Deep Mehta is a sophomore from Mumbai, India with a major in Industrial Engineering and a minor in Economics with a certificate in Entrepreneurship. At Purdue, Deep serves as the Vice President for the Purdue Society of Professional Engineers (PSPE), is an International Student Ambassador for Purdue, and works as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for the Engineering Education department. This past summer, Deep had the opportunity to intern as a Sourcing Analyst for Cummins Inc in Columbus, Indiana.
What attracted you to the company/position?
Cummins Inc. is the largest independent engine manufacturer in the world. I strongly relate to their mission, vision, and values as a company! It is also a Fortune 500 company, so the opportunities for growth are endless.
What was the hiring process like?
I applied to the position during the Industrial Roundtable my freshman year, around September of 2017, and talked to a few industrial engineers working for them. I received an invite for a behavioral phone interview in January 2018. The interview lasted for about 90 minutes and I was mainly asked about why I was interested in working for Cummins.
After the first behavioral phone interview, I had to go through a comprehensive technical interview with one of their Chief Engineers in February. This time the interview questions were about my professional work experience and how those experiences will help me in my role at Cummins. I received an offer shortly after the interview.
Can you tell me a little about what your overall experience was like working there and what your typical day was like?
I don’t think I had a fixed routine for even a single day. The working hours were from 8 am to 5 pm with an hour for lunch. My daily activities included attending meetings to discuss progress on projects and attending intern events. I also participated in training sessions on a variety of topics like Project Management, Six Sigma etc. Apart from a project that I owned, I supported 3 other projects across different business units.
There were many intern events which gave interns a chance to network with the leaders of the company. We had an “Executive Speaker Series” where the CEO and other VPs of the company spoke about their career path and experience while working for the company. I found those really inspiring and motivating.
Cummins has a ‘Purdue Mentor Program’ where they pair an intern with a current employee who is a Purdue alumnus. Every other week, I would meet with my mentors to seek advice on handling certain situations and also to discuss my career plans.
At the end of the summer, I presented my recommendations to the senior management. I feel very satisfied because I was able to deliver results and make a difference. The entire experience was very challenging yet rewarding. I have grown a lot professionally and made lifelong connections.
Did you get any cool perks working for Cummins?
We had access to a lot of employee discount programs on electronics, clothing etc. I worked in an engine plant, so I got to see a lot of cool things on the factory floor. In one of the training programs, I got a chance to dismantle a medium duty truck diesel engine and then rebuild it from scratch!
Do you feel that your past internships/classes helped prepare you for this one? If so how?
Prior to starting this internship, I had only completed my freshman year, so I did not have a chance to take a lot of core classes. But I feel my experience with previous internships helped me. Having worked in cross-functional and cross-cultural teams, I was ready to dive in and tackle the problem at hand.
What did this job teach you about yourself?
I discovered that I like to be productive and busy. There were times when the projects were moving slow, so I reached out to other managers on my team to find something to work on. As a result, I was exposed to a lot of interesting things and learned a lot about my position. I enjoy being responsible and working with people from different backgrounds.
Where do you see yourself working post-graduation/did you land a full-time job with the company?
I want to pursue a career in consulting, post-graduation. After working for a few years, I see myself attending a business school to pursue an MBA. Talking about the short-term plans, I do have an offer from Cummins to return as a Sourcing Specialist Intern for Summer 2019.
How do you feel that your education at Purdue helped you while working for this company?
I think Purdue Engineering prepares you to take on challenges and not be afraid while trying to solve them. The rigorous academic program enhances your problem-solving and critical-thinking skills while also teaching you how to collaborate and work in teams, which is very important.
What career readiness tools has Purdue provided you with?
I frequently use myCCO to check for available positions at companies. Apart from that, I have found resume reviews and other internship and career preparation seminars to be very helpful.
What career advice would you give to underclassmen?
Learn how to talk to recruiters, present yourself professionally, work on your "elevator pitch". Be involved on campus and pursue your hobbies! Apart from your coursework and experience, employers want to know who you are as a person. Make your interviews a conversation!