New graduate program provides hands-on industry experience
The School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering has launched a new collaborative graduate program that brings together classroom and industry experience. Now in its second year, the Graduate Fellowship Program has students spend a portion of their time at Intel to develop hands-on skills and relevant experience within the private sector before graduating with a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering.
For each year in the program, students take two terms of coursework at Oregon State before spending their second two terms at Intel. Starting with coursework ensures students integrate classroom concepts into their internship.
John Parmigiani, research assistant professor of mechanical engineering and director of industry research and outreach, was integral to forming the collaborative program. He hopes the partnership provides insights into future career options. “If students choose to go into industry, they know the expectations, contacts, and what they need to do to be successful,” he said. On the other hand, if students choose to become a professor, their experience with industry will help tremendously when advising students, he added.
Andrew Bluett is a second-year student and one of the first to participate in the Graduate Fellowship Program. He said the combination of traditional classroom skills and valuable time with a prominent software company was appealing.
“I decided to participate because it seemed like a great opportunity to get real-world experience with one of the most highly regarded electronics companies in the world,” he said. “During my first internship, I was able to contribute to one of Intel’s newest groups, the Mobile and Communications Group, which focuses on the newest technology for smartphones and tablets.”
In the future, Parmigiani hopes to increase enrollment and partner with additional companies. While students are currently participating in internships independently, broadening the program will help professors match students with companies best suited for their talents and area of study, while also creating more professional networking opportunities.
Parmigiani stressed the program’s unique approach to delivering a relevant education is a strong selling point. “Providing professional experience while working side-by-side in the industry, all while writing a thesis and attending school, is not something you get at every graduate school,” he said.
Applications are being accepted in January 2014, and all interested students are highly encouraged to apply.