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College vs. Internship from an Indium Corporation Intern Point of View

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My main focus during this internship is to gain valuable experience and develop skills that I simply cannot learn in college, as I have mentioned before. Some of these skills include project planning, interpersonal relationships, and professionalism. This just names a few skills that are important in the business world and separates academics from business. When I came to Indium Corporation, I noticed right away that there is a completely different way of thinking when it comes to being an employee versus a student. As an engineering student my brain is programmed to do all this math and technical analysis, but we are not exposed to the business aspect. Preparation for tests, completing homework assignments, finishing labs - this is the type of work I am used to. As soon as the first week of my internship started I jumped right in to my first project, and that involved adapting to the new style of thinking.

Throughout my years at Mohawk Valley Community College and Clarkson University I can say I have not been able to develop these types of skills. College has taught me problem solving through different math, physics, and engineering courses, but not planning or how to communicate and build relationships in the work environment. Luckily, Indium Corporation’s internship program helps build the necessary skills that I need. Indium Corporation provides weekly seminars where we can build upon these skills - with a different topic each week. Topics at these engagements include interpersonal competence (building on interpersonal skills), mentoring, and intellectual property. So far, these topics have been important to the business part of the work environment. These meetings have allowed me to build and improve on these skills.

This week’s topic was intellectual property. Prior to the meeting, I had very little exposure to intellectual property. This topic is very important in the business and engineering setting. The point of view is about protecting your ideas with enforced laws. As an engineer, I will be implementing ideas to designs and various projects. It is important to know the fundamentals of intellectual property to either give credit when credit is due, or to simply know if I am the first person with the fresh idea. The business part of intellectual property is important as well with copyrights and trademarks that involve recognizing signs, sayings, and other services. Knowing the basics behind Intellectual property is important whenever you’re dealing with designing and production along with marketing and advertising.