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School of Engineering

Interns Present program is a highlight of National Engineers Week 2023  

For more than 70 years, National Engineers Week – or EWeek – has promoted an interest in engineering and technology careers. This February’s EWeek at Rutgers was no different as students organized and took part in a variety of activities, many of which like Interns Present have become annual traditions at the school.      

Sponsored by L3 Harris, and hosted by Theta Tau, the 2023 Interns Present program and networking dinner featured 20 students sharing their on-the-job experiences with a panel of alumni judges and an audience of faculty and fellow students. 

Presenters discussed their experiences as interns with top tier companies ranging from Amazon to Zimmer Biomet. Four winners – Adeline Ripberger, Grace Dermenjian, Katie Lynch, and Pearl Buccine – were selected by the alumni judges.  

Making Industry Connections 

Smiling female student wearing glasses with blond shoulder length hair works in lab.

First place winner Ripberger, a senior mechanical engineering major, spent the summer of 2022 as a product development intern at Rawlings Sporting Goods in St. Louis, Missouri, a leading baseball and softball equipment company.  

“I learned a lot from this internship, primarily the importance of doing what you love,” she recalls. “I love sports and intersecting sports with engineering made my internship incredibly enjoyable.” 

While she was tasked with a number of responsibilities from quality control to product feedback, she also worked on a project involving sound and vibration testing of baseball and softball bats. “It’s common for players to say that a bat sounds or feels good,” she explains. “I ran experiments to see if there is a link between the acoustic and vibration characteristics of the bats and players’ preferences.” This project will form the foundation for her work as a doctoral student. 

Ripberger credits the internship with confirming her wish to work in the sports industry. As a result, after graduating she will be continuing her education at the Purdue University School of Materials Enginery, where she will be a research assistant at the Ray Ewry Sports Engineering Center. 

Learning Daily 

Female student portrait, dark hair wearing a gray blouse.

Biomedical engineering major Pearl Buccine spoke at Interns Present about her six-month co-op at Johnson & Johnson, where she worked in healthcare compliance on the company’s compliance and technology integration (CTI) team. 

“My team acts like internal consultants, creating technology solutions to make business more efficient. I really enjoyed automating manual workflows because I could save valuable time for people across the company,” she says. 

The Interns Present third place winner reports that she also served as the J&J Intern Co-op Association’s professional development chair, where she planned tours, hosted networking events, and planned a 5K walk supporting women’s health equity.  

“A key takeaway from my experience is giving back to others through mentorship and volunteerism – and always being open to learning daily,” Buccine says. “The people and the incredible work culture made my experience so enjoyable. We all share a lot of the same core values of working hard, learning constantly, and having a good work-life balance.” 

The senior’s co-op not only fueled her passion for healthcare technology, but also for intelligent automation, data analytics, and user interface design – areas she will pursue when she joins J&J as a technology, leadership, and development program analyst after she graduates.   

Fueling a Passion for Sustainability 

Smiling female student with long black hair standing on staircase looking up at the camera

Senior Grace Dermenjian moved to Detroit, Michigan for her summer 2022 internship with General Motors, where she led three projects.  

The chemical and biochemical engineering major recalls that she was tasked with spreading awareness of GM’s biodiversity initiatives; organizing position papers on environmental justice; and analyzing how the company is connected to United Nations sustainable development goals. “I also helped with a number of service projects, such as leading a STEAM summer camp, and working on the planning team for the Wildlife Habitat Conference.”  

Overall, she reports that her internship helped her solidify a desire to pursue sustainability and include sustainable practices in manufacturing processes. “Sustainability should be spread throughout a company and not just in one sector,” she insists. 

Dermenjian looks forward to putting her passion for sustainability to work for Unilever’s Future Leaders Manufacturing Rotational Program once she graduates in May.