Today’s guest blogger is Ryan Taylor, a Texas Tech student majoring in Electrical Engineering. He spent the summer interning with API in Santiago, where he had the amazing opportunity to work on solar cars!
A typical day at work
My internship in Chile is for Bernardo O’Higgins University in Santiago. My typical workday starts when I arrive to the campus at around 10am when I head to the lab where the solar car team works out of. From that time until lunch, I work on various projects I have been assigned involving the solar car or other activities around the school. Then I head to lunch with some of the members of the team. After lunch I continue working on my projects in the lab until I leave at around 5 or 6pm. My current project after being here a few weeks and already completing some is building and programing a system that measures the level of charge the batteries have and the current draw of the motor when running.
Could you see yourself having a future career in this industry?
Yes, I can completely see myself having a career involving my activities here. I am currently working as an electrical engineer here in Chile helping solve various problems associated with the car. This is exactly what I want to be doing in the future, only with a larger company on any sort of production. The main aspect I am learning while in my placement here is problem solving and how to come up with a solution to any problem I face; not only in the electrical engineering problems but also with the language and cultural barriers involved with living abroad.
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
My favorite thing to do here in Chile during my free time is to go out walking the streets, exploring how different Santiago’s culture is from mine back home. This is also a great way to go and find scenic places around the city. Over the few weekends I have been here we have gone on a few trips around the city. It’s been a great way to see the area with a citizen who has lived here and could help show us the best places. In the upcoming weeks we are planning a trip to Valparaíso, Cajón del Maipo, and San Pedro de Atacama. I have made lots of new friends here mostly in the university that I work at that show me places around the city and help me with my Spanish speaking.
What were you expecting before you arrived in Santiago? What have you learned about the city?
All of my expectations of Santiago before I came were met and I noticed many things that I would have never thought about until I arrived here. I did lots of research about Santiago before I arrived here and everything I read and saw here matched up perfectly. There were many things that would have been surprising to me if I did not read about them beforehand like how people greet each other here but I wanted to come prepared so nothing was very surprising to me except seeing the city and people the first time.
For the most part my interaction with Santiago was what I expected but one thing I was not prepared for was the Spanish speaking and how fast the people that live here talk in Spanish. I tried not to make any preconceived notions before I came but one that I had that I heard before I came was that the people in the city were mean people and there was lots of pushing and shoving when walking around. However, this was not the case in Santiago for me and I found the people in the city even downtown to be nice helping people that we could ask questions to for help and to talk to.