Every year, Siemens Digital Industries employs hundreds of interns. Just this summer alone, we have over 160 students coming on-board to gain corporate experience and transition their skills out of the classroom and into the real-world.
On the surface, internships provide great resume building experience and networking opportunities, but sometimes internships are the revelation that helps a student find their corporate calling.
Abdul Rajput has gotten a lot out of his time while interning at Siemens. Abdul is a junior at Prairie View A&M University studying chemical engineering, but his time as a Pre-Sales Application Engineering Intern has helped strengthen his skills in many aspects of the business. I sat down with Abdul after he finished up his first rotation with us and got his advice for other student interns.
What are some of your day to day tasks?
I work on the COMOS Industry Solutions team, also known as CIS. Which deals directly with process industries like oil and gas, pharmaceutical and food and beverage. COMOS makes sure that plant project costs are accurately calculated and ensures early controlled engineering for a customer’s plant. It helps companies better calculate their up-front in an economical and efficient way.
One of my day-to-day tasks is meeting with my team on a regular basis. The team is responsible for bringing in new leads and introducing new clientele to the company and making connections with them. We really want to be the bridge between business and engineering. It involves a lot of communication as well as engineering know-how and understanding how to communicate with people who have different levels of proficiencies with our products or material.
How did you strengthen some of your non-technical skills outside of engineering like communication and sales?
I had prior internship experiences where I spent time with people who were on the ground. The people who are the front-line workers of their industries and who are really engaging with our products and the material in a close way. They have their own technical language and then I had to turn around and return to my team and add in the extra verbiage that’s going to help our understanding of their needs. A lot of it is building rapport with the customer. The stronger the bridge the better the connection.
Do you have any tips or tricks you’ve used to build rapport with people while working cross-functionally or with people outside of your department?
That’s easy. The biggest one that comes to mind is empathy. This will serve people well in Siemens or wherever they go. If you make the effort to seek to understand rather than to be understood – things will progress quicker. Knowing what the customer is going through when we approach them and when we tell them that we have something that’s going to reduce them margin of error, save them money, bring down the downtime for their project. It’s about empathizing with the problems that we know plague them and going in-depth on their issues and then communicating that to them.
What would you say has been your favorite part of interning here at Siemens?
It’s two things. It’s both the work, because the work entails everything I’ve been looking for in a role and I feel like I’ve truly found my calling. And then on the other hand it’s the team. Very few people can say that they can feel the energy from their team, even remotely. You can feel the energy and cheerfulness, even when we’re doing potentially stressful or challenging work. The grit and the ability to smile through it all and still be able to enjoy the working environment they have created is amazing.
This is a close-knit team as there isn’t that many of us in CIS, but there has been no lack of communication. Being a co-op, especially remotely, I was wondering what it was going to be like in terms of communication. I didn’t know how it would be, and I have gotten more than what I’ve hoped for. Between the team and my work, it has all sold me on Siemens.
What advice do you have for future interns?
I would say to them to not be daunted by the research portion. Siemens is a multi-conglomerate company. When you come on you have a lot to learn, but your attitude will determine everything. Take breaks and don’t drain yourself. For me, I read about the software and then got a live demo. Ask for help and request a meeting if you don’t understand something. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, try to do your work to the best of your abilities, but don’t be afraid to reach out.
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