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Caterpillar Latino Connection Shadow Day

The Caterpillar Latino Connection (CLC), Solar Chapter affinity group hosted a “Shadow Day” event on Friday, October 23.

A combined nineteen students from Southwestern Community College and San Diego State University participated (MESA/MEP and SHPE student chapters).

MESA= Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement
MEP= MESA Engineering Program
SHPE = Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

This event was organized to provide engineering students with an opportunity to experience a typical workday at Solar Turbines and learn about the various technical/engineering disciplines available. This was an all day event held simultaneously at the two Solar facilities in San Diego (Harbor Drive and Kearny Mesa), where each student participated in two different shadow sessions with a different mentor from a different discipline.

The Solar mentors were selectively chosen from various departments. A total of 38 mentors volunteered their time to share their work and educational experience with our guests. Mentors represented various departments such as:

Materials and Processes
Turbine Design and Sustaining Engineering
Development Test
Combustion Engineering
Aero/Thermal /Heat Transfer/Performance Engineering
Manufacturing Engineering
Business and Project Management
Customer Services Marketing
After Market and New Equipment Project Engineering
Systems and Controls Engineering (retrofits and new equipment)
Environmental Strategies
Package Refurbishment Engineering

During the lunch break, a Solar Director from each facility provided a casual but inspirational speech to the group. It was also during this period that students were able to interact with other Solar mentors, CLC members, HR personnel and executive leadership.

CLC believes that prior to graduation from college, very few students have an opportunity to receive exposure where they are able to acquire experience in the fields of science and engineering; particularly in an industrial environment. Shadow Day presented an opportunity where CLC hopes to make a difference.

Solar provided students with:

  1. Exposure to products Solar designs and manufactures
  2. Guidance on the skills and expertise that Solar engineers need to have
  3. Information on the potential career opportunities at Solar

Through the experience of Shadow Day, the students were able to:

  1. Evaluate several technical fields of interest
  2. Gain exposure on how to apply engineering principles in a working environment
  3. Identify technical skill sets they need to develop
  4. Increase their motivation to improve their GPA and to enroll in advanced courses
  5. Receive encouragement to complete their college education

Additional photo coverage can be found at the San Diego MESA Alliance (SDMA) Facebook page.

CLC was formally created in February 2006 as a medium for Caterpillar employees to connect to the Latin American culture, language, history and business practices. CLC members participate in monthly general meetings, networking socials, career development workshops, community involvement & external recruiting events, among others. For more information, please visit Solar Turbines and CLC.

Published in MESA Activities News STEM Shadow Day Training