Undergrad: University of Redlands, Redlands, CA - Chemistry
Internship: Thermo Fisher Scientific (analytical instruments group)
Current Job Title: Applications Scientist at Thermo Fisher Scientific (FEI Company)
During my undergraduate studies at the University of Redlands I was handed an informational flyer for the UO Master’s program in my senior thesis seminar class. At the time I was really interested in the sciences surrounding the semiconductor field, especially all the applications that come from this discipline. I felt drawn toward the semiconductor sciences and wanted to expand my knowledge in this field. When I saw that the UO program had a track dedicated to the study of semiconductor technology, I put in my application. Once I applied and started talking with Lynde Ritzow (director of recruitment) and doing some additional research on the program and its unique emphasis on professional development in industry, I became extremely excited.
Going into the summer program my peers and I felt the same mix of enthusiasm, joy, and anxious anticipation. Hearing about the intensive summer, we all had our worries. With my background in chemistry I was worried that the physics portions of the course work would be too much for me to handle on top of the intensive workload. However, once the summer began a lot of those worries quickly faded away. I realized that this program was not only special because of its scope of education, but also because everyone was in it together. There is a strong community mindset and I found support from faculty and my cohort of students. I was always able to find support when trying to comprehend all the foreign material. This was such an amazing aspect of the program because it allowed me to expand my current knowledge by adopting an entirely new scientific approach in a short amount of time. This has given me a new perspective for looking at problems and equipped me with a unique set of tools to enhance my approach when problem solving in my professional and personal life that I am grateful for. The summer aspect of the program was a truly unique experience. It was by far the hardest academic period I have ever experienced, but it was also the most rewarding and enjoyable. Now that it is over, I look back with fond memories.
After completing my course work, I began an internship with Thermo Fisher Scientific. In my internship, I focused on electron microscopy and the practical applications of this technique in the semiconductor field. I worked with a SEM/FIB dual beam system that specialized in automated sample prep on full wafers for semiconductor manufacturing companies. Much of the work I did during my internship required me to analyze and improve the efficiency of the sample prep systems. I enjoyed this because it gave me hands-on experience in some new areas that I really wanted to explore further – programing and electron microscopy. My internship eventually led to a full-time position with the company. I now use my deep knowledge of these systems to create and improve customer solutions for sample prep on full wafers. It’s a really rewarding job and I am grateful for the UO program which provided me with a skill set and path to be successful in this position.
Outside of academic and professional development, this program has also played a significant role in my personal growth and contribution to my local community and society. It’s shown me the impact a supportive community can have on people and provided me with a great opportunity for meaningful employment which has instilled in me a sense of gratitude and generosity. All of these things have motivated me to get involved with different organizations in my local community focusing on aspects of environmental justice and community improvement. With the knowledge, skill set, and employment opportunities the UO has provided me, I am able to make meaningful contributions to these groups to actively involve myself and help my local community and the greater society around it. So, while the Master’s Program at the UO actively provides a phenomenal education to its students, it also passively inspires and prepares them with the resources and support they need to make significant impacts to their communities and society.