Biosystems Engineering Internship Story: Nalco Water


Charley Golden

Biosystems Engineering

What company did you intern with and where are they located?

  • Nalco Water, an Ecolab Company
  • Headquarter in Naperville, IL but I was located in Kingsport, TN

How did you identify and apply for your internship? Are there any specific resources you used to find the opportunity (i.e. Handshake, career fairs, other recruitment events)?

  • Career fair
  • Talked to Beth Parola, who is an AVP of Nalco. I had previously networked with her at 100+ Women Strong events

What was the application process like?

I don’t really remember. I believe an online application and then 2 interviews (one with a campus recruiter then one with who would soon be my district manager)

Tell us about your internship experience. What types of tasks and projects did you engage in? Was there a particular project or part of the experience you learned the most from?

My official title was an Engineering Technical Sales Intern in Nalco’s Global Chemical division. This means we provide services and sell our customers chemicals needed for their treatment processes that Nalco makes. My customer was Eastman Chemical Company. I would do daily boiler water testing and maintenance around the plant. My specific intern project was looking at the iron removal from the condensate at the plant. This included sampling from multiple inlet and outlet points and bringing them back to our lab to test for pH, conductivity, and iron.

In what ways did this internship help you prepare for your next destination after Auburn?

At the end of the summer, I had the opportunity to go to our headquarters to present on my intern project and meet 100 interns, other district managers, and vice presidents. This was an incredible networking opportunity. I also have been unofficially told I am getting a full-time offer and should be getting an official one within the next couple weeks. While I am still unsure if I will be accepting it, it is great to know the work I did during my internship resulted in a full-time job offer.

In what ways did your coursework or other experiences at Auburn prepare you for your internships? Are there specific topics or skills you learned from classes that you put into practice on the job?

Some testing I did in my general chemistry classes was similar. It was cool to see formulas and theories I learned in gen chem and thermodynamics actually in the practice in the processes of the chemical plant

Do you have any advice for other students looking for internships like yours?

Put yourself out there! Don’t be afraid to try something new or something you’re unsure if you would like it or not, an internship is to get experience before you start a full-time career. Network, network, network!!!