Internship Highlight: Kyle Joynes | Polymer Group Inc.


Undergraduate Internship Highlight

Name: Kyle Joynes

Major(s) and Minor(s): Major: Textile Engineering-Information Systems Design; Minor: Industrial Engineering

Classification (sophomore, junior, senior): Senior

Intended Graduation Date (month & year): May 2014

How many summers have you interned since starting at NC State? 1

Company / University where you co-op’d / interned / researched this summer & its location: Polymer Group Inc., Benson, NC

Any previous companies / universities you co-op’d / interned / researched & the dates you interned:None

2013 Summer Internship: 

How did you find out about the internship?  It was posted on the bulletin board outside of Kent’s office for interviews signup.

What was the process for obtaining the internship?  I signed up for the interview.  Then I did a mock interview with Kent since that’s not my forte.   Then I interviewed with PGI on the COT the same day.  I was contacted by HR and went in for a site interview and a plant tour.  Offer was made the same day.  My other options fell through so I accepted the offer.

Describe in a short paragraph what project(s) you worked on.  The first project involved process improvement and edge-trim waste reduction using Six-Sigma methodology i.e. the DMAIC process. This was accomplished by prioritizing products based on waste percentage and reducing variations, weight and width, then re-writing process audits.

The second project involved working with fellow intern Cody Brown; creating, designing, programming and implementing a database used for risk assessment of situations out in the manufacturing plant. Visual Basic with user-forms allowed the users to add a new assessment, search through assessments, filter assessments, print reports and even receive reminder emails.

What classes (or experiences) from NC State did you feel were valuable during your internship? Mainly TE110 (Excel Visual Basic) and TE404 (Quality Control and Six Sigma).  I even used visual basic to assist in organizing some of the huge datasets I had to analyze or the first project.

What kinds of things, experiences, skills, etc. did you learn on the job that other students might benefit from knowing?  The visual basic knowledge I had gave me a data analyzing advantage over many people in the company.  Cody and I had people “in line” asking us to help them with analysis they do every day.  You don’t realize the skill set you have until you’re out in the real world using it for a company.

Overall in a manufacturing environment, the operators typically have the most experience and know the most about the process but are locked into a monotonous task that they do every day.  One of the hardest things to do is to change something someone has been doing “right” for 40 years because your data says it should.  Learning how to work with people is essential.

What did you like about the working environment of the company?  No homework and getting paid to do work instead of paying for it.  The past couple of summers I worked in a hot kitchen so this was definitely a step up in quality of job and pay.  It was nice to be able to sit somewhere and do work your interested in, that can change every day. Furthermore, all the people at PGI were friendly and helpful.

What was the best part of your internship?  There were several really good parts:

  • Playing basketball every day during lunch break.
  • Getting to know everyone in the plant.
  • Cody and I presenting our program to PGI’s VP of the Americas and receiving feedback from him.
  • Presenting my finished first project to the Leadership team and seeing my hard work come to fruition.