Product designer finds engineers’ playground in Wisconsin | Jobs Vox


That passion brought Phillips to MIT, where he discovered product design, and from there to a job as a designer for Cordless Power Tools, the nation’s largest supplier of Milwaukee tools.

His time at the Wisconsin-based company began through a one-month internship during his junior-year Independent Activities Period (IAP) as part of MIT’s micro-internship program, where he interacted with and for MIT alumni. Was able to gain valuable hands-on experience.

“I worked in the Advanced Engineering group, and I worked on developing an accessory for an electrical business tool that focused, as our products do, on simple, repetitive tasks throughout the day for electricity. improve the efficiency of tasks,” explains Phillips, who earned his bachelor’s degree in Course 2-A—a customizable track in mechanical engineering that allowed him to take a deep dive into product design.

She says the best part of the January 2020 micro-internship is that she came away with a prototype in hand: “The prototyping process began with putting myself in the users’ shoes, experiencing what they currently What are the pain points of the jobsite and that process.

“I just love the feeling I get when I hold something I designed or made with my hands for the first time. It’s a big reason I became an engineer.”

Rosalie Phillips ’21

Once Phillips understood what success would look like, she began brainstorming how to get there. “After I selected my best concept, I started iterating and problem solving,” she says. “Milwaukee has fantastic onsite rapid prototyping resources, and I was able to design a concept and have a high-fidelity 3D print in hand a day or two later, to check everything from ergonomics to accessibility to fit It was an amazing hands-on experience being surrounded by all the resources for prototyping – definitely an engineer’s playground.

The success of the IAP internship prompted Phillips to sign on for a full internship at Milwaukee Tool in the summer of 2020, when he gets to work on a prototype for carpentry power tools. Then came the full-time job offer. He debuted in September 2021. One thing that attracted him to the company was the structure of the product design cycle, and the fact that each person had ownership of a project rather than contributing to several larger projects.

“I just love the feeling I get when I hold something I designed or made with my hands for the first time. It’s a big reason I became an engineer,” says Phillips. “I wonder That I was able to bring something from my mind into the world, excited to test it, eager that it would break, and already ready to build the next one.”

alumni benefits

The concept of IAP internship is not new. The MIT Alumni Association started the MIT Student/Alumni Training Program in 1997 for alumni to host student interns during the January session. After transitioning to MIT Career Advising and Professional Development (CAPD) in 2020, it was renamed the Micro-Internship Program. The program still encourages MIT alumni to host graduate and undergraduate students at their companies, although students now also have the opportunity to apply for positions not hosted by alumni.


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