer so you can remember later on.

About the Organization

United Technologies Aerospace Systems
Vergennes, Vermont

The Sensors & Integrated Systems (SIS) business at UTC is a global leader in providing advanced products and services across a range of aerospace and defense systems. SIS has over 100 years of experience in engineering design and analysis, software design, product development and system integration.