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Spending the Summer with NMC Training Services as an Intern

By Ariel Lyon, InternAriel Lyon

As I approached my senior year in Engineering studies, there was an expectation to find an internship — experience to put on my resume’ that would help me find a job after graduation. When I began the search, I simply wanted to meet this requirement and get industry experience. Being the summer intern with Training Services of Northwestern Michigan College has given me that check mark and more. As an Industrial and Operations Engineering student at the University of Michigan, there are many paths I can take to start my career. My experience with Training Services has exposed me to the world of manufacturing through Lean training.

Being exposed to the manufacturing industry and seeing real problems that the sector faces has me excited to find my place and start making improvements where I can. I’ve seen such incredible impacts from various Lean journeys. In addition to the monetary impact, time saving, and eliminated waste, the most rewarding thing for me is the morale and excitement a team has after leaving a training session or when talking about their Lean project successes. I have seen many incredibly successful businesses and have learned there are always opportunities for improvement. Being able to help a company find and work toward making improvements is particularly rewarding. I can’t wait to experience that for myself, wherever my career takes me.

Working with Lean on a daily basis has become invaluable to help me look for continuous improvement opportunities in the workplace. Specifically at Training Services, I have developed standard work and improved unclear work instructions. I’ve seen how necessary it is to question a process in order to improve upon it.  A valuable project I undertook was applying the 5S methodology to our storage room. Not only was this a great learning experience for me, but the office will continuously benefit from this in the future with increased efficiency from eliminated waste. I continue to find myself applying the 5S concepts in other aspects of my life, asking myself the tough questions, such as, do I really need to keep that one pair of shoes that I never wear.

Looking forward a few months, I’m excited to be a part of our Manufacturing Day event this year. As the event coordinator, I have the responsibility of reaching out to many manufacturers and organizing tours. I can’t think of a better way to learn about a world to which I’ve only just become exposed. Not only do I get to see the ins and outs, but I will help organize an event where other students can learn about manufacturing too. My hope is they can take away from the event the excitement and curiosity that I have about manufacturing and go forward wanting to be a part of it.

I have not only received industry experience but learned more than I could have imagined about how to make a business successful.  This internship through Training Services has given me experience with many manufacturers and several key industry players. The practical experience and applications I acquired with Lean this summer will undoubtedly carry into my career and be an incredible asset in making my future successful. 

Ariel Lyon
Summer Intern

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