Internship Highlight: Cody Brown | Polymer Group Incorporated


Undergraduate Internship Highlight

Name:  Cody Williams Brown

Major(s) and Minor(s):  Textiles Engineering / Chemical Engineering (working to acquire double major)

Classification (sophomore, junior, senior):  Junior

Intended Graduation Date (month & year):  May 2015

How many summers have you interned since starting at NC State?  one

Company / University where you co-op’d / interned / researched in summer 2013 & its location: Polymer Goup Incorporated, Benson, NC

Any previous companies / universities you co-op’d / interned / researched & the dates you interned:  N/A

2013 Summer Internship: 

How did you find out about the internship?  Kent’s Career Services Board with Internship opportunities. I interviewed with the company after signing up and then the process continued from there leading to a summer internship.

What was the process for obtaining the internship?  I signed up for an interview using Kent’s resources. The PGI HR manager came to N.C. State’s Textiles campus and I was interviewed. The HR manager then contacted me after the interview for a plant visit. I accepted the visit, had another interview, and the received an offer. I accepted the offer and began my internship.

Describe in a short paragraph what project(s) you worked on.  I worked with several projects while at PGI, but my major project that I presented after the summer program has related to Uptime optimization and Downtime reduction. I gave a lot of attention to data where we were losing the most time. For example, over the past 8 months, PGI’s line 8 was experiencing heavy downtime through there R.K. (opening) process into their carding. I worked with quality of incoming fiber, opening of the fibers, and the R.K’s beater rolls to ensure maximum efficiency. I also worked heavily with Microsoft Excel VBA and data analysis.

What classes (or experiences) from NC State did you feel were valuable during your internship? Almost all of my Textiles classes had some application to my time spent at PGI. The introductory courses provided excellent fundamentals to polymer applications that I applied to product materials and the later courses gave me insight to mechanical error on the line and defects in the quality.

What kinds of things, experiences, skills, etc. did you learn on the job that other students might benefit from knowing?  Many of the carding applications and other mechanical applications directly paralleled my next courses in Textiles. It gave me a bit of hands on understanding and experience when learning theory in class. I also have a much better understanding of LEAN Six Sigma and am strongly encouraged to complete the course. I also now know that practical applications of Virtual Basic through Excel (TE 110) exist and are extremely helpful for data analysis.

What did you like about the working environment of the company?  It was a large enough facility that I had the opportunity to work with very many aspects, but the automation of the equipment allowed there to be a smaller staff. This allowed me get to know most of the staff including second and third shift employees in the plant. We actually had time during lunch to have a 30 minute pickup game of basketball which allowed me to get away from the desk and stretch for a bit making the rest of the day easier to conquer.

What was the best part of your internship?  The best part of my internship was working closely with my partners and Kyle Joynes. Working as an individual would not have been a great environment and I would have not accomplished nearly as many objectives while working there. Kyle and I were able to provide a great data base system which we spent many hours creating, but as a team we kept each other going. I realized that two minds were in fact better.