ProtoCAM: Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping.

Ask the Interns: An “Exit Interview”

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We previously reported on the various going ons of our two summer interns, Ashley (our marketing intern) and Nolan (our additive manufacturing intern). Their time here at ProtoCAM is drawing to a close, and while we’re sad to see them go, we’re thrilled to see where they’ll head to from here! As they wrap up their last week, we asked them about their time here at ProtoCAM.

What kinds of skills did you learn in your position at ProtoCAM regarding marketing (Ashley) and advanced finishing and urethane casting (Nolan)?

Ashley: “I learned how to manage time very well, and also how to perform in a professional business environment. I feel that learning the analytics involved in the business was very valuable as well as just learning how the business world works behind the scenes.”

Nolan: “Problem-solving, because it’s not a total and complete science. Sometimes it takes longer to cure, sometimes it less time. Also I learned about being able to work with people and multitask.”

What did you learn about the 3D printing industry?

A: “The differences in all the machines, techniques, and what they each have to offer; for example, urethane casting vs. our HP [Multi Jet Fusion] machine.”

N: “It was a lot different than I thought it’d be. It’s definitely more large-scale and faster-paced. Instead of individual printing, there are multiple parts being printed at once, which results in more work.”

How do you think your time at ProtoCAM has impacted your future career goals?

A: “I realized that social media and marketing is something that I can do. I don’t think I would shoot for a career in this field, but it did show me how lucrative the business is and how I could alternatively switch to this career without much difficulty with the degree I’m seeking.”

N: “It gave foresight into the industry as a whole. I’m still not totally sure what I want to do. When I go back to school for a year, maybe I’ll have a better idea of what I want.”

Has your time here demonstrated how your skill set and pursued paths of learning can we used across different industries?

A: “I will say that when working with the commercial aspects with the business such as the animatic I worked on of ProtoCAM’s mascot, ProtoMAN, I saw how I can use simple elements of what I want to do for my career and insert them into certain aspects of companies that don’t exactly specialize in graphic design or even animation.”

N: “I developed my skills in problem solving, working with other people, and communication. Just working with groups or doing things together can definitely be transferred.”

What would you say to future ProtoCAM interns about your time here?

A: “Use all your time, and ask questions if need be. Everyone wants to help you; you’re not on your own. Don’t get frustrated with SAP [our customer system]; it’s a love/hate relationship you will adapt to and learn from. Watch out for Chuck, [our Technology Manager], he likes to scare people, haha.”

N: “Enjoy it and learn a lot. [This internship] is something that you can take advantage of; use it! It’s definitely a learning experience.”

Do you have any advice for those seeking careers in this industry?

A: “Know what you are marketing, and when problem-solving, don’t search for the easy solution; search for the most lucrative and beneficial one to you and the company.”

N: “Having prior knowledge definitely helps. When it comes to the process in general, it definitely helps with what you’re going to learn and takes the burden off of the other people when you know what your talking about.”

Ashley will continue to pursue a Communication Arts degree at Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall, while Nolan will continue to make strides in determining his future higher education and career goals.