Austin Nefzger, a senior studying electrical engineering, believes his hands-on applied learning experiences have provided a pivotal shift in his college career.
Like other students, Austin was drawn to Wichita State University for its campus atmosphere, central location and the engineering department. Coming in as a freshman, Austin sought to pursue a career in electrical engineering research. However, a few years down the road, his dreams shifted.
Currently, Austin is an engineering intern for LK Architecture in Wichita. His day-to-day activities revolve around drafting and designing electrical systems for commercial buildings. He has been at the firm for a year and a half and plans to continue post-graduation. The internship has taught him communication skills, working in a team environment and the ability to asses electrical diagrams and adapt to new regulations when necessary.
“Having the internship has taught me tremendous amounts of relevant information towards the electrical field,” Austin said. “It’s teaching me how to apply what’s being taught in class and adapt it to the workforce.”
Before taking the position with LK Architecture, he wanted to pursue research. But after working in the electrical field, he knows this is where he belongs. He enjoys focusing his time on producing cost-effective methods, reducing energy consumption and maximizing the potential within his electrical plans.
Throughout his time there, he has traveled to multiple project locations across the nation and documented existing electrical conditions.
At his internship, he is a part of the team responsible for documenting the new and existing electrical diagrams for projects. The diagrams are illustrations of electrical panels and how they are connected to the electrical power of the building. He focuses on streamlining the development and maintenance of the information he receives. The projects have allowed him to gain hands-on experience and learn time and deadline management.
Electrical engineering student
While at WSU, Austin is thankful for the instructors in the engineering department. He appreciates the openness, honesty and belief they have in all students. For him, the instructors have recognized his potential and encouraged him to pursue new ventures.
As his time at WSU concludes in December, he hopes to move into an electrical designer position at LK Architecture. He hopes the new position will lead to more onsite reviews, more extensive projects, and growth in experience on deadline management.
“My shift from academic studies to the private industry has shifted my mindset. I am prepared to operate in a professional work environment after graduation.”