an interesting learning experience. I was introduced to a wide
variety of associates at Milliken who each had their own place
and responsibilities within the organization. The technical associates tended to be younger scientists with either bachelor’s or
master’s degrees. Research chemists and upper-level research
managers tended to have doctorate degrees. What I found most
intriguing was the ease of communication between all of the
different levels. There were times when management lived up
to their stern and serious stereotype, but most often they would
rather trade jokes or sit down for a good chat.
After 5 p.m.
The work I did for my internship was truly interesting and exciting, but my time in South Carolina was not totally spent in the
lab. I got to know many of my co-workers and other interns
throughout the company on a personal level. They helped me
get to know the Spartanburg area and experience the friendly
atmosphere for which the South is known.
I took part in a number of activities— including hiking, visiting Civil War sites, exploring the cities, and attending music
festivals. I also tried a wide variety of food during my time
there, and the fresh, homemade peach ice cream was a particular treat. However, it was the friends I met on these adventures
who made my summer experience so memorable.
Into the future
Being a SCI Scholar decidedly helped to shape my plans for after
graduation. Before this summer, I was tentatively planning on
attending graduate school to get my master’s in chemistry.
After I finished my internship, however, I decided that I wanted
to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry because of my love for research,
as well as my sense of obligation to society. I realized that if
an industrial company as large and prominent as Milliken &
Company can have the commitment to strive to make the world
a better place, then I can do no less.
The SCI internship helped me gain an appreciation and
understanding of what a research chemist does day-to-day in
an industrial company. I gained and practiced many skills, both
technical and interpersonal, that will definitely benefit me in
my future endeavors.
In short, I had a fantastic experience that gave me much professional and personal satisfaction. If you are an undergraduate
and are considering an industrial career, I recommend taking
a leap out of your comfort zone and experiencing an industrial
internship — whether 10 or 1,300 miles away. Who knows
what adventures you will find?
Bailey Jackson is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in inorganic
chemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
She graduated from Augustana College (SD) with a B.A.
SCI Scholars Program Internships
Summer 2013 Internships and Locations
Air Liquide Dallas, TX
Air Products Houston, TX, and Allentown, PA
Albemarle Corporation Baton Rouge, LA
Carus Corporation LaSalle, IL
Chemtura Corporation Perth Amboy, NJ
Chevron Phillips Pasadena, TX, and Baytown, TX
Croda Inc. Edison, NJ
Dow Chemical Company Freeport, TX
Dow Corning Corporation Midland, MI
DuPont Wilmington, DE
Eastman Chemical Company Kingsport, TN
ExxonMobil Baytown, TX, and Baton Rouge, LA
Honeywell/UOP Des Plaines, IL
Honeywell/PMT Chesterfield, VA
LANXESS Pittsburgh, PA
Milliken & Company Spartanburg, SC
Momentive Stafford, TX
Nalco Naperville, IL
Styron Company Midland, MI
WR Grace Columbia, MD
Deidre Sandrock, research chemist at Milliken & Company, and the
author examine a silicone elastomer.
About the SCI Scholars Program
The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI), America International Group
(AIG), ACS, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
started this summer internship program in 2008 to introduce chemistry and chemical engineering students to careers in the chemical
industry. In addition to the paid internship, SCI Scholars receive
$1,000 for professional travel and nominate a high school chemistry
teacher for a $1,000 award. An average of 30 paid internships are
offered each summer to those with chemistry and chemical engineering backgrounds.