Karen L Smith at GE Transportation

A University of North Texas (UNT) student, Karen Lindsey Smith, spent the summer as an intern for GE Transportation, gaining valuable experience in the business side of engineering and allowing her to participate in career training and volunteer work.

Lindsey Smith, a dual-degree student studying Mechanical and Energy Engineering at UNT and Mathematics at Texas Woman's University, worked at GE Transportation’s supply chain division in the Erie, Penn., facility as a Global Services Gemba Process Improvement Project Intern. She found out about the internship from an UNT graduate and from UNT’s Eagle Network, which had an application and then she was selected for a phone interview with GE Transportation.

The internship, which lasted from May 26 to Aug. 14, consisted of creating Manufacturing Instructions, Process Flow Diagrams, and Standards of Work for GE’s KT63 Supply Chain. “In addition to my role, I helped to form audit trends, pareto charts and discrepancy reports,” Smith said.

Not only did she write programs for the shop floor, but she also was able to work on the shop floor which enabled her to observe how her programs operated. Additionally, Smith further developed teamwork skills through working with other interns in her group and helping each other develop work-related ideas.

“Most of the interns were from big-name institutes or Ivey League schools,” Smith said. “It felt good to see that with my education at UNT, I could do the tasks they were doing, and I enjoyed telling them about UNT.”

While most of the interns finished their internship in the last week of July either to return to school or take vacation time, Smith stayed at GE and additional two weeks because she wanted the invaluable knowledge that she could gain from the training. 

UNT participated in General Motors' solar car race in 1990, in celebration of its 100th anniversary.[/caption]During her spare time, she attended workshops, took summer classes full time at Penn. State, volunteered over 60+ hours, and took tours of other plants for GE Transportation locations.

After receiving several internship offers, Smith decided to intern next summer at Bell Helicopter, which will allow her to work in a design-oriented environment (air vehicle design). She attended a Bell boot camp this previous winter break, which helped her secure the latest internship.  She passed the difficult exams for Six Sigma Green Belt and LEAN certification in addition to attending all the courses and hopes to earn her green belt while interning at Bell next year and working on a project.

Smith said that her after-graduation include attending law school and working as a design engineer for an aerospace company.