Saint Louis University softball student-athletes Mackenzie Lawson, Kallen Loveless and Allie Macfarlane served summer internships related to their academic majors. The three Billikens took a few moments to summarize their experiences and express how valuable the internships were to their career pursuits.

 

   Mackenzie Lawson • Jr. • Accounting Major

In my internship with Defense Contract Audit Agency, I shadowed different auditors while they worked on different audits and assignments. I was able to perform math checks for cost proposals and audit reports. 

 

This internship gave me hands-on experience in the audit field, which was new for me. It gave me validation that I am on the right career path. I enjoyed taking in all the information I was presented with, and it made me excited for my future.

 

I went to Atlanta, Georgia, for two weeks for Onboarding training. DCAA sends all of its new hires to its training facility in Atlanta to learn about the audit process. Since auditing for DCAA is a specialized field, I learned that it actually takes a lot of communication and interaction with people to successfully perform an audit. Most generalizations about accounting professions include sitting in a cubicle all day by yourself. But I learned that as an auditor for DCAA, you will travel and communicate with contractors and perform floor checks. There is much more interaction than I thought. 

 

Also while in Atlanta, the new hires contributed to the Feds Feed Families campaign by donating close to $400 in food. The trainers were so impressed and grateful that they sent an email containing our picture and how much we donated to the director of DCAA. It was further shared with the Department of Defense. My experience in Atlanta was very rewarding. Not only did I gain knowledge about a career that I’m interested in, but I also learned that I’ll be able to do a lot of good working for DCAA.

 

I am part of an internship program that will present me with an opportunity to become a full-time auditor at the end of it. I am very excited to continue my internship and to be able to potentially work as a contract auditor for the federal government.

 

   Kallen Loveless • Jr. • Biomedical Engineering Major

I was a research and development engineering intern for the Advanced Catheter Group at Medtronic in Hazelwood, Missouri. I managed the analysis, organization and placement of all testing data in a database for a corrective action taking place on the assembly process of an existing product. Additionally, I tested samples in the lab and wrote test reports on the data collected from testing to support the project. I had daily meetings with a team of engineers to discuss project progress and formulate testing plans to continue moving the team forward. 

 

This internship fit perfectly into my career path, because working in research and development on medical devices has always been what I envisioned myself doing. The experience I gained this summer reinforced that R&D is exactly what I want to do. I learned so much about the design process and saw all of the steps involved with a development project, starting with an idea and ending with production of a new product. 

 

One especially exciting opportunity I had this summer was to travel to Tijuana, Mexico, with the project team to visit one of the manufacturing facilities supporting us. I visited the manufacturing floor there and saw medical device production in action. We also executed a new method we designed for the quality testing of a product manufactured in the facility. It was great to see the research and development and manufacturing teams work together to solve the product issue. 

 

A really valuable experience I had was learning what to do when something goes wrong with a product, including how to identify the root cause once the issue is discovered; actions to take to find a solution to the issue; how to implement the solution; and the documentation that goes into the whole corrective action process. Everything I learned through this internship has applications for my future in research and development, including the basic components of designing projects and critically thinking about solutions to issues. Also, the communication and teamwork I experienced at Medtronic are amazing and something that I can utilize in softball and in all areas of my life.

 

   Allie Macfarlane • Sr. • Mechanical Engineering Major

My summer internship was at Otis Elevator Company. My primary responsibilities were applying for elevator permits, going on customer service visits and observing how the sales and engineering of elevators combine. 

 

I learned a lot about how a major company works on a daily basis. I interacted with hundreds of Otis's customers and saw how account representatives maintain and sell elevator parts. I’ve learned more about elevators than I ever thought I would know! This fits in with my career path, because I am majoring in mechanical engineering and that’s all manufacturing an elevator is. 

 

The coolest thing I saw was an elevator being installed. I was at a new building watching an elevator being built. I will use the customer service skills in any job I have. You have to keep your customers happy to have any sort of business. I also got to work on a team of about 10 people. This is so relatable to softball because each person has a specific job and the company would not run without each job being complete. I hope to continue working in the elevator field; it was one of the most interesting summers learning about something new!