This summer, chemical engineering major Molly Gondolf ’14 (Atlantic, N.J.) got a firsthand look at what her future career might be like. She hopes to become an application sales engineer, similar to those she worked with during her internship at Linde Gas North America.
“When you are immersed in the industry and are able to participate in hands-on engineering, you are learning lessons that cannot be taught in a classroom,” she says. “This role perfectly merges my ‘people person’ personality with my engineering background.”
Gondolf joined mechanical engineering major Jessica Ross ’15 (Sussex, N.J.) and chemical engineering major Derek Vill ’14 (Litchfield, Conn.) as interns at the Alpha, N.J., plant. As part of The Linde Group headquartered in Munich, Germany, Linde Gas North America focuses on electronics and specialty gases.
For Gondolf, the summer involved working closely with the Quality Group and analyzing the cost of non-conformance in the gas production process.
“Being in the plant was a great learning experience, as I was able to see filling and prepping of cylinders on a daily basis,” she says. “I was immersed in the industry, which I believe is the best way to learn.”
Ross worked on several design projects with Jared Piette ’12 in the project engineering team. These varied from designing systems that would help the company save money through gap savings to designing systems that would increase Linde’s industrial plant capabilities.
“The greatest part about working with Jared was the fact that he was in my place only a few years ago, and he knew exactly what I was going through during this internship,” says Ross. “He was more than willing to help me out and teach me what he knew.”
Piette, a project engineer, first experienced the company as a student intern himself during the summer before his senior year. He had such a positive experience that he applied for a full-time position.
There are four other Lafayette engineering alumni in the Commercial Development group of Piette’s division: Jeremiah Totten-Greenwood ’12, Ian Owens ’11, John Weyrauch ’04, and Nathaniel Lonergan ’04.
Gondolf also made professional connections when she met with Tom Goodwin ’75, head of metals and glass industries.
“Having a Lafayette alumni connection is very valuable,” she says. “He gave me great advice about Linde’s recruiting process. It was also great to talk to him about his experiences at Linde and share some fun Lafayette stories as well.”
Ross wants to earn her engineering license and work as a mechanical engineer after she graduates.
“I am so glad that I took this internship, because it has really shown me a new perspective on the chemical industry,” she says. “I’ve made the realization that as a mechanical engineer, I can really work in just about any industry—and I love that.”