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Loyd: My internship experience at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

The Center for Automotive Research at The Ohio State University asked students interning over the summer to share there experiences through a blog post. Here is Kerri Loyd, an undergraduate student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and member of the EcoCAR 3 team, talking about her experiece at FIAT Chrysler.

Growing up, I have always had a strong passion for cars and realized early on that a big dream of mine would be to one day work at one of the major automotive OEM’s. After this early realization, I have continually worked towards achieving this goal, which finally became a reality two years ago when I received an internship offer from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). When I first got the offer, I was immediately excited but also worried…would I actually like working in the automotive industry? Soon after starting my first internship, I quickly realized that the automotive industry was the right career path for me and helped in making my decision to return to FCA for a second internship this summer.

For both of my internships at FCA, I have been stationed at the North American Headquarters in Auburn Hills, MI. Home to over 15,000 employees, FCA’s headquarters is considered one of the largest buildings in floor space in the United States and contains some of the best automotive testing labs and equipment all underneath one roof. The size of the complex was overwhelming at first, but I quickly got used to navigating a building of that size and realized that this is what helps FCA stand apart from the rest. Being able to work alongside many different groups underneath one roof helped me feel like I was not just a part of one singular group. This helped me feel more connected to the company, even as an intern, and allowed me to see how my role and projects fit into the company reaching its goals.

During my two internships, I have been lucky enough to intern in two completely different groups, which has allowed me to see and explore different parts of the company. During the summer of 2017, I was interning with the Fuel Economy Development and Powertrain Benchmarking group. As a member of this group, I was able to work with a couple of testing labs and spent time building my network within the company. I also got to perform a lot of neat testing, mainly on the fuel economy side of things, that directly benefitted the company by the end of the summer.

This summer, I was grateful for the opportunity to intern with the Electrified Powertrain Calibrations team. All my experiences from last summer ended up being very beneficial in my most recent internship because I was already familiar with the building and had a large network of people from the previous summer. This allowed me to get started on my projects almost immediately and complete beneficial work for the company. Having a second internship in the automotive industry also helped me confirm that this is the right field for me.

Another big upside to my two internships has been getting to live near Detroit, the epicenter of the American auto industry. Most of my evenings and weekends are spent exploring all that downtown Detroit has to offer. Whether that includes attending car shows, going on tours of historical buildings, or trying out all the amazing restaurants and shopping areas, there is always something new to explore. Every weekend that passes up here just gives me another reason to want to move up here for a full-time job after graduation!