Indium Blog

Being a Biological Engineer in a Manufacturing Facility

  • 2020 College Interns
  • “Required: Pursuing a Degree in Mechanical Engineering…Pursuing a Degree in Industrial Engineering”. It would be an understatement that these phrases worried me as I applied for an internship at Indium Corporation. I scoured through the various positions available, looking for ones that had more general statements, such as “pursuing a degree in engineering or the sciences”. I desperately wanted an internship at Indium Corporation, but I was fearful these specific requirements would weed me out of the applicant pool in the first round. Although I have taken various physics and math classes, my major is none of the ones I have previously mentioned. I will be getting my bachelor's degree in biological engineering, which is a more abstract degree, to say the least. It is an up-and-coming field of study, with recent biological and technological advancements helping to propel its beneficial research to the forefront of health and medicine development. Clearly, Indium Corporation is not a place you would normally find a biological engineer. Working almost primarily with metal and inorganic elements, it is quite the opposite...hence my hesitation when applying to this internship program.  

    Thankfully, I was selected for the position for the Inventory Control intern, and the past few weeks working in a manufacturing facility have opened my eyes to the numerous disciplines within engineering. Even though my major handles cells and DNA samples, it is not unlike the handling of the indium parts and other alloys. For example, the areas where productions are assembled and packed is similar to the labs where biological experiments are conducted. I have noticed other comparisons as well, and these have helped me realize that engineering is engineering at its source, regardless of whether the product is living or nonliving, microscopic, or the size of a building. Every engineering project starts with a clear foundation, a structure created to support the various paths that will expand outward in all directions until they meet up at the final result. I realized I was so focused on my specific major that I failed to step back and truly understand the concept of engineering itself. The Indium Corporation Internship Program allowed me to do that.

    If I was to offer a potential applicant for this program a word of advice, I would encourage them to apply for positions that may not directly relate to their field of study. A person’s major is not the sole deciding factor in the interview process; the company is searching for students who are eager to learn and passionate about engineering, regardless of their specific discipline. While I initially harbored doubts about how the knowledge I would acquire working in the Inventory Control department would translate to a future in biological engineering, I am now certain many of the concepts will apply to numerous career paths. I am so thankful that Indium Corporation gave me the opportunity to experience engineering in a different light that I would have been blind to otherwise. This is just one of the many aspects that makes the Indium Corporation Internship Program unique and extraordinary.  ​