Located on the southeastern coast of Jamaica, you will find the capital city of Kingston. Surrounded by the Blue Mountains, Red Hills, and a major seaport, the city bustles with industries like tourism, apparel manufacturing, and shipping. It’s also the hometown of Phoenix Mecano Summer 2022 engineering intern––now part-time team member––Pascal Lindsay.
Pascal left Jamaica in 2019 for the University of South Florida. Now a senior, Pascal recently reflected on what it was like forgoing the comfort of close connections at home to study engineering in the US. “Kingston has the highest population density in Jamaica, yet it’s very small,” he shared. “It’s also a link-based community: a network of interconnected people who can help you get things done.” Pascal knew leaving Kingston would be hard, yet this young man embraced the challenge. “Coming to Tampa, Florida, I did the opposite of someone who has a big world and lots of connections would do: I left. I’ve spent years immersing myself and creating my life here. Now, I consider Tampa to be my second hometown.”
Pascal’s circle has expanded further, thanks to his time in Frederick, Maryland, and the pathways to unlimited possibility forged by the INROADS internship program. INROADS is a leader in programs focused on advancing diverse youths into the world of Corporate America. Its mission is to help talented and underrepresented high school and college students find ways into the business world. The organization is proud to be a disrupter that breaks glass ceilings and closes opportunity and wealth gaps. Phoenix Mecano is honored to partner with the non-profit as a hub for INROADS internships.
The way it came together for Pascal was serendipitous. “I was looking for spring internships, and one of my friends sent me contacts and listings in the INROADS internship community and I noticed Phoenix Mecano on the list. They needed an industrial engineer and I wanted to find out more. My friend said, ‘Call this one guy. He can help you.’ Just a few days later, I interviewed with Rebekah Collogan. I had no idea that ‘this one guy’ was a part of INROADS. The more I learned about the organization, I began to realize just how lucky I was.”
As a mentor, Rebekah provided Pascal with guidance and allowed him to roll up his sleeves and get to work. He was encouraged to spend time on the production floor and observe, ask questions, and then encouraged to find solutions. Then came the freedom to make it happen. “Rebekah was the perfect mix of hands-off to let me explore and the guiding force I needed to be successful,” he reflected.
Pascal was born with a love for science, technology, engineering, and math. A logical thinker, he defined himself as “obsessed” with how processes work. “From statistics to integrated science classes, there was never a time I didn’t want to solve problems and I loved every minute of figuring out how I could make things work better.” Pascal thought this natural love of sciences and math meant a future as a mechanical engineer. While we were talking, he shared an example about knowing when it was time to switch engineering fields. “I never wanted to design the fastest car in the world like my mechanical engineering colleagues. I wanted to solve issues to make the car function better. Going faster doesn’t solve any problems. What does solve problems, is designing protocols so other team members can make that happen instead.”
Phoenix Mecano proudly provides hands-on opportunities to explore the manufacturing industry and Industrial Engineering. Pascal summed up what that meant to him in one word: empowering. “I felt needed. That encouraged me to do more, like look for more projects that I had zero time to take on,” he laughed. When asked about those extra tasks he couldn’t help but jump into, a time when he tweaked a system for internal orders. “I noticed someone compiling internal orders and asked if could figure out a way to make the process a little smoother. Then, I got busy getting it done.”
Pascal’s positive experience during his internship makes it difficult for any other company to measure up. Pascal works remotely for Phoenix Mecano as he wraps up his undergraduate degree. “This was one of the most enjoyable work experiences I have ever had. I had a voice to say what I think, and it gave me a solid base to understand how engineers work to tackle issues in the real world.” Pascal saw firsthand the collaboration component that team members appreciate. “I saw engineers on their feet problem solving more than they sat at their desk. That’s based on company culture, and that’s important to me.”
If you’re concerned that Pascal is all work and no play, you can relax a little. The creative side of him balances out his day job. From hosting campus-wide events to spending time in the recording studio cutting tracks, he has the perfect insight balancing work and fun. “I’ve always been a creative, which can sound ridiculous to some because of my logical side. I love singing. I taught myself to play the guitar when I was ten. I produce music. I had always heard that once you were a “grownup,” you had to give up fun for work. I was always skeptical about that, and I’m trying to prove that if you love what you do, you’re not giving up anything.”
As president of the Caribbean Club at his university, Pascal takes great pride in providing a place where everyone can feel welcome and have a fantastic experience. Part of that comes from his supportive parents, natural drive, and experiences like his time at Phoenix Mecano. “There are other things I cannot wait to do in this world. Steady, continued success is what keeps me reaching to do more.”
Reaching to do more is a theme he wants to pass along to other potential interns considering Phoenix Mecano. “The environment at Phoenix Mecano is conducive to growth. You will be valued. There is a heap of opportunity for you to do great things here and well into your future.”