Jacob Hirschman

Major: Engineering Science
Interned with: Anderson Precision, Inc.

The summer before his sophomore year at Jamestown Community College, Jacob Hirschman began an internship with Anderson Precision, a company that produces and manufactures precision components. Basically, of all the parts that go into an engine and make it run, theirs are the ones that require the highest degree of skill and accuracy in their production. Since the parts that they make require such, well, precision, being off by a thousandth of a millimeter can be the difference between success and failure.

Jacob, an engineering science major at JCC, started on the ground floor, learning how to operate the various pieces of machinery and about the processes used to ensure quality and efficiency. It was fascinating, he said, and he loved that Anderson Precision was interested in giving him experience in each area of the company. Before long, he had a complete picture of how the company operated.

As he continues his internship during this fall, his task is not just to understand how Anderson Precision works, but to determine how to make it work even better. Anderson Precision has resurrected an old program that encourages employees to submit suggestions for how to improve efficiency and quality at the plant. They assigned Jacob the task of taking some of those suggestions and making them into a reality.

“We analyze the ideas and what the costs and what the benefits are, and then we decide whether we should implement them,” explained Jacob, “and a lot of that is me presenting these ideas to management and saying what the costs and what the benefits are, and then them saying, OK, we’ll implement these, hold off on these. And so I have leadership in getting people to help me implement the ideas, whether they’re process changes or mechanical and design changes.”

The quick progression at Anderson was a reflection of the way he obtained the internship in the first place. During a conversation with his roommate at the end of his freshman year, his roommate mentioned Felix Muzza, the coordinator of experiential learning, and encouraged Jacob to meet with him.

“I thought, I would love an internship, you get credit hours and if you can get a paid internship, that’s kind of a no-brainer.”

A few days later, Jacob met with Felix, told him what his interests and skills were, and within a week Jacob had interviewed for and secured a paid internship with Anderson Precision. The entire process, Jacob said, “was just really easy.”

And well worth it. Although working at Anderson and keeping up with his classes keeps him plenty busy during the semester, he’s found that his time at his internship deepens his understanding of the concepts he’s learning about at JCC. When you’re first taught the concepts in class, he said “you understand it, but it’s a foggy understanding. When you actually go and work and experience it, it’s like a little light bulb comes on, and you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s how that’s actually applied.’”

After JCC, Jacob plans to earn his bachelor’s degree, and then he’s considering pursuing a master’s. He’s also a business minor, and in his free time Jacob enjoys coming up with products that could fit into today’s market. It’s a bit more than a hobby, though. Right now, he’s working with JCC’s Small Business Development Center to secure a patent for one of his designs.

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