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From Intern to Hired: Rachel Guthrie, Materials Science and Engineering, Class of 2018

Pam Lechner

Some young people know exactly what they want to pursue as they enter college. Others may have a big-picture idea but don’t find their passion until they are exposed to new and different possibilities.
For Rachel Guthrie, the materials engineering classes she took at University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) introduced her to metalcasting which led to her interest in the hands-on process of making a material. And she was hooked! 

Rachel Guthrie

To expand on her experience and expertise, Guthrie took a summer internship with a company that did a lot of investigative engineering to help solve industry issues and provide root cause analysis for companies, universities and private customers. 

“I got to see different types of projects and gain a lot of industry-related wisdom,” she said.
Did her internships help prepare her for her current job? 

“Absolutely. When you’re in school and told you have a deadline on a paper, it’s vastly different than in a real-world job and being told you have a deadline on a project,” Guthrie said. “There’s a different weight and responsibility to it, and my internships gave me a taste of what that felt like, so I was a little more prepared for my first job out of college.”

Guthrie attended the 2017 FEF College Industry Conference (CIC). Two of the companies she spoke with intrigued her as she was looking for a full-time position following graduation. She accepted her first position with one of those companies (because it was closer to home). Guthrie currently works for the other company she met at the CIC—the Engineering Center of Excellence (ECoE) for Chromalloy in Florida. When asked if her college classes helped prepare her for her position, she said, “Very much so! The knowledge and understanding of how materials work on a microscopic level has been key to helping me figure out the issues that my job requires me to solve.”

Guthrie’s enthusiasm for the metalcasting industry is obvious.

“I love how transformative metalcasting is,” she said. “You get to see this melted, moldable, dangerous material turn into something beautiful and functional, so it’s pretty amazing to think about how far humanity has come in engineering capabilities. My current job is great in the sense that it’s different every day! I love the new challenges and learning something new every day. It forces the creative side of my problem-solving skills to take effect. I also like the intricate nature of the superalloys I work with.”
If your company is looking for an intern for the summer, contact FEF or one of its family of colleges and universities. You’ll find all FEF students have the same love of metalcasting and the desire to expand their knowledge while contributing to the success of your company … like Guthrie.   

College Connection is a recurring feature that runs in Modern Casting highlighting the metalcasting programs and students at FEF schools.