Summer internships benefit students, employers

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Eleven local Danville City and Pittsylvania County students participating in the Academy for Engineering and Technology program housed at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research participated in summer internships.

In addition to the summer internships for students, the Institute provided five summer internships to local college students and provides internships during the school year to students in the Piedmont Governor’s School for Mathematics, Science, and Technology housed at the Institute.

“Internships are a great avenue for students to put their learning into practice in a real-world experience,” said Dana Silicki, Institute program coordinator.

To be selected for a summer internship, students developed resumes and completed interviews with local businesses. Once selected, interns were responsible for developing goals and reporting on their experiences at the conclusion of their internships. Each internship was approximately four weeks.

Dwight Tate, Derrick Gunnell and Tyler Martin completed internships at the Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation.

The Institute provided internship opportunities to Jacob Johnson, Coleman Willis and Eden Gibson.

Nicholas Collins and Taylor McGregor completed internships at ABB.

Southern Virginia Product Advancement Center provided an internship opportunity to Samuel Montgomery.

Joshua Owens completed an internship at the Regional Center for Advanced Technology and Training.

Erika Davis completed an internship at Engineered BioPharmaceuticals. She is a Gretna High School senior enrolled in the Advanced Learning and Research program. “My internship made me realize I wanted to be a mechanical engineer,” said Davis. “The staff gave me good advice as I worked on projects.”

Located in Ringgold Industrial Parkway, Engineered BioPharmaceuticals specializes in the development, formulation, production and filling of dry powder protein-based pharmaceuticals into novel delivery devices. Engineered BioPharmaceuticals “engineers” their dry powders for a wide variety of application-specific purposes, including high surface area for rapid reconstitution, low density and spherical for aerodynamic performance, tight size distribution for consistent targeted delivery and protein protection for maximal shelf-life.

Dr. Mark Ketner, director of engineering at Engineered BioPharmaceuticals, was Davis’ mentor. “We want to promote STEM technology in Danville as well as the region and expose the community to the new technology sector being built in Danville,” Ketner said.

“The AET internships provide relevance and hands-on application of the information the students are learning in the classroom. Partnering with employers to support work-based learning experiences, such as job shadowing, externships, internships and apprenticeships, is critical for regional talent development and talent retention efforts.” said Dr. Julie Brown, Institute director of advanced learning.