HED Cycling’s CEO Anne Hed (outer left) and State Representative Emma Greenman (outer right) join interns old and new as Allison Jondahl (inner left) and Sam Somrock (inner right) show off a lightweight bike wheel made entirely in Minnesota.
Summer is site visit season for SciTech. In the span of six weeks, we attempt to visit and interview as many of our interns and employers as we can. Last week, the SciTech team was joined by State Representative Emma Greenman as we visited Mechanical Engineering Major Allison Jondahl to learn all about her internship at HED Cycling, a leader in the innovative, lightweight manufacturing of Minnesota’s biking industry.
This was Jondahl’s first professional internship and using the SciTech Program to simplify and expedite her search, she said, really helped.
“I enjoyed how well-organized and easy to navigate the job board was,” Jondahl added. “And one thing that I really like about SciTech is the fact that you’re reaching out directly to someone at the company.”
As both a student and a small business resource, SciTech helps college STEM majors connect one-to-one with hiring managers at local companies, removing the stress and uncertainty of sending in a job application without ever getting a response. SciTech also makes sourcing talent easier for small businesses, providing them with access to a vast pool of candidates and even reimbursing employers for half of their interns’ wages (up to $2,500 per student) at the end of each internship.
Of the 10 candidates who applied for HED’s Mechanical Engineering Internship this year, Jondahl’s passion and enthusiasm helped her land the position.
“Allison was engaged immediately, asking questions and eager to answer any interview questions that we had,” said Sam Somrock, HED’s Manufacturing Engineer and Jondahl’s mentor during her internship. “Now that she’s here, it’s really impressive to see her drive. She drives enormous value every day.”
The many hats (helmets) of manufacturing
HED Cycling develops lightweight products for racing bikes. Their carbon fiber wheels are manufactured in-house, and Jondahl was brought in to assist with a new hydraulic press insulation project.
Her responsibilities started small with some initial calculations. She then went on to conduct material research, studying the machines she’d be working on and reaching out to vendors for quotes. Today she’s designing the insulation testing procedure herself, which will be used as the new standard in the company going forward. Jondahl also had the opportunity to work on some 3D printing and a quality assurance project that she presented to HED’s sales team.
“It’s always going to be a changing environment. Which is why a lot of this internship has been, ‘How many different things can we get you involved in?’” Somrock said.
The legacy and impact of internships
Of all the technical skills that Jondahl developed during her internship, she was equally grateful for the chance to improve her communication and efficiency.
When collaborating with her teammates, Jondahl said, “you really get to bounce ideas off each other and problem solve through so many different departments. Having a lot of encouragement from Sam, telling me I can do this, and knowing I have his support, helped a lot too. He was a great manager and a great model of what a good manager can be.”
Part of that likely comes from having a similar experience to Jondahl’s. Prior to working at HED fulltime, Somrock also got his start as a SciTech intern and it was thanks to his multiple internships through the program that Somrock returned to Minnesota after spending some time in the Aerospace industry down in Texas.
“The experiences you get from these internships are insane,” Somrock said. “Having a lasting impact on a particular area and knowing that you’re making an improvement is really great.”
After seeing all that Jondahl was exposed to during this opportunity, Representative Greenman asked how her experience at HED might influence her future.
“This hands-on experience has been exciting,” Jondahl replied. “It’s great to have confirmation that I picked the right major and that I actually like what I’m doing. It’s been an awesome experience and I can already see how much I’ve grown.”
SciTech’s new program year begins September 1st! Companies and students can enroll now to be preapproved for the Fall. Post a job, connect with talent, find an internship that sets you ahead in your career!