Stepan Company

Alkoxylation Intern

June - August 2019 • Northfield, IL

What I liked

I gained a lot of hands-on experience in a research lab for an industrial company. This was different from previous experiences I have had with academic research because I was learning how to apply my research directly to the company products. I also learned several new analysis techniques that I used to study surfactant properties. I had no experience with surfactants previously, so these techniques helped me understand the structures through experimentation, rather than just through theory. Stepan Company is a global company, but it is still a family-owned company that values their employees. I worked closely with several people in my lab, and I made very valuable connections with everyone I met in the company.

What I wish was different

I don't wish to change any part of my experience this summer. I had an amazing time and I learned so much about my area of research, as well as how research works in industry.


Forging connections with everyone at Stepan was a very rewarding experience, so always reach out to new people, even if there seems to be no reason to. The other interns were all incredibly friendly, and hearing about their experiences in the company really helped broaden what career areas are available to me in the future.
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