Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by Kettering freshman Charles ‘Chaz’ Mancino. Chaz, who is from Fredonia, NY, and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering, will occasionally post his thoughts about his Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering.If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Chaz’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3 | Post 4 |Post 5 | Post 6 | Post 7 | Post 8 | Post 9 | Post 10 | Post 11 | Post 12 | Post 13 | Post 14 | Post 15 | Post 16 | Post 17 | Post 18 | Post 19 | Post 20 | Post 21
What do Porsche and Tennessee have in common? Being a part of the life of a Kettering University student.
As a student of Kettering University, one might not know what will come next. For example, during school term, different alumni come to talk about how their Kettering experiences impacted their life and career. One of these speakers, Trent Warnke, currently works at Porsche, one of the most prestigious automakers in the world. While Warnke came to talk at the tail end of my previous school term, the first day of work allowed the term to start off with a bang. After asking me what I was planning to do from Tuesday morning to Friday evening of that week, one of my supervisors offered me a trip to one of Tenneco’s plant in Tennessee. Porsche and a trip to Tennessee in one month? Only in the life of a Kettering University student.
On March 25, the Project Manager for E Mobility for Porsche Trent Warnke, a Kettering graduate from 2005, came to talk to the Kettering community about how his Kettering career impacted his professional career thus far. After receiving a Master’s Degree in mechanical engineering, Warnke worked for General Motors and helped launch the Chevrolet Volt. He then took a job at Porsche in Atlanta, Georgia, to help launch models such as the Panamera E-Hybrid. Currently trying to receive his Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Michigan and working for Porsche in Atlanta, Warnke has to occasionally fly back and forth to complete his degree. While Warnke said that whether the time and money commitment for receiving his MBA will be worth it is yet to be seen, there is a good chance that his risk will pay off since it is clearly evident that his other degrees have helped elevate him to his current position. As an addition to his talk, Warnke gave out a 2013 Porsche 911 50th Anniversary Edition to a lucky member of the audience if he or she could answer two questions: what are the names of the vehicles in Porsche’s current lineup and how much horsepower does the new 918 Spyder produce. Out of everyone in the audience, yours truly managed to take home the 911. Unfortunately, however, the 911 came in a Porsche bag…and was not the real thing. Still, bringing home a miniature 911 is better than bringing home no 911.
To add to the excitement of winning a Porsche, completing another school term, and starting off a new work term, this time in the AME (advanced manufacturing engineering) department at Tenneco, came an unexpected surprise. Instead of sitting at a desk for my first week back to work, I was asked to come down to our Smithville, Tennessee, plant for a design review for an exhaust system of a new vehicle. Excitement rushed through me as this was the first time that I have been asked to travel with Tenneco and the first time that I have been able to go to one of our plants. In addition, that plant is in a state that usually sees high temperatures. Not to mention that Tenneco paid for the whole trip, from the gas it took to get down there and back to the hotel rooms to the meals. Oh, and each employee (including the co-op) had his or her own hotel room. Just further proof that a company like Tenneco treats its employees, even the co-ops, well.
Of course, the trip to Tenneco’s Smithville plant was not all fun and games. That Wednesday, members of my group and I walked through the plant to look at the machines that are to produce the exhaust parts for the new vehicle. That was when I realized how much engineering truly goes into producing an exhaust system. What may seem like a simple part of a vehicle is actually surrounded by cutting-edge technology, from the design to the manufacturing of it. The design review was held on Thursday of that week.
Porsche and Tennessee in one month. Two amazing experiences held in two different terms within thirty days of each other. Only in the life of a Kettering University student. What my next amazing experience due to Kettering University is going to be is beyond me, but I know that it will be full of excitement. I would not have it any other way.