Melanie Kauffman might have only spent one year so far at Waynesburg University, but the junior forensic science transfer student has wasted no time benefiting from her Waynesburg professors, education and experiences.
“Since I have only had two semesters at Waynesburg, I’ve only taken a handful of classes, however, in various ways, all of the classes I have taken are applicable to my work and have prepared me for this laboratory experience,” said Kauffman.
The laboratory experience she speaks of has been a three month internship as an inclusion analyst in the quality control laboratory of North American Hoganas in Hollsopple, Pennsylvania, also known as the Stony Creek plant.
Hoganas is an international company known for making a wide variety of products, such as metal powders, alloys for surface protection of exposed surfaces, brazing filler metals and pastes, as well as inductors and electric drive systems. North American Hoganas is one of three branches in North America and specializes mostly in the mass production of powdered metals.
Kauffman learned of the internship opportunity through her father, who works in the Maintenance Department at North American Hoganas.
“One night at school, I called home to talk with my parents and I had mentioned to them that I was looking for a summer internship,” said Kauffman. “And it turned out that very day my dad had a meeting where they explained to employees that they were accepting internship applications for the Stony Creek plant.”
Upon submitting her application materials, Kauffman was invited to tour the plant where she completed standard paperwork, discussed the specifics of her potential job and took a critical thinking test. This visit was in lieu of a traditional interview, which is standard for most internship applicants.
“They merely took me on the basis of my resume,” said Kauffman.
Kauffman was able to build her academic resume and expand her general wealth of knowledge by enrolling in Dr. Chad Keyes’ organic chemistry class last year. A class, she said, that prepared her the most for her internship.
“Through his energetic lectures, I was able to learn a vast array of chemical reactions, molecular structures and how various microscopes can aid in meticulous analyzation,” said Kauffman.
Kauffman’s internship has been equally rewarding and challenging. Her favorite part, though, is having the opportunity to eat lunch with her dad every day and having a small glimpse into his role at the plant.
Additionally, she has become part of the lab’s family and learned various methodologies for her work.
“I have constantly improved my meticulous analyzation of the inclusions and preparation processes,” said Kauffman. “This is something that I think will be very beneficial in my future.”
Oddly enough, these same benefits have also been the most challenging for her, in addition to learning the wide range of testing and machinery in the lab.
All in all, Kauffman’s experience at North American Hoganas will no doubt propel her into her final years of study at Waynesburg and beyond.
“By obtaining this laboratory experience and making these connections with the wonderful people at North American Hoganas, I have taken a step forward to polishing my resume, gaining hands-on experience and acquiring skills that can only be obtained on a day-to-day basis that will further aid me in my future endeavors,” said Kauffman.