Matti Alemayehu
Undergrad: Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL - Chemistry
Track: Polymer Science
Internship: Arclin
Followed by Phd at Oregon
Currently at ExxonMobil



What was your undergraduate institution?
I went to Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, IL for my undergraduate studies.

How did you find yourself at Oregon? What about the program attracted you?
I came to Oregon to attend the polymer master’s industrial internship program. What attracted me most about the program was the fact that it gives students real industrial experience providing the opportunity to apply what they have learned in theory.

What was the intensive summer like for you?
The summer was my first experience of graduate school, and it quickly taught me the difference between graduate and undergraduate school. The mock interviews and the professional development courses prepared me for what was to come in the industrial portion of the curriculum.

Where did you do your internship?
I did my internship at Arclin in Springfield, Oregon. Arclin is a specialty chemicals company that manufactures Phenolic, Urea and Melamine resins.

Without giving away any proprietary info, what was your internship like? What were you responsible for? What was a typical day like?
My internship was very interesting because I was trained to be the “Jill of all trades”. I held two positions before I left Arclin. I was an analytical, polymer and composite intern before I transitioned into the role of process chemist. In analytical chemistry, I got to play with tools such as gas chromatography, UV-Vis, FT-IR and CN analyzer. As part of the automation group, I got to optimize online instrumentation using Parkview software.

Did you feel the program prepared you for the internship? In what ways?
The program more than prepared me for my internship by giving me applicable industrial-based skills. The summer lab courses were designed to mimic actual industrial projects which made the transition from academic to industry easy.

How did your internship prepare you for your current position/career path?
Currently, I am a PhD student in Dave Johnson’s Lab at the University of Oregon. I valued and appreciated the skills I acquired through the graduate internship program immensely and I wanted to further my education and get a PhD at University of Oregon.