Luke Hansen
Undergrad: Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA - Chemistry
Track: Polymer Science
Internship: Bend Research
Currently at Global Strategies International



How did you find yourself at Oregon? What about the program attracted you?
Approaching graduation, I had several thoughts about my immediate future after completion of my time at PLU. First, I was determined to not move back in with my parents. Second, I wanted to keep exploring my options in academia. Third, I was not ready to commit to a 5 year Ph. D. program. I wanted the flexibility of entering the chemical industry and also wanted to improve my resume if I did indeed decide that a doctorate degree was right for me in a few years time. The flexibility is what most attracted me to the UO Master's Internship Program.

What was the intensive summer like for you?
Graduating and having two weeks of summer break before starting summer coursework was intense, but I never fell out of the academic state of mind. I had positive experiences with both the core curriculum and lab classes. It certainly was intense and a large time commitment, but I also had fun with my classmates. Professional development seminars helped me understand what I had that was valuable to companies I would be interviewing with. With no chemical industry experience myself, having tips and guidance from professionals was very valuable. My perspective of myself in relation to what companies need was influenced heavily by the professional development seminars and helped me to succeed in interviews. I felt very prepared professionally from the program specifically.

Where did you do your internship?
I completed my internship with Bend Research Inc. Bend Research Inc. is a pharmaceutical formulation and development company located in Bend, OR. They bring some of the world’s best new medicines to market.

Without giving away any proprietary info, what was your internship like? What were you responsible for? What was a typical day like?
My internship experience was very hands on. I had access to cutting edge technology and was immediately able to apply the lab skills I had learned at the UO. I was responsible for designing, executing, and analyzing experiments in lab individually and as part of a team. The majority of my time was spent in lab learning new techniques and instrumentation.

Did you feel the program prepared you for the internship?
I absolutely felt prepared for my internship. The summer coursework does a great job of exploring and introducing a very broad assortment of instrumentation and lab techniques used to isolate and characterize materials of interest. The amount of teamwork necessary to complete the summer courses helped me continue to develop and indentify my strengths within a team. I was made very aware of acceptable and objectionable behavior within the office setting from the professional development piece over the summer.

Did you feel the program prepared you for the internship? In what ways?
Currently, I work full-time for Bend Research Inc. as an Associate Research Chemist. I had a very smooth transition from my internship into full employment, as both Bend Research Inc. and the internship program have been great fits for me. I am very excited about the opportunities the last 18 months have brought about.