Based in Stephen, Minnesota, Terog Manufacturing provides high-quality power transmission products to a variety of industries. Their biggest market is in agriculture where they manufacture custom farm equipment. Last year, Terog hired their first engineering intern through the SciTech Internship Program, Leonardo Pruneda, a mechanical engineering major at the University of North Dakota and a local of Stephen, Minnesota.
As a first-time SciTech user, Terog’s Plant Manager Shawn LaQue was very pleased with how efficient the program was. “I loved it. You couldn’t ask for better,” LaQue said. “The hiring process was very easy and the whole experience was very user friendly.”
Meet the intern:
“Growing up in Stephen, I would always ride my bike by Terog, just thinking to myself, ‘Oh its just another business in town.’ Fifteen years later I ended up having the wonderful opportunity of doing my first engineering internship there,” Pruneda said. “You wouldn’t expect a small town in the middle of nowhere to have clients all over the world, but here it is.”
His first big task on the job was helping build a roller kit for the Case IH combines. “That was really enjoyable,” Pruneda said. “I thought I’d be in the office more, but I got to spend a lot of time out on the production floor. My first month as an intern, I would spend a couple of days at each machine so I could get familiar with the atmosphere of the company. This strategic method helped me think of what Terog is capable of and how the company and I can improvise when tackling in projects in the future.”
“I really liked how inclusive it was here. When I struggled, no one hesitated. Everyone was helpful. Terog is a company that actually holds its values when they say, ‘You’re Family.'”
Pruneda spent some time working on a combine project and had the chance to improve his CNC machining capabilities as well. Though he had some CNC programming experience in college, it was this hands-on experience that helped him feel more comfortable with programming and start to enjoy it.
“I never really understood the point of programing before,” Pruneda said. “Before, it was just crunching numbers and letters in a program and hoping it would work. Then, when I actually had to apply it to a physical material to get a product, that had value. It opened up a lot of new opportunities for me.”
“In the three months that I’ve been working here, I learned a lot more than I have in school and the communication here is a big part of that,” Pruneda continued. “When I started, I just wanted an internship. I didn’t expect to like it this much. I can come in and know that I’m appreciated.”
“It’s really rewarding to see an intern grow and to have the opportunity to pass our knowledge along,” LaQue said fondly. “I always tell him, it’s not about the problem but how to assure the solution. I can hand him a project and walk away, confident that he can handle it. That’s rare to find.”
Make an impact on a future STEM professional’s life and strengthen your talent pipeline. Start planning your internship today at scitechmn.org. At least 120 wage matches are available on a first come, first hire basis between now and August 2021.
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