Siemens and Brighton High forge partnership for engineering graduates
Brighton graduate Gabe Tappen is starting college this fall to study engineering, but he’s already gaining work experience this summer through an internship program at his high school.
Through a partnership with Brighton High School and Siemens Digital Industries Software, Tappen and six other recent graduates are working as technical marketing interns for the tech company.
The internship program is the first of its kind at Siemens, and Brighton High School is the only participating school this year. David Taylor, vice president of strategy and marketing at Siemens, said the company hopes to expand the program to more high schools next year.
Taylor said high school graduates do the same work as college interns, such as designing products for customers and producing demonstration videos.
Brighton High School was selected to pilot this internship program due to the advanced engineering study program offered by the school.
“We still have interns, but they’re normally at the college level,” Taylor said. “I was talking with Matt (Jourden), and the program he teaches in Brighton gives these kids very advanced knowledge, especially in CAD applications, so we thought they might be of use to us as well.”
Matt Jourden, who has been teaching engineering courses in Brighton for 17 years, said he strives to emulate a college-level curriculum in his high school classes. He’s also an assistant professor at Eastern Michigan University, so he has a good idea of what students need to know before entering college or entering the workforce.
“I try to create a wide range of skills for students. So when they go to college or directly into industry, their resume will look like that of a graduate student,” Jourden said.
The students’ advanced CVs impressed hiring managers during the application process. Jourden said Siemens planned to hire five interns, but investigators were so impressed with the students, he said, that they hired all seven applicants.
The internship was also invaluable for the students. Tappen said he is learning a lot about the engineering industry and is excited to start classes at the University of Michigan this fall because he can tie what he learns to what he learns. did at Siemens.
“So far I’ve discovered the real world of engineering with deadlines, projects, working with other people,” Tappen said. “I know I’m going to learn engineering in college and I can use that experience and apply it to the real world instead of just taking notes and studying for tests.”
Taylor said each high school intern is paired with a design team, college intern, and professional mentors. He hopes the mentorship will last longer than the eight-week internship and that each student will have someone to lean on throughout their academic and professional careers.
The program not only helps students and Siemens, but also Brighton’s engineering program.
“I’m still delighted that we were even chosen for this,” Jourden said. “Being chosen – and even considered – is a big deal in the industry.
“Having said that, we are doing something right.”
Contact Sara Kellner at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @ skellner21.