—–Going on outside tours is an awesome opportunity offered in the LDP experience. This past Thursday, we were given the opportunity to explore the Aisin Electronics assembly plant in Marion, IL. I have personally seen many assembly lines that make many different products, like CNC machines, hamburger buns, and automobiles, but the most complex and intricate assembly lines I have ever seen were in the Aisin facilities. The assembly lines were in a spotless room; the attention to detail regarding cleanliness caught us all off guard. This was a vastly different working environment than what most students would expect of an assembly plant. We expected the plant to be loud, hot, and dirty, but it was climate controlled with excellent filtration and humidity control to keep debris that may damage components to a minimum. Furthermore, the overwhelming speed and accuracy at which the robots assembled components and checked for defects astonished and inspired us all. ——————————————- One of my favorite aspects of the tour was the time we spent with the members of the Aisin team before and after. We were able to speak with many of the professional staff and had question and answer sessions that allowed us to ask what we will need to know if we plan to seek employment there. In turn, this gave us time to educate ourselves in preparation for the real world. The knowledge that we gained from simply asking questions with the staff was a benefit that we couldn’t gain from a lecture in a classroom. It can be intimidating when a student first enters the workforce; it’s almost like we have this image of the companies and their employees being superhuman. At times, we assume their expectations of us will be insurmountable, but after meeting with employees of outside companies they were able to help lessen this apprehension of starting employment. We realized they are humans just like us who want to help us succeed in our transition into the workforce. Touring a facility is Touring a facility is inspiring to students as it gives us a glimpse of what we are striving to achieve through our education. It may be difficult for us to take the time away from our studies to go, but tours are often undervalued by students. However, we can gain a wealth of knowledge from seeing the processes and speaking with staff members of these companies. After seeing what Aisin has to offer for the people who work there, it is easy to understand why they claim to be one of the best kept secrets in Southern Illinois. Their excellent staff, leadership, and constant strive for greatness allow them to be one of the leaders in the transportation manufacturing industry.