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"One thing I love about ITW is the cross-functional environment because you are more likely to learn something new each day and apply those skills to your respective division."

Update: Since publishing this article, Ozzy has gone on to accept a full-time role as a mechanical engineer at Bernard Welding, part of the Welding segment at ITW. Congratulations, Ozzy!

ITW is committed to supporting programs and initiatives that improve access to a high-quality education and career preparation for youth in under-resourced communities, both in our headquarters region of greater Chicago and around the world.

In 2014, ITW helped found ITW David Speer Academy in memory of David Speer, former ITW chairman and CEO. The Academy, located in Chicago, focuses on offering a world-class STEM education to over 1,000 students in grades 9 through 12.

To this day, ITW continues to partner with ITW David Speer Academy by providing students with invaluable opportunities, such as our high school internship program, STEM classroom materials, and helping each student participate in the Summer of a Lifetime program to experience life on a college campus the summer before their junior year. Additionally, we are always looking for opportunities for Speer alumni to become college interns at ITW businesses.

Recently, we interviewed Osvaldo “Ozzy” Sanchez, an ITW David Speer Academy graduate (class of 2019) to learn more about his ITW internship experiences. Ozzy, who is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in engineering, completed a high school internship, a college internship with ITW’s Global Tool Unit in 2022, and will be interning with ITW Appliance in 2023. Ozzy attributes his success to learning about ITW’s business models, mentorship and a hands-on approach early in his career. From this baseline, Ozzy developed long-term goals in engineering and management.

Tell us about your experience with ITW’s high school internship program and how it helped prepare you for college.

“My first internship experience with ITW was critical in my academic and professional development because I was able to gain insight into which industry I’d want to work in, which was manufacturing. I also learned about ITW’s business models, including the customer-back innovation process, which I was able to apply to many projects in my collegiate career. Working in the Construction segment for Residential & Renovation was the first time I was exposed to lab testing and writing technical reports.” 

After you graduated from ITW David Speer Academy in 2019, you were a 2022 summer college intern with Global Tool Unit. What was the best thing about your college internship at ITW? Do you have a favorite memory or takeaway?

“I was fortunate enough to return to ITW in the summer of 2022 with Residential & Renovation and continue to add to my toolbox. The best thing about my college internship was all the hands-on work I was able to do. Experiences including operating a tensile test machine, utilizing an array of power tools, and designing 3D modeling fixtures helped me enhance my skills as a rising engineer. One of my favorite memories was when the intern group traveled to Lake Forest for new-hire training and got to test most of Residential & Renovation’s product line.”

Are there any mentors or leaders from your time with ITW that really shaped your experiences? How did they help ignite your full potential?

“I’d like to express my gratitude and appreciation to Clayton Gable for taking me under his wing and helping me throughout my summer internship. He gave me the proper guidance and courage to tackle my projects head on. He is knowledgeable in the manufacturing world, and I’m grateful that I was granted the opportunity to learn from him this past summer. I’d also like to thank Alex Gaeta, Khateeb Raza and Luis Terrones for their endless support during my internship.”

What is one piece of advice you would give to students interested in interning at ITW?

“I would advise students interested in interning at ITW to be ready to learn. One thing I love about ITW is the cross-functional environment because you are more likely to learn something new each day and apply those skills to your respective division. Although I was working with the engineering team, I also got to network with people from marketing and finance to truly understand all aspects of the ITW business. There are incredible people with a lot of experience within ITW, and they are always willing to help you expand your toolbox!”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

“My end goal has always been to take on a senior engineering or management role for a division. While at ITW, I was able to hear from Matt Davis, Kevin Kraft and Mihyar Mohamed about their backgrounds and how they have spearheaded their roles as VP/GMs within the Construction segment. I aspire to be in that position, progressing through leadership positions and be a support to all members of the division.”

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