Recent Alumna Erin Bergeron Parlays Her Internships and MIE Education into a Full-time Job at Pratt & Whitney
Erin Bergeron, a 2023 graduate of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, engineered a mechanically perfect learning experience for herself during her four years at UMass Amherst. She pieced together a fine MIE education, an excellent scholastic record, two undergraduate assistantships, membership in two key student societies, participation in collegiate sports, a minor in Engineering Management, and (most importantly) three high-level internships. Then she used it all to earn a fulltime position at Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, Connecticut, as a Manufacturing Engineer in the Manufacturing Engineering Development Program.
Bergeron’s undergraduate experience goes to show that nailing your dream job comes, not from dreaming, but from good planning, hard work, and accomplishment.
After Bergeron graduated from Masconomet Regional High School in Boxford, Massachusetts, in 2019, she arrived at the MIE department ready to take advantage of every learning opportunity available to her, including seeking out internships in addition to her demanding coursework.
As Bergeron recalls, “My journey with Pratt started a little over three years ago. Even though I was just a freshman in college, Pratt saw potential in me and took a chance, offering me my first position in the company as a Quality Assurance Intern. This, however, got delayed to the following summer’s internship with the impacts of the pandemic.”
Bergeron explains that “After working in ‘Quality’ in the summer of 2021, I was given the opportunity the next summer to branch into Manufacturing Engineering. Through both of these internship experiences, I was able to gain multitudes of technical and professional experience, but most of all I gained confidence in myself.”
Bergeron says she found an amazing community of people at Pratt &Whitney, making close friends and branching out her network. As she says, “I found a place that opens my eyes to things I never knew I could accomplish before.”
As one of Bergeron’s Pratt & Whitney mentors, Laurie Prentice, put it, Bergeron found her home. In addition, even before Pratt & Whitney, Bergeron worked as a Mechanical Engineering Intern for two years at MK Services Inc. in Middleton, Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, back at the MIE department, Bergeron was making excellent grades in the tough MIE curriculum and taking advantage of many opportunities for learning and growth provided by the College of Engineering and UMass Amherst. For instance, she served as an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the laboratory of MIE Associate Professor Stephen Nonnenmann, whose team works at the intersection of materials science and surface science to study phenomena that drive energy and electronic applications.
Bergeron also worked as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, helping out with six different courses.
As if she had any spare time, Bergeron minored in Engineering Management and was a member of the UMass Amherst student chapters of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers.
Oh, and incidentally, she also played on the UMass Women’s Rugby Team. Bergeron’s athletic activity seems quite symbolic. Perhaps the grass stains she accumulated on the rugby field also signified that, while getting the best out of her UMass education, she never let any grass grow under her feet. (August 2023)