Levi Hickert - Cascho, Inc. Intern
Levi Hickert said some of his best educational experiences have come from stepping out of his comfort zone. That’s why he applied for an engineering internship after only one year of studying in the physics/pre-engineering program at Fort Hays State University.
Hickert, whose goal is to work as a mechanical engineer someday, landed an internship with Cashco, Inc., in Ellsworth, a leading manufacturer and worldwide marketer of a broad line of industrial control products.
Knowing that some of the best learning comes from hands-on experience, he decided to apply for the Cashco internship, which is sponsored by the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, despite limited experience with the mechanical engineering industry.
“Other than doing auto cad in high school, I hadn’t been exposed to a lot of the industry’s software and programs,” he said. “But I love a good challenge, and I’m definitely getting a well-rounded experience. Cashco uses Inventor CAD software, and they do 3D modeling, something I had never touched.”
He has now.
“They have taken me in and let me ask questions about anything,” Hickert said. “I’ve learned about engineering standards and how to use and navigate their ERP software system, how to test valves and assemble products to ship out. It’s been amazing.”
Hickert, a native of Hays, is enrolled in the 3+2 physics and engineering program. In that program, students spend their first three years at Fort Hays State, then transfer to Kansas State University to complete their mechanical engineering studies. Hickert will earn a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Engineering from K-State and a Bachelor of Physics from FHSU.
But that’s four years down the road. Now, he looking at his second year of college in a new light after this summer’s internship.
“School gives us the tools to face the challenges in our career,” he said. “But over half of the things I’ve done already this summer you don’t learn in school. It’s all industry experience. Not only will this early hands-on experience with the industry help me down the road, but it also confirmed that this is the career path I want to take.”
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