As the spring 2015 semester came to a close, I was looking forward to my first summer spent in West Lafayette since beginning my college career in 2012. I loved exploring Chicago the summer before during my internship, but there was something exciting about staying near my church family and friends for the summer. After the semester ended, I packed up for home to take a break for a couple weeks before beginning my internship at the end of May. (I advise everyone to take weeks off as the opportunity arises because although you may be ambitious, you will never have the same kind of time off when you start your full-time career.) Returning two weeks later, I began my adventure as a Quality Assurance Intern at Cook Biotech. Within the first few weeks of the internship, it was apparent that the Quality department not only hired me to aid them in incoming inspection but truly lead a project which other employees did not have time to complete. I was given project aims and information about the resources which were available, and I was given great freedom to seek out more resources and information. By the end of the summer, I gained a passion for something new, Quality and Process Development. I would have never found the opportunities which lie outside of design or R&D if I had not been willing to try a new position. What else helped me find this new passion, you may wonder? Below are a few tips that I found helpful during my past two internships:
Journal your experiences: Each day spend a few minutes noting anyone you met and all of the positive and negative parts of your position or the company. This will help when you need to contact someone for help as well as narrowing down your expectations for the company you begin with full-time.
Talk to as many employees as possible: Set up meetings with anyone
you meet to learn more about their position as well as their route to success.
Take a notebook everywhere: You never know when someone will provide you with useful information to complete your project or for more information about their position.
Now I look forward to further exploring opportunities in Quality and Process Development! Companies may not always hire engineers in other departments, but if you are willing to sell yourself and explain why you believe you are qualified for the position, almost any company will consider you for a position outside the “norm.” Thank you to Cook Biotech and my supervisor for all of their guidance and advice as I move toward a full-time career.