Charlie Freestone took up the mantle of Cubik’s Electronics Design Engineer Intern for the 2016-2017 academic year. During his time with Cubik, Charlie was a welcome and vibrant addition to the team with his colourful attire and positive attitude. Before leaving to enjoy the last of his summer holidays and his return to Plymouth University to complete the final year of his Robotics degree, we asked Charlie to reflect on his time with us.
My time at Cubik
What you learn at University is your bread and butter foundation but I’ve now found that there is so much more to learn than you can pick up just doing a degree. Having hands on design experience along with the entirety of the production process is something you must experience, you learn the correct procedures, how to carry out tasks and how they can be documented correctly.
How I feel about my internship
A lot of interns spend this year not being able to apply all their knowledge to their year in industry. I was pushed into not only applying what I have learnt on my course to the extreme, but also to learning new ways of applying that knowledge and entirely new theories. I have found that there is also a lot more to learn about the industry that isn’t taught at university such as realising that the time taken to resolve an issue is more important than finding a fancy way of doing things and that sometimes keeping it simple is a much better way to complete a project.
When working at Cubik the atmosphere makes it possible to do all these tasks every day. Whenever I had a problem I was only 2 meters or 5 mins away from having an answer or learning a new perspective to apply to what you are doing. Even though everyone in the team could be doing different types of work, everyone is willing to help at the drop of a hat, whether it’s showing how to install the newest coding software or how to have a really dirty night out!
What I have learned
When creating documents for customers you must always remember that you won’t always be addressing an engineer. You should ensure that whenever you write a document that you fully explain every little part of a system as not everyone knows all the terminology.
Learning how to correctly prioritise projects and tasks becomes more pronounced while on a placement. At University, you get a few modules that you must learn while doing coursework and that can take up to 6 months to do. At Cubik, you could have one to ten tasks that must be completed at any given time, some will need to be completed before others and some will require assistance from other Engineering buddies in either the Design or Production Departments which meant that I learnt crucial time-keeping and priortising skills.
The internship at Cubik has given me experience with the entire design, development and manufacture process, how an idea from a customer becomes a real product. I have witnessed and contributed to every part of this process during my year and it has given me the ability to make a strong choice on where I want to be after I finish my course, I for sure want to stay on track to becoming an Engineer.