Gabriel Lamba is gaining real-world experience as an intern with Xact Medical in Cincinnati
Internships have become increasingly important in today’s competitive job market. Completion of an internship can help you attain on-the-job training you simply can’t find in a college classroom. It can also signal to companies that you’re a go-getter and help make your resume stand out from the crowd of interested applicants. One such self-starter is Gabriel Lamba, a third-year mechanical engineering student at The Ohio State University who took advantage of the Third Frontier Diversity & Inclusion Technology Internship Program this past summer.
“This is my first internship and it’s so exciting for me. The company I matched with was the perfect fit. It’s small enough that I get to make an impact. The CEO sits about 20 feet away from me,” Lamba said enthusiastically. “Pretty quickly I was given projects to work on independently. I designed and built panels for a box that will house electrical systems. Every day I’m machining small things, modifying gears, which will help improve the device.
Lamba, a promising future mechanical engineer, lent his skills and ambition to Xact Medical in Springboro. The company develops robotic technologies to increase the accuracy of medical procedures like needle insertions to improve patient outcomes. For Lamba, the experience gave him the opportunity to learn firsthand about the things he was taught in the classroom, which he says made the internship so fulfilling.
“I can’t believe that I’m getting to build things and be so hands-on, which is really cool. The only machine experience I had before this internship was just through a class I took. I’m glad I took that class because it gave me the initial exposure I needed to understand the wiring and electrical side of things,” said Lamba. “But that was really all just conceptual. In the three months I’ve worked here I feel like I’ve learned so much more. I’m really, really glad I got this opportunity. I’m making the most of it.”
Gaining these types of real-world skills can be challenging for many students as they deal with the reality that many—nearly 50%—of internship opportunities are listed as unpaid. Support from the Ohio Development Services Agency allowed companies to pay their interns, which Lamba said makes a huge difference.
“It’s tough when you have to weigh the benefits of getting internship experience with not being compensated. There are so many of those opportunities out there and it can be frustrating to have to pass on them,” said Lamba. “I’m paid for my time while I’m learning more about my field of interest. That’s going to go a long way to helping me pay for textbooks and living costs at Ohio State.”