Undergrad: Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA - Physics
Current Job Title: Fluid Architect Engineer at HP
I went to Georgia Tech for my undergraduate degree. The physics program there is very research/academia oriented, but I wanted to pursue a career in industry. Even though I received a top-notch education, I was unsure how to get a job with it or apply it in any way. None of my advisors were involved in industry and were unable to offer advice on paths to take. Luckily, this is when I heard about the Master’s Industrial Internship Program through an email from our career portal.
The program offers the perfect blend of technical knowledge and skills necessary to get a job with that knowledge, which I was lacking. The summer courses are challenging and designed to push you right to the edge, but the safety net of support from the staff and faculty helps keep everything manageable. At the end of the summer, I was able to secure a spot with HP’s print division in Corvallis, Oregon.
HP offers jobs which vary heavily in depth and breadth; I chose a path with more breadth because I like multidisciplinary work. My main internship project was focused on inventing tests to simulate accelerated wear that is created in a printhead from material/ink interaction, as well as the thermal and fluid effects. This was a great setup for my current role, where I am in charge of developing the thin-film stack and geometries that create our firing chamber. My job allows me to work with and learn from many diverse groups, such as reliability, fab integration, manufacturing, analytical sciences and project managers.
While I was all set to begin my internship with the technical skills I had developed, I want to stress the importance of the transferable skills that I didn’t know I had picked up. Things as simple as having long, unstructured days in labs, classes, and presentations prepared me for autonomy and got me in shape for 8+ hour work days. A lot of cultural elements learned in the program were echoed at work, such as having a growth mindset, utilizing strengths (from StrengthFinder), teamwork, and maintaining open, transparent, and effective communication. On a larger scale, my company demonstrates values that are shared with the MIIP, such as its sustainability initiatives (printing with HP paper is net positive for the environment!) or refusing to sacrifice inclusion and acceptance in any part of the business (this shows up locally in Women’s, Veterans, LGBT+, and Young Employee networks as well as globally where we refuse to work with companies that don’t deliver on diversity targets that we set).
Since I started two years ago, I have converted to full time and have since been promoted, all of which I attribute to the foundation that was laid at UO. I have been able to travel to several different countries, take charge of projects, make decisions that can affect hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, and interact with incredibly smart and inviting people, all while doing work that is both engaging and genuinely cool to me.