One aspect of this internship that I have hardly mentioned throughout this entire summer is the “Lunch-and-Learn” series that Indium Corporation is has prepared for us. Every Wednesday, we interns meet for a lunch during which the company provides some sort of learning outcome. Not only has the company given us the opportunity to gain experience, but it is actively investing itself in our futures. They are not satisfied with simply allowing us to work for them; they want to familiarize and introduce us to ideas and situations that will be useful in the future that we may not have necessarily been exposed to otherwise.
Other interns have spoken exhaustively about each event so I won’t go into detail, but I will mention the high points of each.
The first meeting was led by our Marcom Director, Rick Short, and covered the topic of mentoring. Rick stressed how imperative it is for someone entering the workforce to find a mentor and also how mutually beneficial the relationship can be. This was very fitting for the first of the series as it gave us time to seek out those relationships.
The next week we had a special Dale Carnegie class tailored for us in which we were trained in interpersonal competence. This not only aided many of us in our communication abilities and how we interact professionally, but, in providing this experience, Indium Corporation has also given us a marketing tool that we can use in the future. Dale Carnegie training is very respected within the business world and having that mark on a resumé will certainly help us stand out.
Meeting number three consisted of Indium Corporation inviting their lawyer, Kevin Martin, to speak to us about intellectual property. In this lecture, Kevin explained to us the basics of how intellectual property laws work, the difference between patents, copyrights, and trademarks and how a non-disclosure agreement works. This was very helpful to me especially because, before the meeting, I was rather inept on the subject and now have a basic understanding of how to navigate those areas.
Next, Indium Corporation invited their outside marketing contractors, Quadsimia and The Paige Group, to speak to us about personal branding and social media. In this lecture we discussed how to manage your persona such that you do not end up limiting yourself professionally.
The next week marked the half-way point of the internship; I have already written about this in a previous post. This week had two events; community volunteering and “Bragging Day”. For the community service, we participated in the weekly “city sweep” hosted by Utica NY's mayor in which we tidied up the Boilermaker course. Bragging day was a lunch event in which each intern presented to fellow interns, their supervisors, and upper management on their experience so far.
In the week following, our Marcom manager, Anita Brown, led a discussion on networking and communications. In this meeting Anita spoke on how to effectively communicate between different media and between different generations, and how to present yourself well while doing so. This was very beneficial as it highlighted that there is no singular form of communication that is better that another. Each situation has to be considered before choosing how to properly relay information.
After that, Indium Corporation brought in Sim Covington who represented SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s career services department. Sim spoke to us about how to maximize our college career services benefit. Each student pays a fee for these services, but few utilize them to their potential. These services range from guiding you in determining the career path you want to pursue to aiding in your job search and helping with placement. As we are all college students interested in advancing our career professionally, the advice given by Sim was invaluable.
Next week we will participate in two events. On Tuesday many of us will volunteer to help at a youth STEM event at Indium Corporation’s Business Park Drive (Utica, NY) location. For this event, Indium Corporation has invited teenagers from a local nanotechnology summer camp to visit and tour our facility; we interns will be answering these students’ questions and aiding in the tour. On Wednesday we will participate in a discussion led by Indium Corporation’s Talent Acquisition Manager, Jim McCoy, in which we will speak about how to formulate our resumés and how to integrate our specific experiences from this summer into them.
This list of events makes it clear that Indium Corporation cares more about developing us as professionally than they do about the work that we create. Obviously, every one of us is doing great work for the company, but this experience expands beyond just the work that we are doing. Indium Corporation is actively investing in our future and giving us the tools we need to advance in our careers. This is truly not your average internship.