Future engineer glimpses career through summer internship experience
Since coming to Ohio State Marion, junior engineering technology major Alex Cabungcal has been highly involved, not only on campus but directly in what his future career holds in store.
Cabungcal gives much of that credit to the school he transferred to, The Ohio State University at Marion.
Alex transferred to Ohio State Marion from Ohio Northern after his freshman year in college. As a nearby graduate of Olentangy Orange High School in southern Delaware County, he is now on track to be one of the first students to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology from The Ohio State University, having completed the Engineering Technology program at Marion, which is one of only three campuses in the Ohio State system to offer a degree in engineering technology.
Beyond just earning a degree, Cabungcal put an emphasis on gaining some real-world experience in his future career. Which according to him, he had the opportunity to do with Whirlpool Corporation, Marion Operations. Believing his time at Whirlpool helped him narrow down what he wants to do after graduation.
“I thought it was a good experience,” he said. “Seeing other jobs and their roles, I could narrow down and see what I wanted to do and what I didn’t want to do, said Cabungcal.”
“The role of being a process engineer, improving what the company does, and how a company like Whirlpool manufactures their dryers, their world class manufacturing process, whether it is improving adapting new ones,” said Cabungcal. “That is what I observed there, what they really do as engineers.”
“The experience of working a real-world job, in a real-world environment, outside of classroom,” he added, “there is still a lot to learn once you get into whatever job you find yourself in.”
Cabungcal applied and interviewed for the internship, much like a regular job and started May 2021 through middle of August 2021, which didn’t cut into his spring or autumn semester coursework. He spent the summer in the controls and automation department at Whirlpool. During that time, Cabungcal explained, he assisted Whirlpool engineers with what they were working on, and completed some basic, yet minor repairs of robot arms.
“I would sometimes go with them to the assembly line to replace or fix equipment. They had bigger projects using Excel, PowerPoint, 3D modeling software,” said Cabungcal.
Cabungcal shared that the relationships Ohio State Marion has developed with Whirlpool and similar manufacturers was a big part of what Ohio State has provided him.
Cabungcal has taken part in field trips to U.S. Yachio to watch gas tanks manufactured, as well as the opportunity for Q & A sessions both in person and over Zoom with leaders from Wilson Bohanan, Rialto, Poet, Whirlpool, and Nucor Steel.
“During engineering tech. 1200,” Cabungcal explained, “we had groups and a mentor from a company in Marion. My group got Whirlpool. I meet Darryl Young and Angela Buckley last year. We met with them 4 or 5 times and they discussed their careers and how they got there.”
“As far as the degree program, said Cabungcal, “I thought engineering would be a great fit. The curriculum and classes fit very well. Manufacturing is important and I thought that would be something good to get involved with.”
Beyond the just the academics, Cabungcal felt his experience and involvement on campus has been second to none.
“I have liked my professors, classes, and the opportunities it has presented so far,” he said. “I have good relationships with faculty, staff, and my classmates. I have also really enjoyed the opportunities available to me in clubs like Campus Activities Board, Undergraduate Student Government, and on Columbus campus Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers.”
“We got to meet with alumni that worked for companies like GM. This gave us a terrific opportunity to hear their experience and where they are at now.”
Cabungcal also had the opportunity to experience one of Ohio State’s greatest traditions from the inside, serving as homecoming representative on the Marion Campus Homecoming Court.
Cabungcal sees himself in 5 to 10 years as a manufacturing or process/systems engineer with an established company and working in a role to help improve the manufacturing process and ensure they are efficient. Proving it is never too late to truly investigate your options and change or confirm the path you are on.