Brandon Mynatt, controls engineering intern, shares thoughts on his experience at Force Design. He joined us during the last semester of his high school career in 2017. He will soon be heading back to college in Florida for his sophomore year. So far, he has worked a full-time schedule here for two summers and a winter break (now that’s dedication!).
Why an engineering internship?
Engineering is a vast field that has much opportunity. While this opportunity can be exciting and promising, it can also be intimidating. Many students are unfamiliar with the engineering disciplines and may be uncertain about a career path in the field. That is where I found myself in high school. Looking for a successful career option, I thought engineering might be a good fit for me because I had always enjoyed math and science courses in school. Problem solving and making tasks more efficient are also important interests. I worried that my lack of knowledge and background would be a hindrance: engineering is a field where experience is critical and – for those without it – advancing can be difficult. Therefore, many students choose to do internships to gain experience. I chose an engineering internship to further my education beyond what I could learn at school and to make myself more marketable for my career.
Beginning at Force Design
I met Force Design owner, Seth Angle, and account manager, Pete Rapp, through my sister’s volleyball team. We talked about my interest in engineering and they offered me an intern position. I accepted and began working as a Controls Intern in January 2017. Upon starting, I found that all the engineers at Force Design were very gracious about my lack of knowledge and were willing to explain things that are common knowledge to them yet brand new concepts to me. Force Design is a great place to do an internship as the company’s focus is working together to meet the customer’s need, while taking every opportunity to mentor employees and interns. I found it encouraging that employees with more experience were willing to help me along my path and teach me how to better my engineering skills. No person at Force Design believes they know everything there is to know about engineering. The most experienced engineers don’t have big egos about their knowledge. Instead, they approach every situation with confidence in what they know, while realizing there is always something to learn and something to teach less-experienced employees and interns.
Where Force Design Has Brought Me
I have had the incredible opportunity to help design many different robot cells and work on many projects thanks to the mentoring of the many great engineers at Force Design. I have also worked with robots, such as the Yaskawa DX200, which is another great experience. My current and most exciting project is working on an Automatic Pallet Dismantling Cell. I helped put the cell together, maintain it, work with customer relations, and train employees. I love helping the customers understand their new equipment better and getting to help them accomplish their goals! Working directly with the customer is a great part of this job. Even when I’m not working at the customer’s site, I get many training opportunities in our office that help improve my knowledge and prepare me for my future schooling.
Flexible Schedules with Force Design
Force Design does an excellent job of working with students’ schedules. I am entering my sophomore year at Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola, Florida, where I am studying Electrical Engineering. When I am home on break from school, Force Design is always happy to have me back and to help me get right back into the swing of things. I work full time while I am home, which fits my schedule perfectly. Force Design is willing to work with any intern’s schedule, however complex they may be.
Advice for an incoming intern
I would tell someone who is interested in this field (and especially, interested in joining Force Design’s team!) that they should start learning as soon as possible. Experience is a huge asset and if someone can get started before entering college, that is a significant advantage. I would also say: be ready to learn, be open to being wrong, learn from your mistakes, and accept constructive criticism. All of these will make you a better engineer in the future.