Tatem Rios, a Lab Technician at H.B. Fuller, has a very exciting year ahead of her. She’s secured an opportunity to work in 3M‘s corporate research lab over the summer before starting graduate school in the fall where she’ll pursue her Ph.D. in chemical engineering.

Several years ago, Tatem was working on a mechanical engineering degree at Inver Hills Community College. It wasn’t until she enrolled in the SciTech Internship Program that Tatem was presented with an opportunity to work in analytical chemistry. Her SciTech internships with ISurTec helped set this future Ph.D on her current path and she’s been an advocate for internships, and SciTech, ever since.

A Career in Chemical Engineering

As part of our month-long celebration of SciTech’s 10th anniversary, we sat down with Tatem to learn more about her experience with the program and how it helped her launch her career.



Why Small Companies? 

Even as a first-time intern, Tatem was given a chance to make her mark at ISurTec. Hands-on experiences are a staple of SciTech’s approach to internships, and because of this Tatem had the opportunity to help develop the method that ISurTec continues to use on their products today. That level of autonomy is common when working at a small company and for Tatem, it made the experience all the more meaningful.



STEM Opportunities in Minnesota

Funded by Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) through a legislative appropriation, SciTech exists not only to connect students to unique opportunities at small companies, but also to expose the next generation of young professionals to the advanced and ever-growing diversity of Minnesota’s STEM ecosystem. Though Tatem will likely pursue her graduate studies out of state, she shared with us why she’s eager to return home after graduation.



The Importance of Experience

Like many students, Tatem admitted that she was nervous before starting her first internship. Looking back however, she attributes a great deal of her confidence and well-rounded skillset to the experiences she gained while interning in different industries. Here, she offers some advice on the value of getting as much experience as you can.



From Intern to Ph.D

Tatem has a bright future ahead of her, and whichever school she choses for her graduate studies, the SciTech team is proud to have played a part in her professional journey. In the world of chemical engineering, Dr. Rios is sure to make quite a splash.



Join in the Celebration!
In the 10 years since SciTech began, our program helped over 2,250 interns connect with 555 companies in 142 cities state wide. We hope you’ll join us this month as we celebrate the incredible impact SciTech has had by following our daily posts on LinkedInFacebookYouTube and Twitter. Help us spread the word by leaving likes comments and sharing the videos with your contacts.

Because you never know, your share could be the catalyst to the next life-changing internship.