Final Week!

As of today I have completed my internship with Hyster-Yale and what a three weeks it has been!  Throughout these three weeks I have learned so much and I’m very eager to take what I’ve learned back to my students this fall.  I’ll be honest, before Kenan Fellows I didn’t even know what Hyster-Yale was!  Sure, I’d driven by it on numerous occasions and seen the sign… but I never really knew what the plant was for!  Now after three weeks not only do I know who HYG is, but I also know just about what every employee at the plant does and why their role is crucial to the manufacturing process.

This experience has definitely been interesting and completely out of my comfort zone.  Before my internship I had never stepped foot inside of a manufacturing plant.  I had absolutely no idea all that went on inside!  The most interesting day for me was when I spent the entire day on the plant floor with the Operations Manager.  I started the day out by attending the meeting with the supervisor from each value stream.  I loved hearing everything and seeing all the data charts about their particular section.  This company is super data driven so I found that very relatable!  I spent the remainder of the day seeing different parts of the plant and shadowing people from supervisor to assembler.  I loved being right there watching a rusty piece of steel turn into a beautifully polished lift truck.  I was truly fascinated by the whole operation!

The most challenging part of the internship was probably later days where I was in my office most of the time working on my own line design project.  I’m a teacher so I’m used to being on my feet ALL DAY.  I’m also used to interacting with many different students and colleagues on a daily basis.  I learned with this internship that I am not fit for the “office life.”  Yes, it was nice having my own private office when 90% of the employees had a cubicle… but I’d much rather be out on the floor where all the magic happens!

Throughout my internship experience I was constantly thinking about my students.   I teach in an area where most of the students come from low socioeconomic households so most of my students barely ever travel outside the county lines.  Before my experience I did not realize how many jobs were available within a manufacturing plant regardless of education or experience.  I’m excited to have conversations with my students about all the different career options that are available to them.  I also cannot wait to show them how much the math they learn in 7th grade applies to real-world jobs!

Overall I had a wonderful experience at Hyster-Yale Group in Greenville.  I’m very thankful for the relationships that I’ve built over the past few weeks.  I cannot wait to take my students back on a field trip to the plant!  I’m also excited to apply what I’ve learned to my KFP and classroom this year.

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