ESCO Engages Blog

Early Career Interns and Graduates Pave the Way for Future STEM Leaders

26 July 2022

This summer, eight talented interns and graduates are expanding their professional horizons at Weir ESCO sites in Portland, Ore., Newton, Miss., and Edmonton, Alberta. Each of these rising stars is participating in a Weir ESCO-sponsored STEM education opportunity: our leadership development program for recent college graduates, the Weir ESCO college student internship program or the Saturday Academy high school internship.

The interns and grads were selected from schools across North America. Each is assigned to a particular functional area, ranging from engineering to marketing to safety, health and environment (SHE), where they are working on projects to build their skills, expand their mindsets and gain real-world experience.

They will return to school or work with practical experience under their belts, exposure to working in a global organization and broadened perspectives on their respective fields of study.  

Philipp Bardenheier

Originally from Los Angeles, Philipp is a rising senior and marketing major at Portland State University. He is spending this summer as a marketing intern on our Portland campus where he is supporting the marketing team’s transition to new analytics software and tracking data for specific KPIs like website traffic and engagement.

“In a business-to-business work environment, I’m aiming to make a career out of working with marketing data collection and analytics. If I were to transition to a business-to-consumer environment, I’d like to become a specific product’s marketing manager.”

Ben Buffington

A mechanical engineering major prepping for his senior year at the University of Mississippi, Ben is a plant engineering intern at our Newton foundry. This summer, the Mississippi native is learning different production processes in the foundry through a SHE project involving the installation of a fall-protection system and identifying new equipment to save energy and increase the lifespan of ladles used to pour molten metal.

“My goal when I graduate is to move somewhere out of Mississippi and become a manufacturing or plant engineer. I hope that my work can create a safer environment and improve foundry processes.”

Sean Bullock

Currently a junior majoring in mechanical engineering at Oregon State University, Sean Bullock was looking for the opportunity to work on real-world projects when he applied for the Weir ESCO internship. He is spending his summer as a new product development intern helping develop Weir ESCO’s next-generation Nemisys® lip, tooth and shroud system for the mining sector.

“My long-term aspirations are to make a positive impact in the world. I plan to do this by working with fellow innovators to develop revolutionary technologies that make the world a better place. At my internship with Weir ESCO, I think I am already on the right track.”

Nimra Javed

Nimra is beginning her two-year graduate engineering experience with Weir ESCO in Edmonton, Alberta. Originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Nimra earned her degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto earlier this year. She is currently working with the oil sands processing team where she is helping develop a variety of design projects including rotary breaker screens.

“I think the rotational graduate program provides an excellent opportunity for new grads to learn lots and develop a wide range of skills. ESCO is making exciting advancements in the industry. I want to be able to support, mentor and encourage young women at the company and in the industry.” 

Kaylani Kam

Kaylani is an engineering intern with Weir ESCO’s hydraulic machine products team based in Portland, where she is getting experience working in a team as well as learning advanced software applications. This summer, Kaylani’s internship is focusing on projects involving the visualization and modeling of lip assemblies. An Oregon native, she is majoring in mechanical engineering at Oregon State University.

“I want to gain as much experience as I can in the mining industry. I want to be an engineer that collaborates with a team and designs systems and products that contribute to the wellbeing of society.”

Cassie Kim

Chicago born and raised, Cassie graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2021 with a degree in mechanical engineering. In her second year as a graduate program engineer, she is focused on new product development for mining products , and is learning more about the casting process and software to manage manufacturing defects.

“I am always aspiring to be a more confident version of myself, and I would love to become a more confident and capable engineer. I want to get to the level in which I can proactively identify problems and find solutions.”

Ellie Sandholm

With aspirations of pursuing a degree in engineering, Ellie jumped at the opportunity to gain hands-on lab experience at Weir ESCO. The rising senior at La Salle Catholic College Preparatory is interning with Weir ESCO’s metallurgical team in Portland, where she is helping develop a materials quality database. Her internship is through Saturday Academy, one of our Portland nonprofit partners that provides access to hands-on learning and mentorship experiences for students interested in STEM.

“I know I want to go into the engineering field, and while I am not sure about the focus yet, I know it is a good fit for me. Having the opportunity to develop my skills while also gaining real-world experience is exciting. I hope to learn as much as I can and carry that with me into my future degree program.”

Melinda Tran

Born and raised in the Portland suburb of Beaverton, 16-year-old Melinda is entering her senior year at the International School of Beaverton. This summer, she is interning with Weir ESCO’s Portland engineering team where she is working on an adapter project for GET products. Melinda’s internship is also part of the Saturday Academy program.

“I want to expand my knowledge in material science and have more experience in 3D design. I wanted this internship, because it could help determine what I want to do in the future; I want to become a mechanical engineer or a programmer.”

Internships and hands-on work experiences help students and early-career individuals to build their skills and key in on professional aspirations. They can make the difference in finding the right career focus or getting a good job offer. It is our privilege and pleasure at Weir ESCO to provide a variety of STEM education opportunities to help the next generation of technologists, engineers, metallurgists and leaders enthusiastically find their way.

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