EcoCAR 3 has provided me with friendship, hands-on PR experience, and a taste of automotive industry. It also opened the door to a post-graduate internship with a prestigious, multinational company for a communications student like me. This summer, I worked as a full-time communications intern for Global Academic Program at Siemens PLM Software in St. Louis, Missouri. The internship has granted me an extraordinary public relations and marketing experience. Not only was I assigned with research and writing projects, but also I was able to call in with executives for meetings and give presentations.
One of the biggest projects I did throughout the internship was competitive research. Major companies, such as Siemens, are seeking ways to build and expand partnerships with schools to foster the pipeline of STEM talent. A few ways to do that is by providing software grant to engineering programs in academic institutions or sponsoring academic competitions like EcoCAR 3. I cross-examined different types of software and training Siemens and its competitive software companies provide to their academic partners. I worked closely with the Competitive Intelligence team to gain additional insight and resources. I presented the finding to the Vice President of Strategy. I also wrote for the academic newsletter, published on social media, created PowerPoint presentations and developed an Academic Program Communications Plan. Additionally, I created success slides featuring partner schools, which was played during the 2015 Siemens PLM Industry Analyst Conference.
There was never a dull moment at Siemens. I was constantly challenged with various responsibilities, which helped me grow professionally. My supervisor and mentor, Dora Smith, always provided me with thorough feedback and directed me to the right resources. Siemens gave me the real-world industry skills and experience to transition to a permanent communications position. Of course, behind this great experience was EcoCAR 3, which gave me the chance to connect with industry professionals.
Written By: EcoCAR & Penn State Alumni, Donghee Lee