Jason Wilson
Undergrad: University of Oregon, Eugene, OR - Chemistry
Track: PV/Semiconductor
Internship: Perceptive Pixel
Currently at Microsoft



What was your undergraduate institution?
University of Oregon (Go Ducks!)

How did you find yourself at Oregon? What about the program attracted you?
I have lived in Oregon my whole life. I considered programs other than the master's internship program, but no other programs were completely focused on getting students a good job in industry.

What was the intensive summer like for you?
The summer portion of the program was tough. There were many nights where I did not get enough sleep. I don’t think I could have survived without the help of my classmates and coffee. The professors encouraged us to work on homework in groups, which I think is very representative of how things are done in industry. Though I find myself sometimes working alone, it is usually after having consulted with my coworkers and manager to determine the best approach.

The curriculum was perfect for the internships being pursued, but I really enjoyed the labs. Again, all lab work was done in groups. I found that each group worked differently. In my first group we made sure that everyone was a part of each step in the process, whereas in my second group we all kind of had our specialties that we focused on, such as doping, photolithography, or etching.

I also found the professional development to be very helpful when it came to making a resume and going through interviews. I have never been great at public speaking, but the professional development gave me confidence in what I was saying and how I presented myself.

“Interview day” was stressful. I think the time waiting between interviews was worse than the interviews themselves. But, just like anything in life, you can’t get good without practice. Each interviewer had their own style. Some had technical questions (what is “depth of focus?"), some had personal questions (how did you get interested in science? why should we hire you?), and some had completely out-there questions (why are man-holes round?). The professional development portion of the program prepared me for all sorts of questions, so I felt confident in most of my answers (except the one about the damn man-hole).

Where did you do your internship?
I ended up finding my internship at a company not affiliated with the program. Though the program has many partners, I chose to pursue some leads I had on my own. I wanted to stay in Oregon, so I contacted and interviewed with Perceptive Pixel (www.perceptivepixel.com), a projected capacitive touch display company out of Wilsonville. My internship required knowledge in etching, spin-coating, vapor deposition, thermal oxidation, and other subjects I studied over the summer.

I ended up being hired on after my nine-month paid internship ended. To my surprise, Microsoft purchased the company two months later. Microsoft required all of Perceptive Pixel’s employees to go through a three-interview process. This was very similar to “interview day” during my summer with the internship program, so this was nothing new to me.

I now work for Microsoft as a Materials Scientist.

Without giving away any proprietary info, what was your internship like? What were you responsible for? What was a typical day like?
I was a part of a three-person team in charge of advanced development at Perceptive Pixel. Our job was to pursue alternative manufacturing methods for next-generation touch sensors. On top of that, I was assigned to optimize multiple processes in our manufacturing facility.

Did you feel the program prepared you for the internship? In what ways?
The program prepared me for working in a professional setting after having only worked in academia. The internship program gave me the knowledge I needed to accomplish my job at Perceptive Pixel/Microsoft.