Matt Bruinsma is a Western Michigan University grad on the ground at Flowserve Corporation.
Western Michigan University (WMU)
Mechanical Engineering, B.B.S. ‘15
Research and Development Engineer, Flowserve Corporation
Small Town/Big Town
My wife and I live in a small town, Schoolcraft. We like living in a small town because we have a dog and are able to go for runs with him around town. Just having that small-town atmosphere is really nice. We are also lucky to be only 20 minutes from downtown Kalamazoo, which has a lot to offer as well.
On the Job
I am a research and development engineer, or R&D engineer at Flowserve. I do research and develop new products or try to improve current products, whether to be cheaper, better or both. Essentially, when the customers have an issue with a certain product, or they want something different, I try and figure out if we can make it and if the solution will be cost-effective. It’s definitely fun to get my hands dirty and break stuff to figure things out.
I’ve learned that getting a good internship is hands down the most beneficial thing you can do for your career. Obviously passing your undergraduate classes is important, but I’ll be honest, the fact that I had an internship with Flowserve, opened up so many opportunities for me. I got way more offers than I expected just because I had experience, but I ended up staying here because I liked the company so much.
The Changing Landscape
The Kalamazoo area has seen tremendous growth, even since I moved here for college. In these last seven years, I’ve seen a lot more businesses go up. It’s just good to know that there are more jobs coming here and less leaving. Seeing things like the new medical school at WMU, or some of the new apartment housing downtown has been huge. Seeing stuff like that go up in town makes me happy to think, “I might stay here my whole life.”
My wife and I are really big beer people, so we like to go to a lot of the local breweries. We have plenty of them around here, and since we both work downtown, we will generally meet up after work and go hop breweries. Our favorite for sure is a new one called The Distant Whistle in Vicksburg. It’s actually closer to where we live, on the south side of town. It is a really small place where everyone definitely knows your name—we love it.