Arch Spotlight: Engineering Student Secures Semester Away Opportunity at BorgWarner

by admin on May 14, 2019

Having just completed her sophomore year, Maggie McAuliffe, an industrial and management engineering major, is preparing to participate in the inaugural Arch program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In this innovative program, all undergraduate students live on campus during the summer after their sophomore year and participate in an off-campus experiential learning experience during the fall or spring semester of their junior year.   

Because of her established work experience, coupled with her proactive nature, McAuliffe has already landed her spring 2020 experience for her Arch semester away. She will spend the semester at BorgWarner, a propulsion system leader for combustion, hybrid, and electric vehicles.

With a global footprint of more than 70 locations, BorgWarner was recently named one of Forbes’ Best Large Employers 2019, which was determined based on working conditions, salary, potential for development, and company image. Another notable accomplishment includes receiving the 2018 PACE award for their groundbreaking S-wind wire-forming process for electric motors and alternators.

“I’m excited to learn about the industry, and to incorporate aspects of my major into my work,” McAuliffe said.

By the end of her second year at Rensselaer, McAuliffe had already developed an expansive portfolio of work experience. Just after her first year at the Institute, she secured a summer internship at Thermo Fisher Scientific, known for making the famously indestructible Nalgene water bottles.

As a work-study student in the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) at Rensselaer, McAuliffe took advantage of the many career-related resources the center offers to help secure the opportunity with BorgWarner. She attended CCPD programs, had her resume critiqued, and received help with offer letters. On the academic side, she also tapped into resources available through the Advising and Learning Assistance Center.

McAuliffe said she would encourage her fellow classmates seeking semester away opportunities to start their search early.

“Make a plan. Go to career fairs and make connections,” she said. “Don’t just make it a one-time thing; keep up with it. Plan out times to search and apply.” 

The CCPD’s career coaches are available to Arch students throughout the summer to provide personalized coaching, guidance, and support. The Rensselaer Employer Relations team—resident industry experts—are cultivating career opportunities with hundreds of companies that align with Rensselaer students’ academic fields and interests.

When asked what she has enjoyed most about her Rensselaer experience, McAuliffe, who is also active in an a cappella singing group, said it was the balance of academic challenges with other opportunities.

“I can have this challenging academic environment, but then also this place where I can relax, like a cappella,” she said.  “RPI allows me to feel balanced in terms of work and outside-of-school daily activities.”