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Blake Zegiestowsky

Blake Zegiestowsky


I worked 4 co-op rotations with Mercedes-Benz. I started in Quality Management where I would hear about cars with issues in the field and work to find the root cause of the issue. I would then work with assembly line workers, engineers, and management to come up with solutions to prevent these issues from reoccurring. This role taught me a lot about getting to the root cause and understanding the manufacturing process to know how to solve the problem. After that, I worked in Research and Design on the E/E team where I built equipment to work on the electrical components of the car. I built a mobile cart that has the same electrical architecture as the actual car. I then used this cart to test, diagnose, and update the software on all of the computers and control units in the vehicle. Even though I am a Mechanical Engineer, I found it very valuable to get outside of my comfort zone and gain some experience with Electrical Engineering. I was in Research and Design on the Powertrain & Chassis team for my third and fourth Co-op rotations. I was responsible for managing design changes with my counterparts in Germany. I did some 3D modeling work to improve certain parts. I am proud to say that I have designed a few parts that are currently used in Mercedes-Benz SUVs. I also designed and 3D printed several jigs, brackets, and gauges to improve manufacturing processes. I was able to get one of the jigs I designed implemented in the US, Germany, and China. In my downtime, I created a fully functioning 1:5 scale model of the entire chassis.

Through this Co-op, I have grown tremendously in more ways than I ever could have expected. I think the most valuable thing I got out of this Co-op is direction. Before working for Mercedes-Benz, I did not even know what the work of an engineer in the real world REALLY looked like. Now, I am very familiar with what different types of engineering roles are out there and what each of them does. More importantly, I know exactly what I like to do and which direction I want to head. My Co-op allowed me to try out different departments and see what I like/dislike. It is a lot easier to figure this out in a temporary Co-op instead of a full-time job after college. I feel like this Co-op gave me a headstart on my career so I can hit the ground running once I graduate.

I remember when I was looking into getting my first internship/Co-op I was pretty set on not doing a Co-op because I did not want to take any semesters off and push back my graduation date. I ended up getting a Co-op and taking two semesters off and pushing my graduation date back a whole year and I don't regret any of it. I feel that work experience is a vital part of becoming an engineer. The Co-op taught me all the things that you don't learn in the classroom (which is more than I expected), such as: how to lead and participate in meetings, how to communicate effectively with a wide range of people, how to manage time and projects, and even how to adapt to working in a professional environment.

Cars are the reason I am studying mechanical engineering. I like to work on cars in my free time and can always use a hand! I also like to stay active and be outdoors.

Blake Zegiestowsky

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