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Andrés Felipe Aguillón, ninth semester student of Industrial Engineering, was chosen by Lakeside Organic Gardens as Projects Coordinator, thanks to the versatility of his profile and his international vision.

Andrés Felipe Aguillón estudiante de Ingeniería Industrial practicante en Lakeside Organic Gardens

For many students, the possibility of carry out their internship in another city of Colombia, or even abroad, is a distant idea. Nevertheless, Andrés Felipe Aguillón, ninth semester student of Industrial Engineering at the Sergio Arboleda University, looked for opportunities and currently he is doing his internship in an agricultural company, in the state of California, United States.

Andrés talked about his experience and the work he will do during the next six months, in which he will live a real experience of internationalization at Lakeside Organic Gardens.

• How did you find this internship?

I looked in more than seven countries, some of the companies answered me and in others I never got any answer. A company located in Santa Cruz, United States, answered that they needed staff, but that my profile was overrated for that position, but the person who interviewed me referred me to Lakeside Organic Gardens.

At that time, I have done the tests, together with other six engineers, to do the internship in a Swiss company in Colombia, and although I obtained the place, I decided to reject it and leave everything in God’s hands, and wait for the response of the American company. After two interviews and a process of more than two months, Lakeside decided to hire me as coordinator of special projects.

• Which was the contribution of La Sergio in this process?

I told the company about my training as an engineer of La Sergio, who is a professional prepared to be in different areas of a company.

During the career, I had the experience of visiting several organizations as part of the development of the classes, and there I did different jobs, which, added to my work experience, gave me a unique differential.

In addition, the company was interested in the Sergista profile because of its flexible and international nature, since the University has representation in Colombia and Spain.

For all this, I will work in the process area, analyzing from the moment the seed is implanted until the product reaches the final consumer.

Lakeside Organic Gardens is one of the 10 largest agricultural companies in the United States that produces 100% organic vegetables. This company distributes to most states of that country and to different cities of Canada.

• What do you think are the differential values of the Industrial Engineering program of La Sergio?

The first differential is that the University helped me to trust in myself, to believe that I am at the level of an American engineer. The Sergista profile, being so versatile, allowed me to show all my abilities and articulate them to the experience I developed in the real sector during my classes.

Also, my focus on organizational engineering, aimed at understanding dynamic systems and finding the best solutions, is completely related with my internship. On the other hand, the American government requires that interns have quality standards, such as coming from an accredited university, being in the last semesters and having a minimum of B2 certified English.

Not every student can apply. The American government is so careful and demands to verify that what a foreign intern is going to do cannot be done by an American citizen. And all this I achieved thanks to my training at La Sergio.

• What advice would you give to students who want to do internships abroad?

That they should take the risk, that opportunities exist. It is necessary to believe in the profile and knowledge of a Colombian engineer, have no borders and, in addition, I think that Colombia and the Sergio Arboleda University have a large field to discover.

For that, we have been trained since, in my case, my thinking is more logical, and my skills have been tested not only in classrooms but in different companies. The problems seen as projects are systems that are difficult to understand, but not impossible to solve.

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