Queen's intern reflects on the convergence of engineering education and hands-on experiential learning at GM Canada

Posted on February 26, 2021


Arinze Imasogie is a third-year Mechanical Engineering student who, for the past six months, has embarked on the first leg of a 12-month immersive internship at GM Canada.

An Embedded Control Design Intern for the organization, he shared in this conversation with Thandi Nkole—the Industry and Student Engagement Specialist in Corporate Relations at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science—his experience in the Queen’s Undergraduate Internship Program.

First, he defined what role an Embedded Control Design Intern performs at GM.

“Under the umbrella of embedded controls,” he said, “there’s Controls and there’s Diagnostics. I work in the diagnostics area where we write algorithms...that monitor the hardware and software performance of the vehicle's hydraulic braking system. My role specifically is to test their algorithms using special software to make sure that they work before the software goes into production vehicles.”

Arinze Imasogie

What skills should an intern have to be successful?

 “The most important skill is communication. In our APSC 100 and 200 courses they kind of beat it into our heads that it’s so important to communicate properly, but it really is that important! Especially when you’re in an environment that is all remote and you don’t get to see the cues, like body language, and get a general understanding of what people are talking about. You don’t get all those things over an email or a text, so it’s even more important to ensure that you are being intentional and clear in your communication because so much time gets wasted and so much efficiency is lost if you’re not.”

With February being Black History Month, Arinze also spoke at length about role models in industries such as engineering where there is a need for greater representation and participation.

“If you’re a child or young adult who’s looking to choose a career path, the fact that you’ve seen a Black doctor or Black engineer, even though you haven’t had the chance to talk to them, and even if you didn’t consciously acknowledge it, it can have an impact on your decisions. I definitely think it’s critical for Black students and students from other equity seeking groups to have role models in those positions they would like to do.”