Jade Fullerton, a junior studying chemistry and exploring a physics minor in Augsburg STEM, recently completed her summer internship with Evergreen Innovations and offered words of advice for students seeking internship opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coming from Arden Hills, Minnesota, Jade saw the campus community as one of the best parts of her experience at Augsburg.

“You can tell right away that people here honestly care about each and every student,” Jade said. “Everyone here is so accepting of every race, religion, gender, sexuality, the list goes on. I felt very welcomed and appreciated right away.”

Through connections she made in the Augsburg STEM department, Jade secured a summer internship with Evergreen Innovations, a Minneapolis manufacturer of haircare and personal care products. Jade heard about the internship program through George Dierberger and Tia Rudzitis who reached out to Allison Zank, an Augsburg alum and project manager at Evergreen Innovations. Dr. Michael Wentzel, an associate professor for chemistry at Augsburg, and Rebekah Dupont, the director of STEM programs, were also connected with Zank and helped Jade apply for the internship through SciTech after learning about Jade’s interest in the position.

SciTech matches STEM college students with paid internships in small Minnesota companies. Through SciTech, Augsburg University donors and state funding guaranteed Jade would be compensated for her work at Evergreen Innovations. According to Jade, the SciTech application process went very smoothly.

“The process of application and securing my internship through SciTech was so incredibly easy,” Jade said. “I filled out a couple forms and submitted my resume and transcript. After just a short amount of time I was accepted, and I worked with Allison in getting that internship at Evergreen Innovations from there!”

At Evergreen Innovations, Jade worked on creating the formulas her manager and other higher lab formulators developed, and then sent the formula samples to clients.

“It was really cool being one of the people that got to make those samples that the client would actually receive, especially since I was the intern,” Jade said. “The people there were incredible and were super fun to work with and learn from! I was seen as an equal colleague and was used for my skills and treated as another lab tech.”

Jade’s favorite memory of working at Evergreen Innovations, which spanned from May 11 to July 22, 2020, was her first day on the job. She was asked to make a formula sample to send to a client and enjoyed the opportunity to take on that responsibility on Day 1. Jade also appreciated that her coworkers took the time to get to know her, show her the ropes and treat her as an equal right from the beginning.

According to Jade, making adjustments for COVID-19 at Evergreen Innovations was straightforward and easy. Regardless of COVID-19, Evergreen Innovations employees wore lab coats, safety glasses and gloves as needed. In response to COVID-19, employees were asked to wear masks, keep distance when possible and wash their hands often. Surfaces were sanitized daily, and employees’ temperatures were taken before entering the building.

“Overall, I felt very safe and had no problem working there in person!” Jade said.

Jade’s experience at Evergreen Innovations made her think more about what kind of chemistry she wants to pursue in the future and inspired her to keep the cosmetic side of chemistry in mind when choosing a career.

For her fellow Auggies exploring internship opportunities, Jade recommended reaching out to professors for help.

“They have so many resources and connections that you had no idea they have!” Jade said. “When I talked to a couple of my professors about finding an internship, they were able to help me find this opportunity for me! It was my favorite summer experience to date, and I’m so happy I was able to do it!”

This article was originally published by Augsburg University
Written by Juliet Dupont, Strategic Communications Intern for Augsburg University First Year Experience and STEM Programs.