Adding value through internship, a Queen’s Engineering student innovates with Kingston’s SnapCab

Posted on December 16, 2020


Charles Hunter, a fourth-year Mechanical Engineering student, joined the Kingston-based firm SnapCab earlier this year. His year-long full-time internship, developed through Queen’s Engineering Corporate Relations, began as the company was taking steps to change its business model to better support clients through the COVID-19 pandemic.

As SnapCab moved from modular office infrastructure to COVID-specific working booths – an approach that would garner national acclaim and attention – Charles also found an opportunity to apply his engineering knowledge and experience through a Queen’s University Internship Program (QUIP) position.

“When I first came here I noticed that it was a small company,” he said in a video produced by the firm. “What that brings is tremendous company culture where everyone is willing to help you and you’re willing to help other people, so it’s a really fun work environment.”

By opting for a 12-month internship, he had the freedom to choose virtually any organization that matched his professional interests.

Charles Hunter interns at SnapCab in Kingston

He found the award-winning company provided him a fully immersive experience. According to R&D, Workspace Product Manager Kyle Mullin, that multilayered perspective has allowed for Charles to follow through with an idea from conception to implementation.

“What’s unique about SnapCab and an internship at SnapCab is that you really have an opportunity to work in a variety of different ways,” he said. “I can’t really envision SnapCab without him at this point.”

Though he’s only partway through it, Charles can already identify the value of the experience. “As an intern you’re going in to see what you want and what your career prospects are,” he said. Starting with fundamental experience on the shop floor, he now participates in design projects, planning processes, and provides the kinds of insight and expertise only an engineering student can offer. “By getting exposed to all those different parts of it, you can get a little peek into what you like doing, what you don’t like doing, which I think is really valuable information when you’re looking for something to do for the rest of your life.”

Queen’s Engineering Corporate Relations builds relationships with employers to create QUIP internships each year – like Charles, these interns are given intensive, in-the-field opportunities to experience engineering work, provide meaningful contributions to the industry, and bring that experience back to Queen's for their final year of studies.