Instead of summer days filled with hitting snooze and tanning on the beach, Abby Paul chose to explore the manufacturing world through an internship at FRG. A graduate of Illinois Math and Science Academy, she worked closely with the production department in assisting with quotes, new product development, and order entry. Abby shared what she gained from her time with FRG, an opportunity she said helped shape her understanding of “working in a completely new setting.”
Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
Abby: I get to work around 8 a.m., get a cup of coffee and start with whatever lands on my desk. I check quotes for errors and focus on contract reviews. Then I work on larger projects.
Q: Any favorite projects learning experiences while working at FRG?
Abby: Contract reviews are probably the most complicated task I do…from that, I think I’ve learned the most about the inner working of the company. I’m slowly getting the hang of terminology and understanding a bit more of the forging process. It’s great to see all that goes with every order and how an organized process allows production to run well.
I also learned how to use workbooks in excel. Learning how to use basic excel code is an interesting challenge and a rewarding experience. There’s something immensely satisfying about making use of something I learned in class.
Q: What is about working at FRG is best developing your professional skills?
Abby: It’s nice to experience working in an office since I will probably end up working in a similar environment after college. I see how much work goes into making a company work efficiently and effectively. I attended a few training sessions that offered sound advice I hadn’t heard before. One training session was for excel, and I learned about things like pivot tables, sorting, and formulas that make work easier. I wish I had known about those a while back. Pivot tables in particular are going to be really helpful for lab reports in college.
Q:What will you be able to apply in future work settings?
Abby: I am learning quite a bit from my colleagues. Just from being in the office, I get to see examples of how to conduct myself in a professional setting, and how to deal with difficult customers. Everyone is very friendly and helpful to me. It’s great working with them.
Q: What do you hope to do after school?
Abby: I’m thinking about the aerospace or the oil industry since there are good jobs for engineers in those fields.
Q: Any fun or favorite memories at the Forge?
Abby: Craig (a Sales Representative) had to get rid of old sample parts on his desk, so I got my very own forging! Apparently it’s some sort of an engine part. It makes a great paperweight.
Q: Final notes, thoughts, or remarks?
Abby: It has been a great experience, and the chairs are super comfortable.
Abby will attend the Colorado School of Mines to pursue a Chemical Engineering Degree this fall.