A couple of years ago, I designed a pedal-powered machine to enhance shea nut processing to increase efficiency. I was inspired and motivated by the desire to help shea nut collectors and processors alleviate the processing challenges they faced using outmoded procedures. So as a mechanical engineering student, when the time came to do my internship, I chose to work with Sesi Technologies. This is because their mission to improve the lives of smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa is one I share.
In addition, it was a place where I could obtain practical experience with engineering concepts by working with various machines and equipment. I am particularly thrilled by the work they do in helping eradicate poverty by coming up with affordable technologies for African farmers.
Overall Internship Experience.
My internship began in June 2021 with the product development team. I was first introduced to the mechanical engineering lead whom I was going to work with. We usually start the week by having a general meeting to discuss what would be done within the week and general updates within the company. At the end of the week on Friday, we discuss what had been achieved throughout the week.
I performed diverse roles and worked with engineering equipment. My internship roles primarily consisted of:
- Assisting in the development of mechanical engineering/CAD design of products
- Provide assistance in the provision of engineering services, including printing, laser cutting, laser marking, etc.
- Assist in performing routine maintenance on all equipment
- Work with the product development team to conceptualize and design new products.
Interning at Sesi Technologies was not without its challenges. One major challenge had to do with arriving early at work since I was staying very far away. I needed to find a place that was close to enhance my productivity at work. With the help of my amazing boss Isaac Sesi, I was able to overcome that challenge.
I also had some challenges whiles working with AutoCAD. I was conversant with SolidWorks but not quite so with AutoCAD. Through consistent practice and assistance from my supervisor, I managed to overcome them.
Lessons and Conclusion
The internship experience was an awesome one. In the two months with Sesi Technologies, I have been able to learn as much as I could. I was able to improve my knowledge on concepts I was already familiar with and those that were new to me. I practiced extensively with the laser cutting machine and AutoCAD software.
I learned some valuable lessons along the way that I believe will help me succeed anywhere I find myself. I learned to be more proactive and creative. I also learned to seek help or ask questions immediately I am stuck and not wait for time to pass by before seeking help.
I have to point out, that the various teams and departments, especially the product development team were very helpful and supportive in diverse ways. These have undoubtedly contributed to my awesome internship experience.