Olivet Student Spotlight – Bella Lopez

Year-long internship leads to career insight & more.

September 1, 2022 Academics

While most students at Olivet Nazarene University complete some form of practical experience in the form of student teaching, clinical rotation hours or an internship while living on campus, some take a year off school to move to a different state and intern full-time for a company or organization. Such is the case for senior Bella Lopez who spent the past year living 2,000 miles away from friends and classmates for her paid internship with Apple Inc. in Cupertino, California.

Leader in Training
Bella’s mom is an alumna of Eastern Nazarene College, so she was familiar with Nazarene higher education institutions when considering college options. She enrolled at a sister Nazarene school for her freshman year before transferring to Olivet to study mechanical engineering.

For her first two years, Bella was highly involved on campus serving as a resident assistant, singing in Orpheus Choir, and participating with the Society of Women Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). In fact, it was through her connections at NSBE that she attended the virtual career fair in which she found the Apple internship opportunity.

Seizing the Opportunity to Grow
In spring 2021, she was recovering from a concussion. “After doing nothing for days on end, I was bored out of my mind and thought ‘I might as well attend the fair and do something productive with my day,’” she reflected. “Looking back on it, God definitely used what I originally thought was a horrible situation for good.”

She logged on to meet recruiters representing a variety of companies and connected with one from Apple.

“It was nerve-wracking, especially since I was still concussed. Before my interviews, I just had to pray ‘Lord, please fix my brain for the next thirty minutes!’”

Thanks to her strong problem-solving skills throughout the official interview process, Bella was offered and accepted an internship with the Product Design Validation team.

“I loved working with my team—everyone is super kind and brilliant,” she reflected.

From her first day in the internship, Bella was challenged to use her understanding of engineering concepts as well as her leadership skills when was tasked with managing a project on her own.

“I got the support I needed, but the managers also trusted me to do the project. It was really interesting to see what I’ve learned in classes being demonstrated in front of me. I hadn’t had a ton of technical experience prior to this experience so seeing the math happening in front of my eyes and getting to build a project from the ground up was really fun!”

Industrious Inspiration
The internship experience at Apple gave Bella insightful perspectives on what a career in engineering looks like and she is eagerly anticipating working full-time in the industry after graduation. She advises that students in any major seek out internships that enhance practical skills, but also grow their soft skills of interpersonal development.

“One thing that’s really important is to seek out face-to-face time in any capacity. Recruiters and hiring managers may or may not glance at a résumé, but I believe that getting face-time with a recruiter was what truly kickstarted my interview process. After initially putting myself out there, all I could do was give my best effort and completely trust God with the outcome. I am incredibly grateful for the experience, and I feel so thankful to be a part of the PDV team at Apple.”

Bella plans to finish her degree in mechanical engineering back on campus this fall and graduate with the class of 2023.

For more information about the Walker School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.

Published 9/1/2022

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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