Matchmaking at Aeronamic
Krijn Schouten - intern Department of Manufacturing Engineering
To match the right intern with the right team sounds easy enough, but it has proven to be quite a challenge for companies like Aeronamic. Many manufacturing companies seem to forget an important element in the search process: what students themselves want and need. That’s why we use a different approach to finding future colleagues. Krijn Schouten, intern at Aeronamic’s Manufacturing Engineering Department can tell you all about it.
Krijn (28) was always interested in technology and aerospace. “That’s why I’m at the University of Twente, studying Mechanical Engineering (MSc) with a specialization in Design & Manufacturing. During our second year, we have to do an internship and one of my friends mentioned the name Aeronamic. He had done an internship there a few years ago and was very enthusiastic about both the company and the team he worked with.” At first, Krijn wasn’t sure whether to go to a smaller company like Aeronamic or to a big company. “A big one would be a more obvious choice. They have lots of expertise and a big name to put on your resume. But I believed the amount of impact I could make in a smaller company would be bigger. So based on my friends advice and my own research, I decided to get in touch with Aeronamic. The rest is history.”
The perfect match
Krijn: “During my first talks with the Aeronamic team, I immediately got the sense that they were willing to listen to what I wanted. Most companies just focus on their own needs when selecting interns. That’s fair enough, but it can result in a mismatch between company and student, because what the student needed wasn’t part of the equation.” This approach of matching the student with the organization is distinctive. Instead of formulating an assignment based solely on what we need to have reinforced, we tailor the assignment to the student’s expertise and learning goals. “By combining what I needed with what Aeronamic needed, both parties found that perfect match.”
A true member of the team
Based on his area of expertise, Krijn became part of our Manufacturing Engineering team. “Together with my supervisor Ronny Blaauwgeers I formulated an assignment that suited my skills and ambitions. My main task involved using a laser marker for special operations in an aeronautics manufacturing environment. I used Aeronamic’s new laser marking machine for complex processes, made sure our solutions were reproducible, and carried out research to see whether certain marking processes (e.g. electrochemical etching) could be replaced by laser marking. Having these types of tasks and responsibilities from the beginning made me really feel like I was a member of the team. I didn’t feel like just another intern. And whenever I had difficulties at work, there was always a colleague or my supervisor Ronny who could help me.”
During his internship at Aeronamic, we also learned some valuable skills when Krijn shared his knowledge and insights on the topic of process improvement. It is vitally important for Aeronamic to keep improving its in-house processes and by “winning” time in the factory without a lessening of quality or even by improving it, Aeronamic can continue to have an optimal turnover. Krijn: “I’m very happy to have been able to contribute to certain process improvements.”
Krijn’s future at Aeronamic
Because Krijn showed such great enthusiasm and skills during his internship, Aeronamic wasn’t keen on letting him go after his internship. “They rewarded my work and work ethic by offering me a job for 1-2 days a week. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse because I wasn’t ‘done’ at Aeronamic either. There’s still so much to learn and to contribute when it comes to process development. I can easily swap the time I spend at Aeronamic with the time I used to spend at my former job in the university workshop. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I must first focus on finishing my master’s degree. But hopefully, I can increase the number of days I work at Aeronamic in the near future so that I can help take the company’s internal processes to new heights!”
Can you also see opportunities for yourself at Aeronamic? Send your resume and motivation letter to us at email@example.com. And perhaps soon, we can push limits together!