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Going into my first MEP Internship, what should I expect?

Over the summer I will be working in my first internship as an electrical engineer, at an MEP company. My auto cad skills are very basic, What proficiency of AutoCAD would they expect me to come in with? And what can I do to really excel and do well in this internship to come out with the most knowledge and experience?

Thank you for your help.

internship engineering electrical MEP electrical-engineering

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4 answers

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Biraj’s Answer

Hi Taner,
I work in a MEP firm but on the consulting department as an Energy Engineer. During my work I do a lot of design reviews as well and what I have realized is that an individual working in the design of MEP systems needs to have a holistic view of different building systems and components. As an electrical engineer, you will be required to make design decisions in coordination with mechanical, plumbing and civil engineers. And obviously with an Architect. AutoCAD, Revit, excel are few tools that you will use almost everyday. But as an intern, depending on the training program of your company, you will be trained in all those tools as you simultaneously work in the projects assigned to you. You won't be assigned a full design responsibility, but you will be assigned to work in the drafting and layouts (which requires AutoCAD and Revit), preliminary and final calculations during selection of electrical systems, lighting calculations (all of this in regards to the relevant codes and standards, using excel or other specialized programs). It's always better to have broad understanding of features in such tools as it will ultimately make your life easier when working on projects. However, having some understanding and rest the skills to figure out a way to use tools as you go is also one good way to go. With the latter, once you figure out, you will establish your own way of using tools and then after that it's just a matter optimizing it to become more efficient. Hope it helps !
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Daniel’s Answer

I would first set aside anything you think you know before you step through those doors. Go in with an open mind , and be ready to learn more in one day than your brain can handle in one Semester of College. It will be fast paced, and the people whose task it is to train you will have little patience for your lack of experience. Be prepared to swallow your pride, and stay focused on alll of the fast paced complexities you'll be tasked with completing before you start working on it. Because, the components you'll be working on will be needed by yesterday morning.
But, if you make it through the first day, the sense of accomplishment will feel like it did when you earned your first four year degree.
And if your lucky enough to land that 1 in a million internship that's actually moving at a comfortable place. Then you'll be ahead of the game if you treat it like it's not.😳
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Dennis’s Answer

If your proficient with your computer skills, you will catch on to the Auto-CAD application easily. I have experience in Auto-CAD and gain those skills by using my existing computer skills. There is help on the screen and and at first it will be trial and error, but before you know it, you will gain the necessary expertise !
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Steven’s Answer

Get to know as many people as possible. Be courteous, remember you are there to be productive and also learn. Ask questions and take notes. Be on time. For the most part, stay off your phone. Let people know you either need work, or possibly have to much of a work load. Communicate and be enjoyable to be around. Have a good time, but be serious.

Steven recommends the following next steps:

Google the company and contribute to the blog if they have one