What's your job about?
As my job title suggests, I work with the technical side of things for Freightliner. I mainly assist the product management and product development team with their various projects. The product development side of things is a bit more fun with tasks such as designing and 3D-printing prototypes, creating and fitting new kits to our trucks and more recently - planning for the introduction of a brand new model to our line-up.
The product management side isn’t as flash but it’s certainly equally if not more important. I am responsible for a multitude of things such as maintaining the product definition, price book, database and bulletin releases. It’s important for these items to be kept up to date to allow for our operations team and dealer network to operate smoothly.
What's your background?
My parents are of Chinese background but I am born and raised locally here in Australia. I’ve always been fascinated with how things work so it was only natural for me to pick Engineering as my degree. I wanted more hands-on experience so I started to apply to as many internship positions as possible. After many applications and rejections, I was fortunate enough to be offered a position here at Daimler Truck and Bus.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
The culture around DTB is extraordinarily welcoming and supportive. This means that a person with very limited knowledge and skills (such as myself when I first started) will be able to complete my job given enough time and patience. All my colleagues are always happy to answer my questions and show me the ropes. That being said though, skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking and some technical background in cars/trucks definitely make the job easier.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The coolest thing about my job would be the involvement with the product. I’ve had the pleasure of driving around in a full-size truck, hauling close to 60 tonnes behind me (while being supervised on a private track of course) – something that not many 21-year-old university students can say that they’ve done.
What are the limitations of your job?
One of the biggest difficulties is transitioning from a university schedule to a full-time work schedule. University is much more of a flexible, go-at-your-own-pace style of time management whereas this IBL position requires 9-5 every day. This means that while your friends are out and about with their flexible timetables, you will be stuck in an office. The full-time workload is inevitable though, and this program is certainly a good introduction to this lifestyle - there isn’t any expectation to work after-hours/from home and the responsibilities are very manageable.
3 pieces of advice for other students looking at the internship program?
Where are they Now
After my IBL opportunity, I progressed into my current role as a Technical Support Engineer with Freightliner. The role has a healthy balance between supporting the sales, service and engineering teams. With the sales team, I will often be involved with scoping out specific customer requests as well as supporting any technical queries that our dealer network may have. The service side of things generally includes liaising with engineers from our factory to solve known issues within the field. Finally, the engineering aspect of my role is split between product management and product development.