Gausman & Moore is a Minnesota-based mechanical and electrical engineering firm with offices in St. Paul and Duluth. With additional specialties in pluming, industrial, and low voltage design, Gausman & Moore delivers its consulting engineering services to institutions, corporations, and governments throughout the United States. But they don’t do it alone.
“We make a practice of bringing in interns every year,” said Gausman & Moore President Ed Studniski. “What we’ve found is it’s not a huge cost to Gausman and Moore and frankly the student candidates we’ve received have repeatedly stepped into their role and been productive very quickly. So it’s been the best of both worlds in that we can give back to the community by bringing someone in and in turn they perform really well.”
Last summer, Gausman & Moore was on the lookout for a new electrical engineering intern. Utilizing the SciTech Internship Program to help them find qualified candidates, the leadership team started searching for someone who could work with and learn from their senior electrical engineers.
“In our business, engineers need to be able to communicate,” Studniski said. “So one thing we always look for is, ‘can someone communicate well and work with our team?’ Sina certainly possesses those qualities.”
An Intro to Industry
Sina Kassaw is an electrical engineering major at the University of Minnesota. She came across the SciTech program by accident when, after dropping her brother off at a career fair, noticed the SciTech table and decided to learn more.
Not long after enrolling, Kassaw was applying for internships and soon secured her place as an electrical engineering intern with Gausman and Moore.
Before this internship experience, Kassaw said, “I was pretty unsure of what the engineering industry looked like. SciTech really brought that perspective and helped me landscape the industry here in Minnesota.”
Kassaw actually started her academic career in biomedical engineering. Her decision to transition to electrical, she said “took a lot of self-searching to decide that this was something I really wanted to pursue. I knew I could really fail at it, and that was a big fear of mine. But I ultimately chose to persevere, whether or not that meant I failed or succeeded. And honestly, that was the best decision I’ve ever made and I’m really glad that I made it.”
For the Love of Design
During her time as an electrical engineering intern, Kassaw further developed her abilities through a series of real-world projects and assignments. This included a combination of computer aided modeling, document production, technical research, design and redesign work.
“I have a love for math and science,” Kassaw said, “but the most exciting part of the process is watching an equation come to life in a design. When that design is used to improve the quality of a life, the satisfaction doubles.”
Having an intern that brings that level of drive, Studniski said, “is really fun. The passion they come with and the excitement they have is contagious. The other staff get to interact with them, show them the ropes and teach them what they know about the business. It livens up the place to have them here.”
Small Minnesota companies receive up to $2,500 to help pay a STEM intern. At least 350 wage matches are available through August 2019.