Leading up to my summer break from university, I wanted a change. I wanted to obtain a broader view of how companies operate and gain a more holistic view of the corporate world. Until this point, university had been perfect for teaching me the fundamentals of electrical and mechatronic engineering and helping to develop my curiosity for learning, however, I wanted to experience my industry as a professional and work on real projects for real customers.
During my summer break, I took the leap outside of the university lifestyle and entered the Schneider Electric Intern program.
The Intern Program
I began the program in the Quality Department, where I worked on projects such as the specifications of exhaust fans and writing a program to bridge a knowledge gap. For the first week in the graduate program, I was let loose to make connections and learn about Schneider before diving straight into my first project. I was tasked with looking for a way to improve a segment within the department. I focused on improving control of invoices for Service Agents and designing information/Q&A documents for exhaust fans to be implemented next to the smoke alarm ones on the Clipsal website. While working on my daily tasks, I also had the ability to seek out and assist on side projects that piqued my interest and expanded my experience and knowledge even further.
Flexible Working & the Study-Work Balance
After the conclusion of the intern program, my contract was extended, and I was moved to a new department to experience a different area of the business, working part-time so I could continue working but also focus on my studies and the successful completion of my degree. The projects I was allocated in my new role continued to grow in importance and scope, and with it, so did my experience and understanding. I was moved to the manufacturing department to work on replacing pad printers/laser marking machines with newer technology.
The flexibility & autonomy I received in this role showcased the company’s trust in their employees to do their work. This was amazing as I sometimes had to leave during the day for appointments, family emergencies and Uni presentations. We’re trusted to manage our time and work ourselves. At first, I found this challenging, but it gave me the opportunity to learn how to manage my time. The flexible work environment is now, by far my favourite thing about the company.
My Managers Have My Back
Despite the autonomy of my job, my managers and colleagues were always there to help. This taught me to rely on the support of others and communicate effectively. My first project proposal was a very big moment for me. My manager was there to support me the whole way through with encouragement and constructive feedback. I was incredibly grateful for the time, practice, and feedback that they offered me.
Leaping out of the university lifestyle into the Schneider Electric Intern program provided me with invaluable experience. Not only in my field of interest but also into the inner workings of a corporate environment. I was given the freedom to pursue what I felt was worth my time. In the process, I learned initiative and self-motivated work. I was taught to seek guidance from mentors and always refocus on the root cause. I’m excited to see what I will learn next when I leap into full-time corporate life as a Schneider graduate.
Are you interested in joining our graduate program at Schneider Electric like Sam? Check out our website for more information and for available positions to take your career journey to the next level.
About the author
Sam Cowrey, Intern (Pacific Zone)
Sam was always fascinated by technology growing up. Understanding how things worked lit up his mind and he became obsessed with the growing technological and automotive industries. In his teenage life, Sam gained practical experience both modifying cars and building high-end computers. He never turns down the opportunity to fix something himself first, so it wasn’t very long before he found himself pursuing his mechatronic dream at University.