Intern Jia Zhang

About the company:
Third Wave Systems (TWS) is the premier Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) provider for companies that machine. TWS’ modeling products and services are used by progressive companies to dramatically reduce the cost of machined components, accelerate design cycles, improve part quality, and get to market faster. For several years, the company has used the SciTech Internship Program to evaluate and hire STEM college students to assist with their summer workload and to bring in new, innovative ideas.

“We previously struggled to find talent and afford to pay all the talent that we needed,” explained Danielle Unruh, Third Wave’s Quality manager. Fortunately, as a state-funded program, SciTech assists employers in both departments, by connecting them with an exclusive talent pool and reimbursing them for half the intern’s wages (up to $2,500 per student hired through the program).

“I like how the applicants email me directly,” added Madison Zander, an office manager at Third Wave. The SciTech job board connects students and employers by sharing their prefered contact info, which is also beneficial to students who don’t have to worry about their applications being sent to an anonymous inbox.

“SciTech is unique because you get a more personalized introduction,” agreed Samuel Hohenshell, a computer science major at the University of Minnesota and one of this year’s Third Wave interns.

 Meet the interns:
Hohenshell was joined this past summer by Jia Zhang, and Jacob Bandyk, both of which are also comp sci majors at the U of M, and by Sam Casey, an industrial and systems engineering major at the U.

Due to the pandemic, Third Wave interviewed and on-boarded their interns remotely this year. Everyone agreed that learning to work that way took a little getting used to, but with regular virtual game-nights, the company came up with fun ways to keep everyone connected and engaged.

During their time at Third Wave, the interns covered a variety of projects, from de-bugging software, to working on frontend user interface designs, and each student had a different take away from their experience.

“I appreciated that Madison set up 20 minute meetings for us with all the departments, to learn about what everyone is working on,” Hohenshell said. “That only works at smaller companies.”

“My part of the work involved helping with automation,” said Zhang. “Thank you for adapting with my errors. Now I know how to improvise on my approach to problem solving.”

This was Casey’s first internship. “It was a great experience to get so many hands-on projects,” he said.

Bandyk interned with Third Wave last year and when he returned this spring he was given more responsibility and the opportunity to build off of his project from the year before. “The code I’m working on has gotten a lot of good reviews, and that’s a really good feeling.”

Get involved
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