Lauren Santichen, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

What is your title?
Electrical Engineer Intern

How has/did your internship prepared you for your career?
My internship gave me a lot of different experiences with the various projects MacB had, at the hangar in particular. I was able to work with Brandon Wannarka on some of his UAV work, which has been a Senior Project with Rose two years running now. I also got the chance to explore more of the functionality of MatLab while working with Jeremy Hughes, but I also learned the limitations of it while working on converting a computation GUI into Python for Darren Schindel. The last project was my favorite of the ones during my internship time.

What do you like most about MacB?
The answer boils down to two things: the work I do and the people I accomplish it with. I have always been very patriotic, so being able to see the work I do have an actual effect on keeping our people safe is very important to me and keeps me working my best at all times. At the same time, even doing the best projects can lag if the people I work with are stand-offish, which is definitely not the case at the hangar. Half the fun I have on projects is when I can bounce ideas back and forth between people like Chris Wessinger, Dave Heedy and Jessica Hintzman. It’s an environment that really lends itself to good work and even better people to work alongside.

Describe MacB in three words.
This is hard for me, since I really like my words (as you can probably tell). But If I had to choose, I would say: friendly, loyal, and fulfilling

What does a typical day at MacB look like?
A typical day for me can change rapidly. Recently, I have been working on a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for a project set to finish in the November-December time frame, but I have worked on many different projects from interfacing with FPGAs and prototype boards to re-writing code for test equipment to learning a new coding language entirely. The culture itself in the hangar is relaxed. Most of us wear blue jeans instead of slacks or skirts and breakroom treats are a common sight. The people are pretty fun to work with both in and out of the building. Several outings, from golf to laser tag, have been set up with increasing frequency. A typical day is busy, but it is also very fulfilling.

What do you like best about your job?
The same things that I like about MacB. The work is fulfilling and meaningful and the people are fantastic to work with.

How did you first learn about MacB?
At my own Rose-Hulman career fair, to be honest. I had gotten the list of companies and researched the ones looking for ECEs and found that MacB’s values lined up with my own. It was only two interviews later that I was hired as an intern and managed to impress my supervisor enough to leave with a promise of a job after graduation.

What advice do you have for prospect MacB interns?
Honestly, the only thing that I worried about as an intern was the length of the clearance investigation. It took a long, long time to get my clearance and be allowed into the hangar without escort. I always worried that, if I didn’t get it in time, would MacB just give up and move on to someone else? And they won’t. MacB and coworkers know how long it takes to get a clearance. There will be plenty of work in the meantime, so don’t worry about how long the investigation is taking. It will take as long as it takes.

What is the most exciting aspect of your job?
Probably the thought that I am actively playing a role in the defense of my country, even if I’m not on the front lines. I respect the duty of the men and women in the Army, Airforce, and Navy and am happy to play my part in bringing them home safely. It’s more of a ‘big picture’ look, but when I think ‘exciting’, that’s what I focus on.

What’s Next?
In the career sense, I plan on staying at the hangar as long as they will have me. The Beavercreek area and Wright-Patterson AFB is a nice area to live and work and, again, the people are great to pal around with.