Internship, Co-op or Research Site: W.R. Grace
Position Title: R&D Engineering Intern
Work Term:Summer 2017
Tell us about your internship, co-op, or research opportunity, including your day-to-day responsibilities.
I performed rheological testing and data analysis on a wide variety of polypropylene products that are produced through Grace's UNIPOL PP process. The equipment I operated on a daily basis included a rheometer, differential scanning calorimeter, and industrial compression molding machine. I constructed a database in Microsoft Sharepoint to house all of my results and analysis. This database is now accessible to Grace and its clients who need the data to design the extruder-pelletizing units used in their production process.
Describe the process of obtaining your position. When did you hear of the position and submit your application?
I applied for an on-campus interview through UMBCworks and met with the career center to fine tune my resume. Then a human resources representative at Grace reached out to me about two weeks later to arrange a phone interview with the hiring manager.
What have you enjoyed the most about your position or organization?
Experiencing science outside the classroom was an exciting and valuable experience. I am the kind of person who understands a concept better when there is a direct application of it sitting in front of me. This experience was full of hands on learning. Additionally, all of the employees I interacted with loved talking about what they did and always encouraged me to ask them questions about their work or my own.
How do you believe you have made an impact through your work?
I performed work for Grace that they said was high on their priority list due to recent increases in the capabilities of their technology. Engineers at Grace are currently using the rheological database I constructed to help Grace’s licensees get the best possible performance out of their plant equipment. I also made an impact on myself by building my soft skills in the workplace. At the conclusion of my internship I had to present my work in front of the CEO and all of the managers. Preparing for that really helped me refine my presentation skills.
What advice would you give to another student who is seeking an internship or similar experience?
Start applying in September and don’t give up! I applied to over 30 positions until I got a call back offering me the job. Do anything the gain experience, whether its TAing, working in a professors lab, or some form of unpaid shadowing. These experiences can help you grow your network and potentially lead to things like internships.
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