At 3M, we're all learning, discovering, exploring and innovating together. Our internship programs allow for students to join other 3Mers on their career journey. Here’s a deeper look at what it’s like to be an engineering intern from someone who has experienced it firsthand.
Name: Daniel Baack
Title: Facilities Mechanical Engineer
Number of years at 3M: Two
Internships at 3M: Project Engineer Intern in the Automotive Division and Facilities Mechanical Engineer Intern
Education Level, Schools and Major(s): Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering with a minor in business from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI
Location: St. Paul, MN
I had always heard that 3M was a great place to work with an excellent culture. As a mechanical engineer, I have a passion for solving problems and gaining knowledge in new technical areas. During college I also had a strong interest in business. Corporate Engineering at 3M was a natural fit.
I felt the opportunities provided to engineers at 3M are unique compared to many other companies. Engineers fill many of the technical roles at 3M, but also hold many significant business and leadership roles. The best example of this is our CEO, Mike Roman, who has a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering.
As a project engineering intern, I was a project manager for seven capital projects for 3M’s automotive division. These projects varied from process improvements at a location in Mexico to working with the Automotive labs in St. Paul, MN, on research equipment upgrades.
As a facilities engineering intern, my primary project was developing an energy calculator that could model the cost of ventilation at 3M’s manufacturing sites across the United States. I also worked on a project to design mechanical utilities for a building renovation at 3M’s Cumberland, WI site.
My current role is an evolved version of my last internship. As a facilities mechanical engineer I design and manage the installation of capital mechanical system projects. These systems include process heating and cooling, hazardous exhaust, dust collection and steam/hydronic systems.
Having two summers of 3M experience provided me with a working knowledge of how 3M operated and of the culture to expect.
First, get involved in student organizations at your college that give you real world engineering experience. Second, try to get an internship every summer during college in different roles or companies to understand your interests.
One of the projects I worked on was to reduce fume levels on a process line by increasing ventilation. Using existing HVAC infrastructure with limited alterations, we significantly reduced fume levels for operators. On top of that, HVAC systems were optimized resulting in substantial energy and cost savings for the site. The project team was nominated for a corporate engineering energy award and was named one of the winners.