Chance Alford at Boeing's Everett Site
Student, Class of 2023
Ashland, OR

Awards/Accomplishments while at Oregon Tech: 3.89 GPA, Dean’s List all semesters, senior member of AUVSIR/Robotics Club. 

1.    What are you passionate about changing within your particular program field and why?

I am very excited to be part of a group whose focus is to increase the efficiency and effectivity of engineering and manufacturing processes. I am passionate about finding new ways of improving engineering and manufacturing processes and practices by sharing knowledge and resources in order to be more efficient.

2.    What would be your dream job?

There are so many things you can do with a mechanical engineering degree. My dream job would be at a larger company where I would have the opportunity to try different aspects of engineering to see which parts are for me. I like the math and computer aspects of engineering, but I also like being on the shop floor and experiencing how it all comes together. I like the feeling of being part of a large group and being able to specialize and make a difference while working with others.

3.    What have been some of your favorite classes and why?

My favorite classes include all things related to math and computers. I loved my Numerical Methods class because I got to learn valuable Matlab and coding skills as well as some really useful math applications. I enjoy classes that help me develop specific skills that I can use and add to my toolbox, for example the classes in GD&T, CAD/CAM and CNC, as well as hands on classes like manual machining and welding.

4.    How long is your internship for and how many hours per week do you work?

All MECOP internships are paid six-month internships. This is interesting when working at Boeing because the majority of interns that work here are only here for a 10 or 12-week summer internship. The 6-months gives me enough time to get trained up first then to start doing some actual work with the team, instead of just doing clerical work. I work a standard 40-hour work week in person, with the option of working remotely on Mondays and Fridays.

5.    What are you learning during your internship?

It is only my third week and I have already learned so much, not only technical knowledge like how to use a specific software, but also about how to work effectively in an office as part of a team. The team I am working with is a Production and Industrial Engineering (PIE) Core team, specifically the NC Robotics Programming and Automation team. Being a Core team means we are the central hub for PIE and it’s our job to support all the other teams. Our team specifically focuses on creating resources for and supporting the implementation of new software related to robotics and automation.

6.    What have you found most surprising about your internship?

I have been surprised by many things about my internship. For one, I was surprised to be an intern for a Core team. My team does not normally hire interns, so it is a unique opportunity to see what being on a team like this is like. I am also surprised by the size and scale of the operation here in Everett, Washington. The factory here is said to be the world’s largest building by volume, and having been inside multiple times, I can confirm it is massive.

7.    Is there anything about Oregon Tech that you wish everyone knew about?

I would say Oregon Tech has some really good selling points for their graduates. So I encourage every engineer who graduates from OIT to emphasize the communication course requirements and their hands-on learning experiences to their employers. This will help you stand out and be a more valuable member of a team.