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HeidelbergCement Group
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Katie Hutton

Major: Mining Engineering & German
Hometown: Oakdale, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

During the Penn State Fall Career Days, I spoke with a recruiter from Lehigh Hanson, a US based subsidiary of HeidelbergCement. Knowing that I study German as well, he thought it would be a perfect opportunity to combine my studies at their headquarters in Germany. He forwarded my resume to the Global Competence Center Materials department, and soon after a phone interview I was offered a position.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I am an intern in the Aggregates Engineering department with HeidelbergCement. This department is a part of the Global Competence Center Materials (GCCM). I have gotten to apply some of my course work and experience from previous internships on engineering projects. During this internship I get to live in Heidelberg, Germany, which is a beautiful city with a lot of history. I am in a wonderful position to practice my German and travel to other cities. So far I have visited Munich, Cologne, the Black Forest, and have plans to visit Rothenberg, Neuschwanstein Castle, the Alps, and Lake Constance which borders Switzerland and Austria.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has really encouraged me to grow academically. At first, I felt that my assigned projects were above my head, but the more I worked with them, the more progress I made. So far I am quite pleased with how far I have gotten. This growth is giving me more confidence, not only to take on more challenging courses at Penn State, but to face problems in my career. I am training to be a problem solver, and I am becoming more and more confident about my ability to find solutions, no matter how intimidating the task feels at times.

This growth is giving me more confidence, not only to take on more challenging courses at Penn State, but to face problems in my career.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career plans include working as a mining engineer in operations and becoming a professional engineer. I hope to eventually go back to school for an MBA or additional degrees in mining engineering or mineral processing. I also have goals to work my way up to management and executive positions. This experience has affirmed these goals. Working at the global headquarters has given me a special opportunity to work closely with top level engineering managers in positions that I aspire to be in. I have gotten to present my projects at a global engineering heads meeting, as well as during a global special projects teleconference. Activities like these are giving me a glimpse of what possibilities lay ahead.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I cannot recommend this particular experience to other Liberal Arts students, because it is very unique to someone in my position studying both engineering and German language. However, I would definitely recommend the city of Heidelberg. It is home to Germany's oldest university, so the city is filled with college students, creating a very fun and exciting atmosphere. The locals are friendly and happy to share their city. Studying in Heidelberg or nearby Mannheim would be spectacular experience.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

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