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Corporate Health and Safety Intern - Meghana Tella

On value-based, project work while interning at Cummins…

I contributed towards making Cummins Inc. a great place to work! My projects this summer improved the workstation ergonomics at our Fuel Systems Columbus Plant, empowered operators to be owners of their workstation ergonomics, and consolidated the data in the critical Cummins Health and Safety monthly report. Each of these assignments assured we are creating the right environment for our employees to work in. One injury is too many, and I believe these projects have helped protect our employees. In addition, these projects have indirectly added value in quality, productivity and eventually, customer satisfaction- to whom we always strive to give the best.

College gave me the confidence to reach out to people. Irrespective of what your technical knowledge is, ineffective communication of your ideas and ideas of expression would hinder information flow. The two years of school shaped me into a better speaker, which eased my communication with the subjects of pilot study project. Communication is the key and confidence is the driving force, which all developed at college made this project successful. Also, I was able to meet all my project deadlines due to the appropriate project planning strategy which I had incorporated from my faculty.

On accomplishing your goals and the Cummins culture…

My pilot study at FSP involved a variety of stakeholders. Besides the support from the HSE and OE team, the maintenance team and operators who served as subjects for the study have gained all my respect. Their different perspectives and willingness to help significantly contributed to the success of my projects.

My supervisor, Chris Shieldsmith, has been the driving force behind my global HSE projects. Without his support and business acumen, it would have been very difficult to accomplish so much in so little time.

On experiencing technology and innovation… 

I think Humantech Ergonomic tool has been the coolest technology I got my hands on this summer! Cummins Inc. decision to integrate the Humantech system to improve the workplace ergonomics is a great move. This standardized tool is really cool, showing ergonomically high-risk areas of your body and how we can control it through innovation. I have closely worked with this tool for my key project this summer and the idea of Kaizen Humantech made the impact more profound!

It’s a perfect blend of my technical skills and innovation, to make this a great place to work!

On impacting the customer… 

As HSE professionals, we relentlessly work towards making Cummins Inc. a great place to work. Quality is to Product as Safety is to an Employee. If these two couple on a growing curve, the firm is doing really well. In this summer internship, I definitely contributed to the growth of this curve.

With the improvements I made at certain workstations, I can at least assure many of them go back home, less tired than before. Human value is priceless. Being very customer driven in my decision making guaranteed I gave the customers a happier workplace. After all, injury free living-it’s our responsibility!

On company and community involvement…

It is for the people, by the people, and of the people! It’s absolutely a people driven place. All their decisions align so well with the core values. It is unbelievable to see the perfect balance between human values and business. It is an ideal firm for someone who wants to learn and grow with the best ethics.

I am an absolute team player! AAAAG scavenger hunt is my personal favorite this summer. In 2 hours of time, we learned a lot about others. It has given me an overview of working with a diverse crowd and I loved it. Some great friendships and networking started here as well. I have never missed any AAAAG event since then.

On the benefits from your internship…

To me, this internship has given me an appropriate platform to launch myself in a manufacturing setting. I have been lucky enough to see both Corporate and plant setting and I am thankful to my supervisor-Chris Shieldsmith, Corporate Ergonomics Leader for the same.

It is essential for an entry-level engineer to develop the appropriate rapport with the shop floor employees and key stakeholders at the plant level. The dynamics of plant site are different from Corporate. While my pilot project at FSP opened doors to plant life, at the same time participation in supplier war room sessions with the corporate team gave me the ‘corporate ‘feel of it. It has been the best 3-month learning experience!

When I first saw my offer letter, I did wonder about fitting into the corporate setting of a global firm. Surprisingly, my team has been very supportive in giving me a smooth transition to my role. Unexpectedly, I was offered to be part of a key global project with some collaborative projects at a plant. The faith with which they sponsored a global project to me is unexpected, after which I have never let them down.

In fact, the entire summer was unexpected to me! I imagined an 8-5 corporate life, in my own cube and phone call meetings, but what I got was getting my hands dirty at the plant site, on some real engineering stuff at the same time engaging in war room sessions with suppliers at Corporate Level. This simultaneous exposure to corporate and plant life was the best!

On what you enjoyed most about working at Cummins…

The number of professionals I have met with this summer has been more than anticipated. Furthermore, when I look at the new friends I have made and the colleagues I work with, I can see the diverse culture Cummins cultivates. It is amazing how I have built these relationships in this short span of time. It wouldn’t have been possible without the kind of attitude that all of us have at Cummins Inc.

My internship experience wouldn’t have been this pleasant without the right kind of people we find at Cummins Inc. Everyone, no matter what their designation is-go out of their way to help you out. I have met with over 10 HSE Managers in an around Columbus, Memphis. They have been very responsive to my emails and shared their experiences so willingly. I think the down to earth attitude of the work culture here and their constant desire to share their stories with the younger generations is very pleasing.

On Working Right at Cummins…

Over the summer I have got really focused on the health and safety goals. I strived hard to provide the safest workplace to our customers. Being end-user driven/customer oriented in every step I had taken, shows that I have been Working Right!