Paige Fronheiser, 2014
Chemistry Major, Statistics minor
West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.
Analytical Lab Intern
Summer 2012, paid
Paige Fronheiser, a junior Chemistry major at Ursinus College, recently participated in an internship at West Pharmaceutical Services in Exton, PA. As an Analytical Lab intern she worked on two main projects. The first project used an infrared spectrometer (IR spectrometer) to make a powder into a clear disk to determine if a different method could achieve better data. The second project, which is still ongoing, was an intense data entry project using a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometer (LC mass spectrometer) to build a spectral library. Fronheiser also helped in the wet lab with physical testing, which focused on quality control of developed products. She also completed a project with a group of interns, which was presented to her supervisors and the CEO of the company.
Fronheiser was able to improve on previously acquired skills using the IR spectrometer and the LC mass spectrometer. Fronheiser especially felt that the group project was beneficial. Through the assignment she learned how to develop a project idea in a group environment, how to work with different people and personalities, all while developing important presentation and problem solving skills.
“It’s a big company but it feels small because everyone seems to know everyone else,” said Fronheiser. The supervisors of the program really impressed the importance of networking on her and the other interns and were always available to offer advice.
“I would say that [the internship] definitely opened my eyes to what opportunities are available after I graduate,” said Fronheiser. “I didn’t really know what chemists did, but meeting people in other departments, even within the labs, was interesting because I was able to see what everyone was doing.” She will return to West during the summer of 2013 as an intern and is excited to continue working on the library project. She also hopes to learn how to use some new instruments to further develop her skill base.
“For people in internships, definitely try to make an impression. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to network, to talk to other people that aren’t in your department. You’re there to get an experience and to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life, to get a leg up, which is what it’s all about. Utilize them because they’ve been through it too.”