Work has certainly been an interesting change of pace. I'm not used to working 8-hour days, and I'm certainly not used to dressing up for work. I didn't dress up for anything when I was back in Chicago. But it's odd; business casual for my team ranges from dress shirt/slacks to polo shirt/khakis. I'll be wearing the former, and yet using power tools in the lab.
But work has also been really cool. I guess I expected to have people check up on me to see what I'm doing and how I'm spending my time, but it's not like that at all. I manage my own time and other than the team meetings I have to go to, I'm free to do whatever I'd like whenever. If I have nothing to do, I can wander off and go see what my friends are working on, or go see what happens in the other buildings. I can take 30 minutes out of my day to drive to the other side of the facility to pick up my new badge or my first paycheck, and nobody will care.
But they do also see me as a part of the team, and they want me to learn as much as I can. My boss and the engineers have said they'll help me to get whatever experience they can give me, and I know that it's work that still of importance to them. For example, they often outsource their CAD work because it's a waste to have one of our lead engineers working on that, but if it's something that I want to learn or practice, they'll give me the work instead. I'm excited to get started on some of these projects, and I want to be productive, someone who'll be of use to them, instead of a co-op student who'll cruise through the internship getting paid more than they're worth.
- It's been cool to see how the stuff I learned in school are used practically in the design and production of basic things like home appliances. I find this stuff really interesting, which I guess confirms that mechanical engineering is for me, and that I would really like going into design.
- GE Appliance Park (which is where I work) is crazy huge. Our parking lot has traffic lights and the speed limit is 25 mph. We have our own zip code. Looking at Google Maps showed me it was big, but seeing with my own eyes was still a bit shocking.
- There's still an overwhelmingly unbalanced ratio of guys to girls in the engineering department, but that's not surprising at all.
Looking forward to my second week of work. Should be a lot more interesting than the first.