Tag Archives: co-op/internship

Talking about Internship Experiences

Lydia Seiter

Lydia Seiter,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 4 March 2020

This year, I have had the opportunity to serve on several Co-op/Internship Panels for ET 1500. This is a course within the Russ College that emphasizes the importance of co-ops and internships, career options for each major, writing resumes, cover letters and reference pages, interviewing tips and strategies, and more. This was a fun way to reflect on my own co-ops and internships, and I hope that sharing my experiences was helpful to the students in the class.

During my time as an engineering student, I’ve had a summer research internship at a small biotech company Quidel, a 6-month process engineering co-op at the chemical manufacturing company DuPont, and an environmental engineering summer internship at Ford Motor Company. Each experience has been vastly different than the others, and each helped me decide what I want to do in my future career. The students in the class were curious about how I found each opportunity, what the responsibilities were in each role, and what I liked.

Dean Pidcock, the Director of the Office of Professional Experiences, asked for parting words of wisdom at the end of the panel. I told the students, don’t be afraid to leave for a semester or two to complete a co-op! The side effect of graduating later was completely worth it to me. You can earn money while working, learn about processes and concepts at a co-op that you haven’t even seen in school yet, get ahead, and make your resume much more attractive to prospective employers. I’m very glad I chose to do a co-op as a student.

Summer Internship in Chicago

Lydia Shiffler

Lydia Shiffler,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 23 September 2019

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to be in Chicago doing an internship with a technology company called Softchoice. Living in the city was such a cool experience for me and was something I had never done before, and it taught me a lot.


At Softchoice, I was immersed into a 4-week training that taught me sales strategy, complex product knowledge, and industry best practices. I dove deep into the best cloud solutions for certain workloads and learned how to best consult companies on their technology needs. I was fortunate enough to work with big-name companies, such as Microsoft, Dell, Google, and Veeam to take a deeper look into their software and their companies technology strategies.

Throughout this internship, I gained so many professional development skills and was given the opportunity to present my ideas to all the highest managers in the company. This is very unusual for bigger companies, but it made me face my fears and it was so beneficial to my development. I also organized a fundraising event within the company and raised over $400 for the Special Olympics which was amazing. The whole experience taught me so much and I received a full-time offer from the company.

Although I was working all summer, It was also a lot of fun being in Chicago. I got to experience so many things, such as seeing my favorite artists in concert, trying the best restaurants, going on architecture tours, volunteering, playing volleyball every Wednesday, and so much more.


My experience this summer was one I will never forget, but I am so excited to be back in Athens and finish up my last year here at OU.

Summer Internship at Fluor-BWXT

Alexis Lanier

Alexis Lanier,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 23 September 2019

Over the summer, I got the opportunity to work at Fluor-BWXT in Portsmouth, Ohio as a design engineering intern. When I first arrived at the plant, I was amazed at the history and size of it. Until 1991, the site was a gaseous diffusion plant used to enrich uranium for military and commercial purposes. Now, the plant’s main operation is decommissioning and cleaning up the site.

Since I have only worked in research prior to this opportunity, working as a design engineer and working in the industry were both new experiences for me, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started.

The first thing I learned at the plant is that safety is the top priority. In my first few weeks at the plant, I went through radiological worker training, electrical Lock Out Tag Out training where we learned how to properly lock out hazardous energy sources, harness training, and a few others. After all my training was completed, I was given projects right away and got to experience what it was like to be a design engineer.

In the three months I interned at the plant, I got to work with other engineers on several projects around the plant. I worked on power calculations, installing a plotter, replacing a water heater from a one-phase to a three-phase heater, and multiple other smaller projects. After completing many design documentation packages, I learned that with the enjoyable engineering work, paperwork usually follows.

Fluor-BWST Interns

Besides gaining experience in the power field, I became great friends with the other interns and got to explore Portsmouth, Ohio with them. I went to my first dairy bar (shown below), saw the Portsmouth floodwall murals, and learned some southern Ohio jargon.

Dairy Bar

Although at first, I was nervous being in such a new environment, working at the plant was a great and enjoyable experience that I’ll never forget.

From Internship to Full-Time

Melissa Kuchta

Melissa Kuchta,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 18 September 2019

Since this is my first blog post since the start of my senior year, I thought I would fill you all in on all of the exciting things I got to do and experience this past summer.

I’ll start by filling you in on my internship with ABB. This was my second rotation working at ABB’s Cleveland office. Last summer I was in a systems engineering position, and this summer I was in a proposals engineering role. I worked closely with customers, account managers, and many other people throughout the company to put together proposals for around 32 different projects. These proposals define the scope of work of each particular project as well as what equipment the customer will be receiving.

It was amazing to apply what I had learned last summer as well as my technical and writing skills to make a difference for a company. It even ended in a full time job offer for after graduation! I am so excited to continue my career at ABB and see where it takes me.

I also did a lot of travelling this summer—something that has always been very important to me. I traveled to Nashville, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, as well as Carolina Beach with my family and friends. I saw so many new places and got to have so many different experiences.

I am very grateful for the amazing final summer that I had as a student. On to the real world next summer!

Internship at Speyside Bourbon Cooperage

Adam Kirby

Adam Kirby,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 15 September 2019

During the summer I completed my last internship with Speyside Bourbon Cooperage. This was my second full time summer internship and it was the perfect way to transition into senior year here at Ohio University.

During this internship I had the opportunity to travel to various states and locations to learn more about what it takes to run and maintain highly-automated facilities. During my time in the Jackson, Ohio, location (my hometown) I worked as a quality and manufacturing engineering intern. This allowed me to apply information I have learned in the classroom and labs, to real world scenarios.

Speyside Bourbon Cooperage

Before starting this internship I had no clue how big the Bourbon industry could be. Each day Speyside can produce 1500 brand-new barrels, you can imagine the amount of wood that can take. With this amount of wood being purchased and consumed, I undertook a challenge I had never even thought of.

Wood is a natural product, which means that no two boards (staves) are going to be the same. A stave is a board that has been processed to now be fitted in a barrel. Each stave has its own personal characteristics and as a quality intern, you can imagine the headache I faced while trying to implement standards for each operator to follow.

We were able to implement an acceptable range of what can be processed and passed to the next station and what needs to be reworked. This type of system relies heavily on each operator having the same training and same standards about what can be used.

I believe this was a great learning experience and I can now carry this knowledge into any facility working with a consistent non-organic material, or a facility working with a product such as wood.