Lucas Ferrando Quilez is pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach. He completed an internship with MTU Aero Engines in Germany.
Provide a little information about yourself.
My name is Lucas Ferrando Quilez. I am a junior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, majoring in Aerospace Engineering. Sports have always been my passion, and I wish to showcase this as a member of the ERAU Crew Team.
How did you obtain your co-op/intern with MTU Aero Engines?
During my sophomore year, I started to think about internships. Since I have studied German for 6 years in high school and have not spoken it very much since I left Spain in 2013, I thought that doing a co-op in Germany would be an excellent starting point for not only obtaining real engineering experience, but also for mastering a third language. After weeks and weeks of tireless research and meetings with Career Services, a position opened in MTU Aero Engines in Munich. I applied right away and had several interviews with the managers. Since they were looking for a candidate that could start right away and that could speak German, I was lucky to be selected.
Please tell us about your learning experience, both professionally and personally. What are the benefits you will take away from these experiences?
Where to start… I can’t even begin to emphasize how many new things I experienced in such a short period of time. Real engineering in the core of the European industry, getting to work with people from other countries, living in probably the best city of Germany, getting to experience the great wilderness of the Alps, and so much more.
MTU Aero Engines was the perfect environment to learn more about engineering. They have a great variety of engineers that specialize in many different fields who can help you with any doubt you have. And if that wasn’t enough, they have a huge library with books about any topic in engineering, both in English and German. During my 6 months there, I had the opportunity to learn from many people that had worked there for many years.
While I got the wonderful experience to work with new colleagues, I was also able to join the basketball team at MTU. We met a couple of days a week to relax and switch off our brains for a little bit.
Apart from playing basketball with MTU, I also joined a local basketball team in Dachau (the city I lived in). I met exceptional people who were very good players. Overall, we had a lot of fun.
During the weekends, I would also travel to the Alps and hike with some other friends. One of the best memories I have is when we planned a three-day hike to the Dolomites. I had always wanted to go there since I was a kid. My father always kept saying how incredible it was there, so I didn’t waste the opportunity to pack my backpack and spend a three-day weekend in the Italian Alps. It was one of the best experiences in my life. Everything that they told me about the Dolomites was nothing compared to what I got to experience. Going there is a must if you like hiking!
What advice do you have for students interested in obtaining an internship/co-op?
My advice for students interested in obtaining an internship is to not beat yourself up if you don’t get the response that you were expecting. It’s perfectly fine if you don’t get accepted right away. When applying for internships, many people start to think that they are not worth that much because they haven’t finished their degree. It turns out to be the opposite! Not having previous engineering experience is not a bad thing. You might be able to see things from another perspective based on what you have seen and learned so far in college. Most people working in the industry have been there for many years and, perhaps, aren’t as knowledgeable in some areas as you are. Try to turn your weaknesses into your strengths. You are more powerful than you think!
Do you think it was important to complete an internship/co-op?
Absolutely! If, before starting the internship, you had asked me what I wanted to do during the rest of my life, my answer would have been completely different from now. What I mean is that the internship helped me realize what I really wanted to do and who I really wanted to become. That is the good thing about these kind of experiences, they enable you decide which direction to continue.
In what ways has your co-op/internship experience impacted your college experience?
The many different new things I got to experience in Munich impacted me in the way I relate to people now. I can’t emphasize enough how important human relations are for engineers. All the time during the internship, I had to work with a huge variety of people, and many of them were vastly different from me. I have learned how to adapt to other ways of thinking, which opened many other doors. Now, being back in college and working on engineering projects with other students is a completely different experience. It’s easier for me now to see their points of view.