Real-Life Applications: Burns Explores Engineering Techniques at 3M Internship

August 26, 2022

Grayson Burns' internship with 3M provided hands-on experience.

Grayson Burns’ internship with 3M provided hands-on experience.

Internships give students a chance to apply their learning to hands-on projects.

Grayson Burns is a senior in industrial and manufacturing systems engineering and spent the summer as an intern with 3M.

We asked him a few questions about his experience.

Tell us about your internship at 3M. What’s your role and primary responsibility?  

I am a Student Engineer, employed by Pride One, working on the Littmann Stethoscope product line at the 3M plant in Columbia, MO. My primary responsibilities consist of completing the engineering projects I have been assigned to lead. This year, I have tackled three main projects involving robotic automation, the reengineering of a fixture design and conducting a Kaizen event. Beyond my projects, I serve as a support role for the entire stethoscopes engineering team.

What’s a typical day like?  

Apart from daily meetings, there is no such thing as a typical day for my role. I am constantly bouncing around between projects, which has brought a wide range of experiences and teachings. This variability makes the days fly by as I get to expand the boundaries of my engineering skills.

How did Mizzou Engineering prepare you for this internship? 

The skills I have gained from my Mizzou Engineering coursework have had a major impact on the success I have found in my position. With the education I have already received, I was able to immediately dive into the complex engineering work that comes with such a high-preforming production system.

How did Mizzou Engineering Career Services assist you with securing or preparing for this internship? 

I made my first impression on 3M at the Mizzou Engineering Fall Career Fair put on by Career Services. This was a key interaction in receiving this incredible internship opportunity.

What have you enjoyed most working at 3M so far? 

It is hard to narrow down such a positive experience to one key element. One aspect that has a significant impact on me is the trust that 3M places in their employees’ abilities. Despite being new to the engineering profession, I have been given projects that have pushed me and used my full range of skills.

What have you learned from your internship experience?

I have learned what real-life applications of the engineering techniques I’ve learned in class look like. Learning from examples in a book is a good introduction to topics but hands-on application has given me a true understanding of how and why we do certain things.

What advice would you give other students wanting to have a similar internship experience? 

Take your learning outside of the classroom. Through extensive involvement at Mizzou, I have learned so much more about my profession, strengthened my leadership skills and built a large network on campus. If I did not get involved with extra-curriculars I would not have been offered this position, nor would I have been prepared for it.

Thanks for sharing!

Interested in an engineering education that presents opportunities for hands-on learning? Apply to Mizzou today!