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I am Francisca Alves and this academic year (2018/2019) I finished my Master in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Porto. During this past year we were waking up to the reality that
university was coming to an end and the world of work awaited us, with some of us being more apprehensive than others. Would all the knowledge acquired throughout the course be enough? Would we be able to contribute to the development of society?
To prepare myself for this change, I decided to do my master thesis in an industrial environment. After applying for the Continental Conti Student Award and being selected, I felt honored to have won the award and to have the unique opportunity to intern at a reputed company such as Continental.
After some meetings, the theme “Slitting System Set-up Automatization” was chosen. For 5 months, I dedicated myself to get acquainted with the existing technologies at the factory, to thoroughly study the operation of the slitting machine whose system was to be automated, and to develop a functional prototype. For such development, a theoretical study was made regarding similar systems, different solutions were analyzed and compared, and a final design was select. To assemble the prototype, I had to contact suppliers for different components and select the most adequate ones. I also performed a financial analysis of the project and, once its viability was confirmed, the components were then acquired and the prototype created, and finally tested and validated on the slitting machine.
In addition to the work related to my master thesis, this internship also provided me with the opportunity to contact with different activities of the factory through the participation in the daily briefings. There I could witness how different situations were being addressed in an efficient and structured way.
During my semester at Continental I met many of their collaborators, who helped and supported me whenever I needed, as if I was one of them. I have to thank the Engineering Department, where I was during this time.
I would also like to highlight my pleasure in participating in the Intern’s Day, in which Continental recognized its interns, as well as the internal and external advisors. In this event, I could once again feel the great team spirit that I had already witnessed during the internship.
At the beginning of this internship I was afraid I had not yet learned enough during my studies. Now that I have graduated and finished the internship, I feel that both have provided me with fundamental knowledge and also have taught me how to keep on learning by myself and how to not be afraid of new challenges.
Thank you, Continental for this opportunity.