August 7, 2020
Aspiring Engineer Does Meaningful Work in Trane Technologies’ Virtual Intern Experience
Braden Heisler, a Penn State industrial engineering student, had planned to spend his summer in Columbia, South Carolina, where he landed an internship in Trane Technologies’ commercial HVAC facility. But when COVID-19 disrupted plans for just about everyone, our team pivoted and transformed our in-person internship program into a virtual one.
So instead of packing his bags and moving to South Carolina, Braden logged in to his company-issued laptop each morning from his family’s home in Bellwood, Pennsylvania.
“My internship was in operations, and at first I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to accomplish meaningful work without being on-site,” Braden said. “I never expected to get to work on an important project that really mattered to the business. I learned a lot about implementing lean tools and using data to solve problems in manufacturing.”
Different, but still meaningful
Braden ended up working with a team based in Trane Technologies’ residential HVAC facility in Tyler, Texas, to reduce a bottleneck in the sheet metal fabrication area. He learned how to use lean tools and historical data to analyze the issue and make production level recommendations. Braden and the team relied on help from an on-site operational excellence leader for boots-on-the ground info and updates.
“Even though I missed working in a facility, this experience helped solidify the direction of my career,” Braden said. “I find manufacturing processes very interesting, and I want to be on the shop floor, talking with people and solving problems. Being able to have my virtual intern experience centered around processes in a plant was very beneficial and sparked my interest.”
Soon Braden will return to Penn State to complete his junior year and resume his roles as Vice President of the Penn State Theme Park Engineering Group and Publicity and Outreach Chair of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, Penn State Chapter.
“Even after the conclusion of my internship experience, Trane Technologies’ commitment to sustainability continues to influence me,” Braden said. “Many of my university projects involved sustainability – from designing a net-zero energy home to creating effective ways to remove pollution around airports – and I knew I wanted sustainability to be part of my work life.
“This is where Trane Technologies fits perfectly with my scope of interests. Sustainability is always at the core of the conversation – and it’s clear everyone at Trane Technologies is dedicated to our 2030 Sustainability Commitments. Trane’s culture of sustainability and ambitious goals are very inspiring.”
Get to Know Braden in His Own Words
Grew up in: Bellwood, Pennsylvania
Goes to school at: Pennsylvania State University
Majoring in: Industrial Engineering
Career aspirations: I started out in electrical engineering and discovered it’s a lot of Research and Development and testing in a lab. I switched to industrial engineering so I can solve problems on the manufacturing floor. It seems like every day will present new and different challenges.
Hobbies: Collecting and selling sneakers is a big hobby of mine that turned into a side business. I also like to work out and recently fell in love with running. It was extremely relaxing to get in a morning run before logging in to work at my internship this summer. I also enjoy golfing and hanging out with my friends.
First summer job: I worked as a ticket verifier as a local amusement park. I spent a lot of long days standing out in the hot sun, but I got a great tan that summer!
Best advice: Try to have a positive outlook. If you have a great attitude, I believe you’ll give your best and you’ll make great things happen. A positive mindset contributes to living a great life.
Favorite place when you’re not working: I love traveling, so my favorite place to be is anywhere new. I love exploring new places, whether it’s a small town or a national park. But more specifically, my favorite place is Disney World.