Vaughn Mechatronics Major Uses Past to Build Her FutureBy Vaughn College
Emily German ’18 is living proof that childhood passions can be the building blocks to an exciting future. As a senior in the mechatronics engineering program at Vaughn College, German recalls the days that led her to fulfill her dreams and explains how her major at Vaughn helped her land the job of a lifetime.
Building the dream
As a child, German played with LEGO® blocks and was fascinated with how she could put them together to build whatever she imagined. Throughout middle school and high school, she nurtured that passion and discovered culinary arts, where she pursued her interest in becoming a pastry chef.
Seeing how German had a talent for processing and developing designs, her mother encouraged her to take an engineering course in her junior year of high school. She broadened her scope of engineering classes during her senior year and the rest, as they say, is history.
“It all started with a handshake,” German explained. While exploring institutions at a college fair in her senior year, German discovered Vaughn College and said the Vaughn recruiter was the only one who shook her hand. She learned about their mechatronic engineering program and was excited to hear how they offered a curriculum that combined mechanical, electrical and computer engineering―all in one. “It was the perfect fit for me.”
Taking an active role
German wasted no time getting involved on campus. She tapped into her athletic side and joined the tennis, cross country and basketball teams. It was in her leadership roles, however, as president of the Society of Women Engineers, Vaughn Chapter (SWE) and former president of Circle K International, Vaughn Chapter that proved instrumental in furthering her success at Vaughn.
“We heard about an opportunity to attend the Society of Women Engineers (SWE’s) annual conference and career fair,” German said. “Vaughn was generous in funding our trip and the office of career services pulled out all the stops to help us prepare for the conference.”
Opening doors of opportunity in the automotive industry
German was focused on landing an internship at the SWE national conference, but she never could have expected what happened next. With more than 300 companies represented at the conference, German set her sights on companies in the automotive industry. Daimler was at the top on her list when she discovered they were the only company with a mechatronic engineering department.
“I approached the company with my résumé and was excited to discuss my major in the field with them,” explained German. “They offered me the internship on the spot. I truly believe my mechatronic engineering education gave me the upper hand over other applicants. It’s a very specialized area that set me apart from the rest.”
Making the move
Last summer, German moved to Portland, Oregon where she worked for three months at Daimler, streamlining the process of developing new features for their line of trucks. “I worked with the engineering architecture group within the mechatronics department,” German said. “There are about seven groups within the department, and I expanded my scope to gain a better understanding of how each engineer’s task serves a larger function.” She said she realized then how the knowledge she gained at Vaughn was instrumental in how she applied it in the real world.
Landing the job
German returned to Vaughn this fall to begin her senior year. She was shocked to receive an email from her internship supervisor at Daimler. “He asked me to call him as soon as possible,” German said. “I didn’t know what to expect. I had a knot in my stomach.”
German was offered a full-time position at Daimler after graduation next spring. To add to her surprise, her manager said she could choose her position within the mechatronics department. “I have Vaughn to thank for welcoming me so warmly at the college fair and being there every step of the way since then to help carve the path to my future.”
Don’t miss the change to learn more about Vaughn’s engineering, technology, management and aviation programs at our Open House on Saturday, November 11 and 18. Space is limited – reserve your spot today!