Meet Kristen Cardoza
Ever wonder what an engineering internship within industrial manufacturing could look like? Curious how an engineering organization, like the Society of Women Engineers, can help prepare students for their future careers?
WHAT IS #ITWEXPERIENCE?
Best piece of advice: “There’s no growth where you find comfort.”
-- Kristen Cardoza, Junior at Marquette University , Majoring in Mechanical Engineering, Active member of SWE
How did you hear about the internship at ITW?
I learned about ITW in my Professional Development Class’ resume review workshop, where I met my future manager (Steve Moore). Steve gave me resume feedback and shared his ITW experiences and about the internship he was recruiting for. This interaction not only peeked my interest, but also showed me what a great team dynamic could look like.
What interested you in the role & what led to your decision to accept?
I was interested in the differentiated industries. I never thought I’d work in Construction, but after learning moreabout it from Steve and seeing his passion, I knew that this New Product Development Internship was the right fit.
What did you work on during your internship? And what were your greatest learnings.
So much! A couple of my bigger projects were around product testing and analysis. I got to test the bumpers in the nailers and used that data to determine the wear and tear of the materials used to make the bumpers. I also did some design work using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software. I am a hands-on learner, so the opportunity to jump in and apply what I learned in the classroom to the real world was very valuable. I also feel like I gained solid engineering experience through this internship.
What was the best part of the internship?
The people! Everyone was so open to helping me. When I started, I felt like I didn’t know anything and everyone I worked with was so encouraging and taught me how to problem solve.
What does your SWE involvement look like and what has been your favorite part of SWE?
I’m involved with PR and Fundraising for my SWE Chapter. I also work with companies to find speakers to speak at our meetings. My favorite SWE experience was the conference in Philadelphia. I met so many wonderful people that that I could relate to.
How did SWE prepare you for your internship?
It really put into perspective what to expect in the real world. Engineering is typically male dominated, so by beinginvolved with SWE, I’ve gained a network of great women, who can help guide me through the engineering world.Everyone I’ve met has been very supportive.
What led to your decision to come back to ITW for another summer?
Well, I loved the team and loved everything I learned about ITW. I now feel comfortable with engineering and feel like I can really jump in without having the start from scratch.