Learn about Freyja's internship experience and the career development skills she's gained in the professional work environment.

Freyja Leinonen

Name: Freyja Leinonen

Location: South Australia

University & Course: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
(Mechanical and Advanced Manufacturing), University of South Australia

Graduation: 2023 (expected)

What types of things were you involved with during your internship? E.g. in the office, on line, on site, workshop etc.

I was involved in a lot of research and development (in the office) and a good amount of practical work (in the workshop).

What advantages has completing the internship given you? E.g. skills development, knowledge, networking.

Engineering skills that I have found hard to develop at university due to Covid-19. Problem solving skills, practical skills, effective communication skills and professionalism, all whilst still in my 3rd year of uni. The biggest advantage, I believe, is the confidence I have gained in myself, my knowledge, and my skills as an engineer.

What was the biggest challenge you faced during your internship?

The open-endedness of my first engineering project outside of uni. University assignments are set out in a way that is easy to follow and complete- there are also right and wrong answers to university assignments, which we are given the tools to find. The project that I am working on at Toolcraft is a new development and hence I need to make my own calls and use my own knowledge and common sense to find the appropriate outcome.

What was the main thing that you learnt during your internship that you’ve since been able to apply to your professional life / studies?

There is always a solution to a problem, perseverance, and the ability to understand engineering processes from a systems engineering point of view, when there are no clearly defined boundaries and you have to define them yourself.

What are the ways Engineers Australia helped you throughout the internship process? E.g. student ambassador program, attended an EA event, relationship with EA staff, masterclasses, webinars etc.

Attending networking events such as Elevation, and other assorted panel events hosted by Engineers Australia has completely fast-tracked my professional development as an engineer. I have learnt so many different skills just from listening to the panelists own experiences that I have been able to bring into my professional life and even my internship.

Becoming a student ambassador has opened my eyes to all of the opportunities out there and how important networking and being confident in communication is for student engineers.
Becoming a student ambassador has given  me the confidence to
reach for any opportunity.

I have also developed a great relationship with my states student and graduate engagement manager, who is always extremely  encouraging of me. Not relevant to my current experience, but my
student and graduate engagement manager has helped me in the process of obtaining a summer internship to further my professional development even more!