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Summer Internships: Nicholas Berchert at General Dynamics NASSCO

Ferris State University students gain valuable work experience through internships. Internships also can confirm or redirect career decision-making, provide marketability, develop people skills and enhance classroom learning. Many academic programs require one, but the experience is encouraged regardless to provide students with a better understanding of what will be expected of them in the workplace.

Many students are participating in myriad internships this summer. Meet:

Nicholas BerchertNicholas Berchert

He is: a senior in Welding Engineering Technology from Midland, Michigan.

His Internship: is with General Dynamics NASSCO, in California. “I am learning extensively about new construction and repair of both commercial and military vessels. Through my internship, I have had to learn new methods to complete a task in the shipyard and new codes and requirements for the construction of vessels for the U.S. Navy. I am also learning about new and existing welding processes, such as hybrid laser arc welding and thermite welding.

I am making a difference by helping in whatever way I can. During my time at NASSCO, I helped with research projects, weld sequencing for critical components, and updated weld records and qualifications. I also led my research project to determine new alternative methods to improve the hybrid laser arc welding process.”

Did Ferris Help You Find This Internship? “Other Ferris graduates have interned at NASSCO in the past. I applied to this internship with confidence, based on the learning I gained from an internship at Merrill Technologies Group and through connections I have made in professional settings associated with my internships.”

Advice For Other Students Seeking Internships: “Put yourself out there. Make sure that your resume is up to date, that you dress very professionally, and take that first step in applying to a position that you find interesting. I believe another important point is there are multiple learning experiences with internships, not all of them being educational. You get to find out about different regions, and how far from home you would like to be. It is worth it to take an internship far from home, if possible, so that you learn what you are comfortable with and apply it to your future job searches.”

Other Activities On Campus: “I founded the Club Swim Team in the Fall semester of 2018, which gives active competitive swimmers and aspiring competitors the opportunity to compete at a collegiate level against the likes of Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Grand Valley State University. It has been a valuable and enjoyable experience.”

Core Value Nicholas Relates To: Opportunity. “Here at NASSCO the railroad tracks were being replaced. To weld them together, thermite welding is used. This is a very complex yet old process that is not seen too often by the general public. While this was going on, I did everything I could to learn about the process because I knew that this was a rare opportunity, and if I learned more about it, I would be that much more useful when I search for a fulltime position.”