May 2022

picture of may intern of the monthName: Maxwell Mzhen

Major and University: Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland College Park

Internship Title: Engineering Intern, Optimized Thermal Systems (OTS) Beltsville, MD

Career Goal:

My goal is to use engineering to improve the world’s energy infrastructure. OTS allows me to make an impact in an energy related field that affects each one of us every day. I am also excited to work for a company that is driven to enable energy efficiency and create sustainable solutions.

1. What is the culture like at your internship site? (big, small? Can you wear jeans? Is it fast paced?)

OTS is a small company with about 15 employees. Employees know each other very well and the atmosphere is casual and personal. Jeans are definitely allowed- you never know when you might have to get a dirty in the lab. With such a small company, there is always work to go around and the environment is fast paced.

2. Who are the clients that you work with?

OTS serves two main types of clients. First, OTS licenses HVAC & Refrigeration optimization software packages to companies across the globe. Second, OTS serves as a general thermal systems consultant- conducting experimental testing and validation of HVAC equipment and building custom software are just a couple of examples of work on this side of the business.

3. Are you working on any exciting projects that you want to share? Have you learned any exciting new skills that were unexpected?

My favorite and most involved project is creating a 3D printed heat exchanger. I have had the opportunity to get a hands-on experience with 3D printing and transforming the plastic parts into metal with electroplating. I have also tested these parts using various sensors, microcontrollers, and programming.

4. How did you prepare for the interview? Can you share any tips for your fellow students?

My interview was fairly involved- solving a heat transfer problem before I had even taken the corresponding class! One piece of advice I would give is to practice explaining technical concepts. It is great to be able to solve a problem, but even better to be able to communicate to others how you solved that problem.

5. How did you find your internship position? Did you use a career center for help with your resume?

I found the internship through the Engineering Career Services Office at University of Maryland. I did not use them for resume help this specific time, but they were extremely helpful in improving my resume early on in my college career.

6. Please share anything that you think makes a strong remote internship. 

One fun thing about my company is that we play competitive table tennis most days after lunch. Bo is the current champion, but I’m always working on my game.

As it is a small company, there are no specific professional development opportunities for interns. However, people are always looking to help me in whatever it is I do.