Engineering Management

Vi Duong
Emphasis Area
Business Administration

Vi Duong developed her project management, analytical, and communication skills stepping into a leadership role at Digital Design Group.

How did you get your internship and why did you choose it?

I secured my internship through a combination of networking and a strong academic background. Attending industry-related events and seminars allowed me to connect with professionals in the engineering field, and I actively sought out opportunities by expressing my interest in my father's company. My strong academic performance and genuine passion for the industry played a crucial role in convincing the team that I could contribute meaningfully to the company. I chose this internship primarily because of my desire to understand and contribute to my father's engineering company. Having grown up with discussions about the business, I saw this as a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge gained in my Applied Humanities degree and the practical aspects of running a successful engineering firm.

What kind of work did you do throughout your internship experience?

During my internship, I was involved in various aspects of the business. I handled accounting and financial tasks, participated in engineering projects, engaged with clients to understand their needs, and conducted data analysis to identify areas for improvement. My responsibilities were diverse, allowing me to gain a holistic view of the company's operations.

What was challenging about your internship?

A challenging aspect was managing the financial complexities of the business. Learning to navigate budgeting, financial forecasting, and resource allocation was demanding but incredibly insightful. It taught me the importance of meticulous financial planning and the critical role it plays in the overall success and sustainability of an engineering firm.

What was the most satisfying part of your internship?

The most satisfying part of my internship was witnessing the successful completion of a challenging engineering project that I had actively contributed to. Seeing the tangible results of our collective efforts and the positive impact on the client's satisfaction was immensely gratifying. It reinforced my passion for the industry and the sense of accomplishment that comes with overcoming challenges.

What is unique about your situation that influenced your internship selection or experience?

The uniqueness of my situation lies in the familial connection to the business. This not only fueled my personal motivation to contribute but also provided me with an insider's perspective on the company's history, values, and long-term goals. It was a rare chance to merge personal and professional interests.

What skills did you develop in this internship?

Through my internship, I developed a deep understanding of financial management, honed my engineering skills, and enhanced my ability to analyze and interpret data for strategic decision-making. Moreover, I improved my communication skills by interacting with clients and colleagues, and I gained hands-on experience in project management.

How did your Applied Humanities major coursework help prepare you or give you unique insight for the internship experience?

The human-centric focus of my humanities coursework proved invaluable in understanding the diverse needs of clients and stakeholders. My Applied Humanities coursework equipped me with a broad perspective that proved beneficial in navigating the complex dynamics of the business world. Courses in ethics, cultural studies, and communication provided a foundation for understanding the social and ethical considerations in engineering projects and dealing with a diverse clientele. The internship allowed me to apply these critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills in a real-world business setting.