Mechanical engineering major Derrick Hargwood ’14 (Metuchen, N.J.) got hands-on experience in his field as an intern at the product design and innovation center of West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. in Washington, N.J.
During a summer internship, Hargwood learned about the design process and took part in brainstorming sessions, made and tested prototypes, and then refined the designs until all the parts functioned properly. West, which is headquartered in Exton, Pa., applies proprietary materials science, formulation research, and manufacturing innovation to advance the quality, therapeutic value, development speed, and rapid market availability of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and consumer health care products.
“I knew beforehand that mechanical engineering was a versatile field; however, this was my first internship and I would say that it definitely gave me a better perspective about what I want to do after I graduate,” says Hargwood, a member of the College’s cross country and track and field teams.
During his internship, Hargwood met with Don Morel ’79, West’s chairman and chief executive officer, and a Lafayette trustee.
“Mr. Morel said I could stop by the office anytime and talk,” says Hargwood. “I was really surprised by this because West is a rather large company and I’m sure that he is very busy, but he was very open. Wherever I went I felt that openness reflected through all of West.”
Hargwood is interested in a career in the industry.
“This summer, I got a taste of what it might be like to become a design engineer,” he says. “It was a lot of fun and I would definitely consider it after graduation. Now that my foot is in the door, I feel a lot more confident about…joining the real world.”