is part of a blog series from CommScope interns. The series will share
experiences from students as they apply classroom learnings to real-world
challenges in the workplace.
My journey with CommScope began one day in
February as I was surfing Southern Methodist University’s job portal and
stumbled across a position for a component engineering intern. I was drawn to
the position because the job description shared traits with experience I had at
my previous summer job. The major aspect that led me to apply was the industry
itself. In my experience at job fairs and other professional networking events;
the telecom industry had never been brought to my attention.
I was surprised that a large company in an
industry as widespread as telecom had multiple offices just up the highway from
my school and I had not heard of it until that moment. Multiple interviews and
a round of final exams later, I headed up Highway 75 to start my new adventure
CLICK TO TWEET: An internship filled with tacos, acronyms and testing.
The First Day
The first day came and I thought I was
prepared. I had my paperwork in hand and left home in plenty of time. I arrived
early and nervously waited in the lobby. The receptionist was checking in my
fellow intern Anna. When I approached the desk and told her my name, she gave
me a puzzled look and said that she didn't have a record that I was coming. I
thought it was odd but she led us both upstairs to the conference room where we
would have our orientation.
We get settled in and I begin eating one of
the breakfast tacos provided. As I finished the taco, I get news that made it
hit my stomach like a rock. I'm at the wrong building! CommScope has two locations
in Richardson about ten minutes away from each other and I went to the wrong
one. Flustered, I rushed over to the other location kicking myself for fumbling
the first and most fundamental task -- getting to your job.
When I arrived, my anxious, self-frustration
was put to ease as they assured me that it's a common mix up. I filled in among
the group to finish the orientation -- politely declining a taco since I
The rest of the day went more according to
plan, which included meeting with my manager to discuss the scope of the
summer, getting the lay of the land through an extensive tour of the facility,
and setting up my workspace. I was
introduced to the other members of the Component Group I would be working with
and was given my first task right away. By the end of the day I was already
settling into my role, looking ahead to the rest of my summer.
Hitting My Stride
When I first sat down to talk with my manager
about both of our expectations for my internship this summer, he reinforced
that his goal was to “get me exposed to as much as possible.”
Looking back, I'm confident that goal was met.
As I said, the telecom industry and its intricacies were entirely new to me.
The first couple weeks were filled with frequent note taking as I attempted to
commit every term, acronym, and piece of jargon to memory and keep them all
straight. As I gained a foothold, my day-to-day time was divided into three
The first was the common hardware library. It
was here that I got a chance to work on the system CommScope uses to organize
and supply information on all the hardware it uses across the company. It was
through my work on this project that I was first introduced to the nature of
the Component group and the ways it works to support all the various business
units within the company and bring them all under a CommScope corporate
The next project was creating best practice
documents and design guidelines. These documents are created by the Component
Group as informational tools for designing and using various commodities. The
goal of these documents is to standardize design and dimensioning standards
within the various engineering groups.
Working on these documents, I got exposure to
the manufacturing processes for various commodities. I also became aware of the
rigorous qualification and testing processes employed by CommScope for every
new material and component introduced.
The other major aspect of my time at CommScope
was working in the reliability lab. Here I got hands on experience working with
the products CommScope produces. I helped in the Ongoing Reliability Testing or
ORT. It is a system CommScope employs to test and monitor the manufacturing and
assembly standards of its long-term products. It was here that I was able to
connect the high-level guideline work that I was doing upstairs with the
component group, to the tangible application.
Working in the reliability lab was part of my goal
to get more exposure to everything in CommScope. I expressed interest in
getting more hands-on experience while I was there for the summer and my
manager made it happen. I had a great opportunity to learn as much as I wanted.
Working at CommScope, things were always kept interesting. Any time I told them
I didn't have enough to do or wanted to explore new things, my team was happy
to accommodate. I had a unique environment where I feel I got to grow in my
technical knowledge and as a person.
The Final Presentation
As my summer drew to a close, my sights were
set on the final presentation. This would be the time where I could share all I
had learned and contributed to CommScope. This was intimidating enough on its
own, but especially because it would be in front of the senior leadership in
the company. My partner and I worked through our presentation several times.
The most important thing I got from this
presentation was through the practice. As we worked to refine our presentation,
I was connecting the dots from all the experiences I had over the summer. I
developed a picture of my time at CommScope and saw how much I had grown in
those short twelve weeks. I am grateful to CommScope for giving me the
opportunity to gain knowledge and experiences that I will carry into my