What Have I Learned?
I have experienced the commercial "behind the scenes" workings that go into design projects and have seen how both companies and government agencies operate. I have gained a whole new understanding for systems engineering as I took a "jack of all trades" role in myproject and managed the systems integration of the rover. It is one thing to know how a particular system works, and another to know how its characteristics can affect other systems; to very quickly understand various systems/components and find a way to solve the problem of giving each system what it needs to work. Working in a very fast environment and having my hands in all portions of the project gave me vital insight into what is required of systems engineering, a job I honestly never knew much about.
Aside from learning strictly from my project, I was able to learn from my peers and mentors. Dynetics gave me the freedom to pursue outside interests by providing a great resource of people to talk to and learn from. I was able to talk to numerous propulsion experts about projects that they have done as well as projects that I would like to work on. I was also able to sit in on meetings and contribute to other current projects that I was interested in. So when someone asks me what I learned or did this summer, I pause for a moment and think about how far I have come along because of this internship and answer quite simply, "Do you have a few minutes?"