Summer Intern Profile: Paitrick Lawyer

As a student in the Computer Science field at Tuskegee University, I was given the opportunity to intern with Nissan North America (NNA), located in Canton, Mississippi. I was placed with NNA with assistance from INROADS, a non-profit minority organization that develops future leaders in business and technology. Throughout the duration of my internship, I attained valuable information that will be applied throughout life.

At the beginning of the internship, I met the Conveyors, Controls, and Systems Engineers (CCSE). This is the team that I worked with during my internship. The CCSE team showed me how everything was run throughout the plant. After giving me the overview of how everything was run, I was quickly put to work. I received my own desk and a couple of books that contained several different programming languages that they used in the plant. The languages that I had to learn were C#, ASP.NET, JavaScript, HTML, and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). I was even given the opportunity to learn Microsoft SQL Server and VB Script from another intern that worked with me.

After approximately three weeks of learning and practicing with the new languages, I was given a small project to construct a .NET application for the assembly line to use. This .NET application was used to report defects on any part of the cars on the assembly line. This application was used to report how many cars were being taken off of the production line and how to solve the problem so that the company would not lose much money. This application was completed within a week with the help of my team.

The major project involved creating a dynamic web page that displayed an organizational chart that would be available via the plant's intranet. Originally, NNA only had paper organizational charts that could not be updated quickly. This became very problematic because the charts needed to be updated when someone was promoted or released from the company. This chart would ultimately save time for anyone that needed to quickly view a department or to locate someone in the plant. I was assigned to work with another intern that worked with databases, which is where I would retrieve all of the information. After he designed the database, I was able to use my acquired skills and knowledge to retrieve the information to be displayed on the web page. After we completed the website, we taught each other the procedures that we took on our respective portions of the project.

The completed web page and database was presented to our team, our manager, and the vice-president of NNA in a PowerPoint. They were "blown away" by the job that we had done and decided to implement the system throughout the plant. The experience that I had with NNA was a great one and I look forward to returning with them next summer. I made great friends, expanded my network, made money, and gained experience and information that will be useful in the future. I would recommend an internship to everyone because it is truly a rewarding experience.