Engineering Student Prepares for Global Career with BMW

Arturo Nuñez Uribe (third from left) is spending six months on an internship with automaker BMW.
Courtesy of Arturo Nunez Uribe

Arturo Nuñez Uribe (third from left) is spending six months on an internship with automaker BMW.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arturo C. Nuñez Uribe knows the value of a wide skill set in preparing for the global economy.  

As a native of Mexico, Uribe came to the University of Arkansas to study industrial engineering already fluent in Spanish and English. His expertise in engineering and his global knowledge made him a good fit for BMW, a world leader in the automotive market.  

Uribe, a junior, sought out a spring internship with the German company due to its reputation for high performance and quality. He is also the only student from the U of A at the company’s largest plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, working alongside students from The Georgia Institute of Technology, Rochester Institute of Technology and Purdue University.  

He appreciates that those completing internships and co-op assignments are held to the same exacting standard as every other BMW employee.

“I have been able to work alongside an experienced engineer in configuring new camera networks with machine vision technology, resulting in autonomous error detection systems that rely on image acquisition and programmable logic rather than human intuition,” he said. “This relieves the need for dedicated quality technicians, allowing them to focus on value added processes which saves the company, and ultimately the customer, money.”

In addition to the technical expertise that Uribe is acquiring, he appreciates the opportunity to work as part of a global team at BMW.

“The most rewarding experiences are the interactions with my colleagues,” he said. “I have been able to collaborate with professional engineers of different cultures and backgrounds, from different countries and continents. It has been surprising, in an eye-opening way, how critical it is for our own engineers to work with international associates in order to supply international markets and to maintain a global impact on auto manufacturing.”

Uribe has also been learning German to further his ability to communicate.

“Through my experiences, I have come to realize that engineering is only effective when its methods and purposes are accurately communicated and understood,” he said. Furthermore, I have been exposed to the importance of being technically proficient in engineering principles and fluent in German and English in the competitive auto manufacturing industry. I have realized that these two components are critical for an engineer to be understood if he or she is working with colleagues of German backgrounds, which is very common in the automotive industry.”

Uribe will resume his studies at the U of A in the fall, where he is the internal vice president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Upon graduation, he plans to gain more expertise in industry and ultimately to pursue either a Master of Business Administration or a master’s in industrial engineering.


Kathleen Condray, associate professor of German
World Languages, Literatures and Cultures

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