Cheng - Our Student Intern

Our student interns make life better! I have gotten to know many interns in the time I have worked here and all of them become part of the family. Most of them leave here and step into their first “job” after graduation and I must admit, I feel proud watching them walk into the next big chapter in their life. 

Today, I want to introduce you to Cheng – one of the student interns currently working here. I did an informal interview with him and it was fascinating to learn more about him and find that despite our age differences, we have things in common.

Cheng is from Hickory, NC., which is about 60 miles from Charlotte, and is a student at UNCC. Cheng is a first generation American, having been born here to immigrant parents. Even though he grew up here, he does speak Hmong and because of that, he grew up being able to talk with his grandparents and he loves that he has that connection to his roots. 

Before college, Cheng was in the Marine Corp and did Boot Camp at Parris Island, NC. During his time in the military, he was trained in Electronics Maintenance, which may have influenced his decision to pursue an electrical engineering degree, although when asked, he cited money as his reason for choosing his degree field. While he didn’t do a lot of traveling in the military, he was able to spend a month in Japan and enjoyed his time there.

When I asked Cheng if he had anything on his bucket list yet, he immediately replied, “Travel,” and that is his after-graduation plan. We talked over several possible scenarios, and he mentioned that he has considered working overseas, to facilitate his desire to see different places, but also hasn’t ruled out the possibility of time off after graduation to just travel.

I love books, so of course, one of the questions I asked Cheng was if he had any favorite books. My heart was happy when his first and immediate response was the Harry Potter series because they are also at the top of my list of favorite books. Of the books, the first was his favorite and of the movies, his favorite was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Overall, between books and movies, his favorite genres are fantasy or science fiction, so he loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Narnia movies. Cheng mentioned that he liked the Godzilla movies, and I was interested in hearing him talk about the philosophical background of the first movie made in 1954, as I haven’t seen any of them and had no idea of the story behind them.

When I asked Cheng if he had a philosophy that he lived by or something he tried to keep in mind when life is hard, he told me, “Small victories create big success.”

As to Cheng’s future, beyond travel he is interested in exploring environmental applications for his degree field. One of the things he mentioned is that before working here, he had no idea how diverse solar and the use of solar could be – whatever Cheng chooses to do with his life, we are glad we get to be part of it, even in a small way, and we are sure he will be successful.