Savana Kate Schwanda ’25 • Lexington, SC


Savana Kate Schwanda ’25 • Lexington, SC

Systems engineering major with the Honors College

Engineering Scholarship

Shalosky Family Engineering Leadership Scholarship

College of Charleston Foundation Scholarship

College of Charleston students not only receive a comprehensive education but also benefit from exceptional hands-on opportunities before joining the workforce. Savana Kate Schwanda exemplifies this through her internship at REI Automation in Columbia, South Carolina, a company specializing in the design and construction of manufacturing automation equipment.

“At this internship, I was terrified that I wasn’t going to know how to do anything,” shares Schwanda. “But once I got here, they showed me everything I needed to know.”

She learned practical skills such as wiring, reading schematics, assembling parts and interpreting drawings. Schwanda emphasized how this collaboration allowed her to integrate her systems engineering expertise into the projects.

Schwanda’s successful enhancement of a new assembly line process did not go unnoticed, as REI President Grant Phillips expressed satisfaction with Schwanda and her fellow College of Charleston peers.

“We try to give the opportunity for a student to work on a project from beginning to end;   we think that gives great experience for the summer intern to have an understanding of what we do at REI Automation and what working in industry is like,” says Phillips.

For College of Charleston students contemplating internships, Schwanda offers valuable advice: “Network with professors to find them, and don’t be scared of the title because you’ll learn along the way.”

She underscores the supportive nature of professionals at companies offering internships, emphasizing that such experiences are conducive to personal and professional growth. Schwanda’s journey serves as an inspiring example for students seeking enriching opportunities within their academic and professional pursuits.