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Internship Profile: Diego Cusco, BSIE ‘17 (Ball Corporation)

Name: Diego Cusco
Class: 2017
Hometown: Orlando, Fla.
Concentrations: Industrial Engineering
Internship location: Ball Corporation in Broomfield, Colo.

How did you find this internship?
I met recruiters from Ball Corporation while at the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) National Conference in Seattle, Washington in November. After having spoken to them there, I remained in contact and eventually worked my way through the interviews until I was offered a position.

Describe your internship.
This summer, I have been working with the team at Ball that collects and processes all of the production data from the beverage can plants in North and Central America. My project was to create and analyze a database on machine metadata. First, I gathered the metadata – such as machine manufacturer, model and engineered speed – from various sources on each of the production machines in all 24 plants. Then I created and structured a database that would hold and organize the metadata in a logical and functional way. Finally, using Microsoft SQL Server and Report Builder, I joined the metadata to production data and was able to produce relevant analyses and reveal trends involving the manufacturing equipment across Ball’s production history. In all, my contribution will allow Ball to make smarter decisions in machine operation, purchasing and design.

What did you learn at the CoE that has helped you at your summer internship?
My background in industrial engineering was imperative to the work I’ve done at Ball. Using lessons from my classes on quality, deterministic models and engineering management, I’ve been able to introduce new ways of applying production data that will be useful and easily understood by management, engineering and operations.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned at this program?
I will leave this internship with three major takeaways. I went into the internship with no real prior experience with big data or data science, but I did not allow that to hinder me. So, the first major takeaway is that, although I wasn’t an expert in the field, keeping an open mind, asking questions and thinking like an industrial engineer will allow me to provide valuable input in any line of work. The second and third major takeaways relate to the data itself. From my classes, I know how to use information and data to answer questions, but I had no experience with what it takes to get that information in the first place. So, the second major takeaway is the continuous organization and effort required to achieve quality and maintain good data. Lastly, through my experiences working with my team, I’ve seen just how reliant every branch of a production company is on data and how they use it. So, the third takeaway is the importance of quality and standardization of data to drive accurate and knowledgeable business decisions.

Why has this been a good experience for you?
My time with Ball has been extremely insightful. While here, I’ve learned intimately about the other side of data. I’ve seen how a global company operates from its headquarters and handles operations in all corners of the world. I’ve witnessed how a company that’s almost 150 years old thinks and approaches the future. I was welcomed into a corporate culture that functions like a family and includes dozens of employees who have been with the company for over 30 years. And most importantly, I’ve made connections with incredible people at every level of the company and found ways to learn from and share with all of them. Though it’s only been one summer, Ball Corporation has left a mark on me, and I’m sure that Miami has definitely made a mark on it.

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