Honda mentorship course for Mechanical Engineering students

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Honda East Liberty Plant

A new Mechanical Engineering course focused on mentorship is becoming available to students that will connect them with engineering professionals at Honda. The course will be available to students by registering for an independent study in mechanical engineering and will have an assigned class time once a week for both the students and mentors.

The course is offered in the Autumn semester, in conjunction with a student’s successful application and acceptance into the mentorship program. Diverse students who are in their second or third years in the ME program are sent an invitation to apply to the program.

In addition to the assigned class time once a week, students are required to connect twice a month with the mentor along with the regular programming. Additionally, each month they will submit academic lead updates on mentor relationship.

Students will have the opportunity to learn basic mentorship etiquette, professional communication, structure and hiring at Honda and learn about the various career paths that they can look forward to in their future and advice on how to achieve their long-term and post-graduate goals.

Abby Beck and Kelsey Walsh are the advisors of this course and are a resource for students in the program.

“The course will primarily serve as an intentional time to set aside for students and mentors to connect,” Beck said. “Students will both participate in lectures/programming related to building ‘mentee’ skills and learn about career paths from panels of hiring professionals at Honda and the personal experiences from the Honda mentors.”

Mentees can expect to be paired with a mentor based on their similar interests and experiences, so that students are best served by their partnership with their mentor. Applications have been sent out in June to mentors and mentees with matches for the program to be made in August.

“As with any voluntary mentorship program the experience will be as valuable as the effort and communication the student puts into connecting with their mentor” Beck said.

At the end of the semester students will be able to take a field trip to Honda for a tour of the plant at one of the Honda facilities. Meredith Reffey, a Honda representative, who works on the Honda Ohio State partnership highlights the importance of this aspect for students to have a better understanding of the principles they are learning.

“At Honda we have a philosophy called Genba, which means ‘go to the spot’, bringing the students to Honda to see the production facility first-hand incorporates that philosophy,” Reffey said. “We know that students can see videos and images online of the facilities, but nothing can compare to standing in the 4 million square foot facility and watching cars coming off the end of the line at a pace of one per minute.”