Jesus Arias

What year are you and what do you study?

Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Who is/was your employer?

FESB, University of Split
Split, Croatia

How did you learn about your internship?

I specifically was given a list of possible internship possibilities through the Cultural Vistas/IAESTE program. Upon applying for the program and being accepted for the first round, applicants are given a list of internships to apply to.

What was the application process like?

There were several online submissions including cover letters, statements of purpose, and recommendations. Upon selecting five IAESTE internships to apply for, the student is interviewed via phone to try and determine if they are ready for an international internship and to pair them to the best internship as limited by demand and qualifications.

What were your major tasks or projects at this internship?

I was responsible for improving the performance of their wind tunnel tensometer data acquisition system. Additionally I developed a MATLAB platform for rapid data acquisition for said wind tunnel which also implemented the use of statistical analysis to determine the accuracy and precision of wind tunnel measurements. Finally I performed CFD studies to determine the lift and drag force and coefficients of various airfoils. The CFD study was then continued into the design of modified airfoils in CFD to investigate possible increases in lift vs drag and wing size.

Do you have any recommendations for Georgia Tech students looking to intern in the same company or country?

Everyone was really laid back, in fact the first word they taught me was "pomalo" which basically means take it easy. The company culture is basically, as long as you finish your work in a timely manner, then you are free to go about your work in any way. Also everyone at the school spoke some degree of English and most Croatian people also know how to speak English and everyone is very nice and generally friendly to foreigners.

Where did you live? Did you find accomodations independently or with your company's help?

I lived in an older university dorm that was set up for me by the IAESTE student committee in Split. They helped me with all of my pertinent setup such as work forms, government forms, bus passes, etc.

How has this internship influenced your career path?

The internship definitely opened my eyes to possible international career paths. I no longer really feel the need to stay in the States for a job. In fact I would enjoy starting my career overseas for a couple years. Additionally it has helped me make international connections, one example being one of the friends I made there is trying to help me get a job doing research work at Volvo. Overall I feel this internship helped me broaden my horizons and want more than just to work at a company. I want part of my job experience to also be experiencing new cultures and exploring fantastic new locations.

If paid, did the company you worked for pay you enough to live off of your salary or stipend, or did you have to supplement your income with personal funds?

The internship was paid, and it was enough pay to technically pay for my dorm and some food, but for the most part I ended up paying for most things. The internship money ended up being more of a nice bonus at the end so that I could go on a trip before my time in Croatia was over.