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eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY Crisis Centre

Malaka Peris

Automotive Engineering Student

12 month Internship with Volkswagen Group Canada

Product Support Intern

Would you return to your employer?

Yes

Would you recommend your employer?

Yes

Would you return to a similar position?

Yes

Did you always know you wanted to do co-op/internship?

Yes, as it would allow me to get experience in the field before graduation.

Did you have any concerns or hesitations before you started?

I had no previous experience working in a corporate environment and thought that it would be challenging to get up to speed.

What were your expectations?

To learn more about the automotive industry and get hands on and technical experience in the field.

How did your experience compare with your expectations?

It was one of the most memorable years in my life. I learned a lot and was able to meet amazing people that helped me along the way.

How would you say you enjoyed your experience?

My experience exceeded the expectations that I had at the start of the internship. I learned a lot more that I was able to bring forward to my 4th year of study and that I can take with me to any place of employment.

In a few sentences, explain your position. Please provide details about your daily tasks, projects, and responsibilities.

As the product support intern I worked alongside a team of product support engineers to analyze and report market quality topics for both Volkswagen and Audi vehicles, I was required to use technical and teamwork skills to support the technical helpline and vehicle factories regarding repair information.

What was your work atmosphere like? (flexibility, formality, team-centric, supportive)

The team environment at Volkswagen was very close knit and flexible. Getting to work with unique engineers allowed me to learn from each and every one of them. They were extremely helpful in the first few months by answering all my questions and helping me fit in.

Did you feel that any training and/or support available to you was helpful or beneficial to you?

I was trained by the previous intern before he left and it was extremely beneficial for me to start off at the position.

What previous skills and/or competencies (professional or volunteer related) helped you in your role?

Having good communication and interpersonal skills allowed me to fit in quickly in the position. Technical knowledge about vehicles that were taught in the Automotive Engineering program at UOIT also allowed me to have background in the field.

What previous skills and/or competencies did you develop during your placement? Are there any strengths or weaknesses that also fall into this skill/competency development?

I developed a lot of technical skills with automobiles. Before my internship I did not have much hands on experience with vehicles however during my internship I was able to gain a lot more experience and learn from professional engineers.

What advice would you offer to students thinking about pursuing co-op or internship?

I would definitely recommend doing a co-op or internship. It allows you to gain real life experience and build on your skills. It is also a great break from the school environment.

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