Damian Rode ’24 – a senior majoring in mechanical engineering at Binghamton University’s Thomas J. Watson Faculty of Engineering and Utilized Science – put in the summer time in Munich, Germany, interning at BMW’s Analysis and Progress Middle.
Immediately after doing work on several initiatives for one of the world’s premier car brands, Rode talked over his time at BMW as an outstanding working experience and has been inspired to imagine even further about a career in automobile merchandise growth.
Q. Why did you decide on to function in Germany? Why specially BMW?
A. I was looking at distinct internships in the U.S. at first, and then I resolved to extend my lookup to Germany. I converse German and both equally of my mother and father grew up in Germany, and I had now frequented Germany rather a little bit, so I knew it could most likely be a fantastic location for me to get the job done. My mothers and fathers were being telling me that a ton of firms in Germany are continually looking to obtain people, in particular in engineering positions, and I began reaching out to various locations to see if they needed an intern for the summer.
When pondering of which companies I’d want to perform for, I initial thought of BMW, and I went on their hiring internet site and commenced making use of to a bunch of unique positions. From there, the method was very straightforward and uncomplicated, and I ended up finding hired fairly swiftly.
Q. What was your job like?
A. I was on the creation aspect of matters, so I predominantly worked in BMW’s Research and Growth Heart in Munich. We would pilot diverse technological know-how with this BMW-invented method known as “cubing.” We developed the full automobile chassis out of aluminum to a exact tolerance, and from there we’d use it as a reference product. Working with that reference product, we’d be ready to see how each aspect fits together, and if just about anything necessary to be altered or did not fit rather suitable, we’d be able to resolve it and then consider the solution once again. This strategy is primarily handy in evaluating what the resource of an issue could be, and it tends to make item screening a whole lot less complicated.
We also worked a whole lot on producing new strategies for BMW item screening to make matters a lot more successful, and we acquired to apply these new techniques during the cubing system. A single procedure we employed that was specially awesome was augmented reality, exactly where we could overlay diverse areas in excess of the model to see if it would operate without possessing to assemble just about anything.
Towards the conclude of the summer, there was a cubing event that the team had to get ready for and done the method in only a couple of weeks. In the course of that occasion, the suppliers came with their sections, and healthy them on to the “cube.” Aspect by portion, we assembled the entire interior and exterior throughout all those handful of weeks.
It was enjoyable simply because it’s part of a new course of cars and trucks that is launching in 2025. It is a totally various motor vehicle architecture, and every thing else is new, too, so there was a good deal of emphasis and enthusiasm encompassing the challenge. For the reason that it was the first time this car experienced been developed, there were a great deal of executives in the company coming to check it out.
Q. Did you have any curiosity in cars and trucks just before operating at BMW?
A. Before my internship, I did not have substantially of an desire in vehicles apart from getting a part of Binghamton University’s Components SAE EV staff, a scholar firm that types and builds System-design and style cars and trucks all through the yr. I joined the workforce simply because I wished to get that task practical experience and hands-on do the job, but the additional I acquired about car or truck producing, the additional intrigued I got. I was left pondering about how I could transfer this encounter into my upcoming occupation, ensuing in my application to BMW.
Q. What did it sense like to function with BMW thinking about the enterprise is these types of a household title?
A. I loved it. I feel just one of my beloved items is how intercontinental they are. They have plants in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe, and the ideal portion was that I was meeting persons from all distinctive backgrounds. Even on my group, we experienced pupils from France, Turkey and Hungary. Quite quickly, I fulfilled all of these folks who are the similar age from throughout the planet, and I acquired to listen to all about their background and their experiences.
I also definitely favored doing work in Germany when compared to the U.S. It is a small bit additional comfortable in Germany. For example, you are supplied an hour lunch break where anyone goes to the cafeteria and sits with each other to eat. People seriously seem to attempt to choose the time they require to take pleasure in daily life at work and at residence.
Q. Any instant that was specially distinctive?
A. One of the very best things I obtained to do for BMW was creating an application for item testing. I have a background in layout as very well as engineering, and my staff leaders enlisted me for the design of an application that would transform people into an avatar that could be controlled using VR and utilised to present elaborate production procedures in an a lot easier way. I had finish possession of the challenge, and for the last two weeks of me doing work with BMW, which is what I was establishing. Just before leaving, I was capable to existing it to the whole division, which was a quite fulfilling experience.
Q. What was it like currently being in Germany for the summer season? Was it any distinct than the prior situations you have gone?
A. It was undoubtedly a little bit diverse given that it was the 1st time I’d labored in yet another nation, and I was not just there to go to relatives.
I put in a lot of time in Munich, which is an amazingly beautiful town. The city is so total of loaded history but also so modern in other strategies, and it’s a seriously cool mix. I appreciate Munich because there is always one thing to do, and I acquired to hold out with all the other interns and their mates when I wasn’t working. We’d go out at night time, go to museums and just examine the town, and I think socially Munich is a specific location to be.
I did go to my household often, and given that they live in a unique section of Germany, I obtained to invest a lot of time touring the place. Germany has a tremendous-available train infrastructure, and you can just just take a practice and go anywhere. 1 weekend, I went to Budapest, which was astounding. It is so effortless to travel across Europe. You can go someplace completely different for a weekend, and then appear again to function so simply.
Q. Did your time operating for BMW impact your vocation route at all?
A. Unquestionably. Aside from it remaining a nice bullet level to have on my resumé, I realized a whole lot firsthand about job management, which I feel is vital for the future. My workforce leads were super-enthusiastic about educating and advising pupils, and they put in a whole lot of time giving us fantastic mentorship. I would not have gotten that or else.
On campus, it is also assisted me a lot with the function I do at the Rising Technologies Studio, the campus makerspace, and even on the System staff. My internship at BMW taught me a great deal about staff leadership, which can be applied all over the place, and I’m thankful I acquired that working experience.
Q. What would you explain to other college students interested in auto mechanics or engineering?
A. I believe a lot of learners sense a stress to get the job done at huge, popular tech corporations, and that a career at these businesses is typically aligned with the strategy of a “successful” career. Of program, those people are wonderful companies, but from time to time I believe it is considerably extra critical to hook up with the value of a company as opposed to adhering to the standardized profession route. A fantastic area for you is anywhere you discover a reflection of your values and see oneself generating an affect, and I believe which is a thing a good deal of learners are inclined to overlook.