I have had the opportunity to work for two great companies during my college tenure so far, Bayer AG and Dow Chemical. I did a year-long co-op with Bayer AG right after my freshman year in Cleveland, Tennessee, where I worked in process technology. My main tasks were executing and supporting validation work, designing processes, troubleshooting manufacturing problems, and conducting continuous improvement research for Bayer’s wide variety of products. At Dow, I was part of the TES, productivity & analytics team. My role was global and the projects I worked on impacted over 40 sites worldwide across Dow’s businesses ranging from plastics and polyurethanes to silicones.
At Bayer, I had the opportunity to work with integrated teams consisting of R&D, supply chain, finance, and leadership from different parts of the world to introduce new products and develop better processes for the site. The projects I was a part of ranged from designing new processes that saved money and reduce environmental impact, helping troubleshoot existing API problems, developing and building new chemical analytical methods and performing design verifications on medical devices. I also got the chance to wear the hat of an environmental engineer by taking on a couple EPA-driven projects. Apart from the work itself, I truly enjoyed the people that I worked with. They made my experience one to remember, especially my manager.
This past summer I interned with Dow. The experience was virtual but nevertheless fruitful because of the work and people. I led a pilot program to migrate data visualization tools from Tableau to PowerBI and built a maintenance cost dashboard in PowerBI to provide spending insight to site directors and leadership across Dow’s businesses. I also developed an implementation plan to standardize this transition across all sites globally. Lastly, I led a project to create a visual tool to track KPI and goal implementation globally across all sites. Within Dow I have had the opportunity to meet the CEO, Jim Fitterling, and have networked with several business leaders within the company. All of this has made my experience worthwhile.
The biggest lessons from my experience were the ability to learn and adapt in an ever-changing environment, especially now. Such exposure allowed me to understand what it means to be an actual engineer, the diverse skillset required to succeed as one, and the problem-solving mindset of an engineer.
My experiences have kick-started my career and allowed me to realize my passion for chemical engineering. I hope to use the platform to contribute towards designing and implementing safer chemical processes and fostering innovation that meets the world’s ever-changing needs and betters the environment. I know I’ll look back fondly on these experiences as the turning point of my career.
Does your company need co-op or internship students? Please contact the Office of Engineering Professional Practice via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
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