Selim D., a Computer Sciences/Engineering student from Türkiye, has dreams of working for the world’s biggest tech companies to produce new software and technological devices. Selim hopes to combine his knowledge of electrical and computer engineering to produce new devices and software for people worldwide. Lectures from U.S. professors at his university sparked a realization that the U.S. is a leader in the technology industry. These interactions led Selim to undertake an electrical engineering internship with Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems in Cave Creek, Arizona.
Selim checks in with InterExchange to talk more about his experience in the U.S. and what he has learned so far!
InterExchange: How did you find your host employer and how long did that process take?
Selim: “I found my host after a friend had suggested I meet them at a tech event in Türkiye. After learning about the company, I spoke with the host employer at the event and thought that they were very passionate about their work and products. What they focused on was exactly what I wanted to learn, both from the software and tech side. The process took four months from when I first met the host, interviewing, and then researching the requirements to intern abroad. I used the internet and also looked on most of the forums to learn more about the company and the J-1 Visa process.”
InterExchange: What is a typical day at your internship like?
Selim: “As part of my internship program, my host provided me with housing and a car to get around, which made the transition easy to settle in. Every morning, I am at the office by 7 a.m. The first few days, I would shadow my colleagues and take notes. After a while, they taught me how to test audio amplifiers, which they produced within the company. I tested the amplifiers to get correct sound and proper bias levels. Also if problems occur, I will troubleshoot the products.
InterExchange: What are some professional goals you have achieved thus far in your program?
Selim: “I have met many different people from all over the world during my internship. I’ve met many Americans and met people from Mexico, Romania, and Pakistan. I now have a large network in different countries. I also improved my English speaking and listening skills. Additionally, the company taught me a lot about electrical engineering, software engineering, testing, designing, and manufacturing engineering areas. Working with audio amplifiers also taught me a lot about audio and electronic engineering.”
InterExchange: In addition to the professional experience, what have you enjoyed most about working with your employer?
Selim: “Their management skills are really great! I have learned a lot about how to run a business in this type of industry. They are very friendly and they are constantly teaching me every detail about their jobs. Since Dan D’Agostino Master Audio Systems is working on master audio systems and is developing and researching in this field, I was able to gain skills of circuit design, audio amplifiers, and embedded systems.”
InterExchange: How have you experienced U.S. culture and shared your culture with others?
Selim: “I was able to experience a lot while interning in the U.S.! joined game nights, went on vacations, and celebrated U.S. holidays such as the 4th of July and Memorial Day. I also traveled a lot in the surrounding states and visited well-known sites and cities. My favorites were Red Rock, Tucson, Mesa River, Carefree Area, Los Angeles, Grand Canyon. Additionally, we attended some festivals like the Renaissance festival. We went hiking, salt river tubing, and target shooting. I visited different family’s homes, tasted a lot of American food, and made an American breakfast. I even attended a wedding! I would also share my culture with anyone who asked questions about Türkiye and our traditions. I sometimes would wear traditional clothing and make Turkish food!
Most of my travels were pre-COVID, and I began to travel less once restrictions were put in place. When the phase re-opening began, I only traveled within the state and made sure to stay away from crowded places and I wear my mask all the time. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, a lot has changed living in the U.S., but it has been a really great experience for me regardless!”
InterExchange: What would you tell a friend about participating in an internship in the U.S. through InterExchange?
Selim: “I would recommend InterExchange to my friends and tell them that they can be sure that they will be safe here in the U.S. with InterExchange. Every month, InterExchange will check in with you to make sure you are okay. They answer all of your questions whenever you are unsure of something. Everything was very well organized and informative.”