Apple product design engineer speaks about career experience

Iona Lee

HW Venture hosted design engineer and alumnus Rhett Gentile ’13 to speak about his current job as a mechanical engineer at Apple during Conference Time on May 16.

Gentile helped develop speakers for the 2021 MacBook Pro. He and his team of collaborators perfected the six-speaker sound system that is able to reach half an octave lower than previously possible, creating a strong bass listening experience.

HW Venture Co-Leader of External Relations Gabe Levin ’23 said he appreciates  Gentile’s expertise with regards to engineering philosophy. Levin said he found the story of his journey to be inspirational.

“I thought it was really cool that [Gentile] was able to talk to us about engineering philosophy and how he’s able to use problem-solving to his advantage in order to be successful in his life and in his job,” Levin said. “I thought that his never-ending pursuit of perfection was inspiring and showed how passionate he and his team are about their work. This showed me that in order to be successful, you need to love what you do.”

Event attendee Sam Pulaski ’24 said he enjoyed attending the event because it helped expose him to the process of designing complex products for a technology-based company like Apple.

“I thought the speaker was really interesting,” Pulaski said. “I liked getting insight on his process of designing with a real-world example of the work he did with Apple. The presentation was really based around engineering, which although insightful, only felt like a rather miniscule part of the work process when creating something new.”

Event attendee Leo Craig ’24 said the presentation clarified the field of engineering in the workforce and provided many valuable perspectives on tackling problems that are likely to occur in real life.

“[Gentile’s] presentation provided important insights [about] the life of an engineer, the life of an employee and valuable problem-solving skills that can be [applied] to different careers,” Craig said. “I really enjoyed [Gentile’s] talk, as I’ve been interested in engineering for a long time, and hearing what life would be like as an engineer helped me decide if I wanted to pursue it through my years at school and college. I think that his advice on identifying and fixing problems [will be] helpful for me and others when we work with different colleagues and different classmates in problem-solving situations.”

Mia Patel ’24 said she enjoyed Gentile’s presentation, and she said she particularly appreciated the way in which he connected his experiences to her own.

“I thought he was super interesting,” Patel said. “He offered  new perspectives and insights on a lot of interesting subjects, and I especially loved his anecdotes and the way he was able to relate to all of us.”