Conexus Interns is a six-week summer internship program for high school students that gives Hoosier students experience working at advanced manufacturing and logistics companies. Conexus Interns pays high school students to work with skilled experts in quality inspection, warehouse management systems and Kaizen events, effectively translating classroom instruction into practical experience.
The application requires students to fulfill several important criteria to ensure quality candidates are available to industry, including:
Abby applied for a Conexus Internship in the winter of 2015. She said it was a nerve-wracking and long wait to find out if a company wanted to interview her and whether she had been selected for the program. When she finally received a call from the Manager for Engineering Employee Development & STEM Outreach at Rolls-Royce, Reginald McGregor, she was ecstatic.
“My parents were coaching me in the background while I talked to Reginald,” said Abby. “Meanwhile, Reginald was saying ‘you have to take this opportunity.'”
Abby started her internship a few weeks after that interview and says she knew immediately that she was going to love it at Rolls-Royce. “It was so fancy. I could pick different spots to work from each day.”
“Everyone made me feel incredibly welcome and valued. I made friends – from junior to senior executives – and they took me under their wing.”
Abby says that interning with Rolls-Royce was truly a life-changing experience and solidified her desire to pursue engineering as a career path. “My parents teased me about waking up early to get ready for work each day. I was just so excited.”
The experience helped direct her college and major decisions when she returned for her final year of high school. She knew she wanted to go to a large school with an urban, diverse environment. She decided to go to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and major in mechanical engineering.
Her first year at IUPUI was challenging, but invigorating. “I really love being part of the engineering and technology department at IUPUI,” she said.
Abby is now a member of the Society of Women Engineers and Women in Engineering Networking (WEN) at IUPUI. Through WEN, she’s eligible for a scholarship for mentoring this year.
The summer between her freshman and sophomore years of college, she interned at KEIHIN North America, an automotive supplier, in Greenfield, Ind. She worked on the factory floor and learned more about a new manufacturing environment.
She still keeps in touch with Reginald from Rolls-Royce who offers assistance and support at every turn. Recently, Abby shared that her engineering courses were a challenge and he offered to help find a tutor.
Abby and Reginald both participated in the 2018 Conexus Interns summit at IUPUI where Reginald moderated an employee panel and Abby served as a college chaperone to this year’s high school students.
“I am so grateful to the Conexus Interns program for introducing me to Rolls-Royce, Reginald and the potential opportunities available using my engineering degree in manufacturing and logistics,” said Abby. “I am excited to see what comes next.”
To participate in the Conexus Interns program, click here.