Conner Williamson is immersed in Industry 4.0 as an operations/system analyst at The Smart Factory @ Wichita, one of Wichita State University’s newest partners on the Innovation Campus.
More than 5,000 Shockers each year take what they’ve learned in the classroom and transfer that knowledge into real-world environments. Applied learning — which is required for every Wichita State student — happens in offices, factories, laboratories, nonprofits, industries and companies across the globe. Students work side-by-side with seasoned professionals to ensure that they’re fully prepared to make meaningful contributions to their employers and their communities when they graduate.
What is your job title, the company you work for, and your duties during your applied learning experience?
As an operations/system analyst at The Smart Factory @ Wichita, I am responsible for the analysis of manufacturing data, the design and development of standard operating procedures and preventative maintenance plans.
I work on managing and developing system procedures for a live Industry 4.0 smart warehouse and smart manufacturing line. This includes troubleshooting and coding data tags into Ignition’s (Inductive Automation) SCADA control system and understanding both physical and digital connections between the line, warehouse, and overall facility.
A secondary role focuses on presenting Industry 4.0 technologies and solutions to industry-leading corporations. Presentations include in-depth analyses of line technology and use cases along with robotics presentations and standard line operations.
How did you learn about this opportunity?
How is this experience helping you build your resume and prepare you for your career?
This experience is helping me build my resume by giving me opportunities to complete different tasks that continue to build my skillsets. It has shown me what the real world will be like and has given me the opportunity to be agile and adjust to what is needed in my work environment.
How have your classes and experiences at Wichita State prepared you to succeed in this applied-learning opportunity?
My classes at Wichita State provide tools to understand not only business and how businesses run, but what they need as well. I have also gained knowledge over coding, and how to build connections to create a working automated database. I have been able to learn more about the cloud and how to properly use it in a business or certain projects to be able to run more efficiently.
What advice would you give other students who are looking for hands-on experiences in their major while they finish college?
It is very important to build good connections and expand your network with people surrounding you to gain more opportunities to find a job that suits you.
Another great way to find an internship is going to one of the career fairs Wichita State provides for your specific major and interests. Finally set up an account for multiple job websites like LinkedIn and Handshake to keep your opportunities open. It never hurts to apply and interview for something you think you may like. Always keep your options open.